How to Create a Brand Promise

Earlier we introduced the concept of Brand Promise in the post, The Brand Promise: What does it mean for the Nonprofit and Public Sectors?  In this post, we’ll go more in depth on how to craft it.

Consider the following brand promises:

  • Scott Russell, who is a motivational consultant and co-founder of Russell & Russell Consulting, promises “Open and honest leadership delivered with humor and a smile.”
  • The NFL: “To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other.”
  • Virgin Worldwide: “To be genuine, fun, contemporary, and different in everything we do at a reasonable price.”

These brands all promise to do something and then describe how they are going to do it.

Let’s break down Scott Russell’s brand promise:

  • WHAT does he do?  Lead
  • HOW does he do it?  Open and honestly
  • HOW does he deliver his leadership?  With humor and a smile

It is important to think about what you do and how you do it separately.  You don’t want to try to create the promise all at once or you could miss key characteristics or forget words that best articulate your vision.  Brainstorming vast possibilities then narrowing them down is crucial.  Oftentimes, it is best to have an unbiased outside voice, without a stake in the organization, to lead this exercise.   Consulting companies, like Campaign Consultation, can facilitate the process of crafting your brand promise so that it truly captures the essence of your organization.

It’s important to note that crafting your organization’s brand promise should include input from many stakeholders at all levels, from housekeeping staff to the board chair. Stakeholder participation is essential so the entire organization has a shared vision and knows where they contributed to that vision.  This results in a brand promise that is embraced and truly believed in by all.

The staff of Campaign Consultation shared these useful tips about branding and the brand promise:

Steven Rivelis, CEO

  • Craft your “Branding Promise”… Then use it as the foundation for creating your logo, tag line, look and feel, etc.

Adiyah Ali, Project Specialist

  • Brand promise allows you to share the same message across different audiences.
  • You may have to adjust your brand when the world changes around you.
  • The organization’s culture needs to buy into the belief that “everything that we do must support our brand.”
  • The brand promise should be short and sweet.

Stephanie Moore, Project Specialist

  • Marketing is how you control your content.  There are 3 types: paid, owned, and earned.
  • Your brand promise helps you control it in those 3 ways.

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Megan Wall

In my role as Project Specialist with Campaign Consultation, Inc. I work primarily on projects with the Corporation for National and Community Service, specifically AmeriCorps VISTA outreach initiatives. Prior to joining Campaign Consultation, I worked in Liberia on two different USAID-funded initiatives. Prior to that, I was the Micro-Grants Manager for a USAID food-security initiative where I created and executed agri-business training and monitored micro-grant usage. Read more.

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