Keep Your Brand Promise Clear

By Chuck Sink | November 21, 2023

Your Brand Promise at Ground Level

Does your brand promise too much? One of the most repeated rules of marketing is to sell the good result, not the product. Rather than extoll product features and service excellence, show and tell consumers how their life gets better as a result of a purchase. This idea can be taken too far. Messages can become too abstract or even dreamy and lose practical implications.

Your website’s homepage is your brand central! It’s easy to spot over-the-top brand strategies when a new website is launched. You’ll often see a picture of an idyllic scene, or people enjoying life, supposedly implying that a product makes everything better. A visitor might think, “…is this a home designer, a travel agent, an upscale furniture store, or a building supplier…?”, and search again for what they really need – a hardware store with a lumber yard, for example.

Your opening homepage message should be exactly what your customers need from you in a crystal clear and attractive light. Avoid leading with the ultimate lifestyle aspirations of people who happen to use your products & services. Of course, you should show happy results liberally where appropriate, but by all means be crystal clear about the deliverables that your customers want.

Use a Johnson Box!

Have you ever heard of a “Johnson box?” Bear with me here. The Johnson box is the area of an advertisement or direct mail piece that basically says, “Here’s what you want right now!” It’s that one bold headline, or maybe a framed word, or a clear picture with a bold caption. It closes the deal without the need for a bunch of descriptive copy. It’s the secret to better advertising and more conversions.

A website’s top image is the Johnson box of your brand. How can you tell the visitor they’ve come to the right place if indeed they are actually a business prospect searching for the right supplier? If you go too high in aspirational messaging, you may lose customers who just want what they want and know immediately they’ve found it! They are not interested in being inspired or educated, just supplied.

What’s Your Brand Promise?

The images and themes that underlie your company, products and service messages will deliver your brand promise in a way that sinks in after your audience learns your primary category and offerings. It should be written into your headlines and copy, and it can live nicely in the About section of your website.

And just how do you define your brand promise? In words, it’s really the same as your positioning statement – a concise and distilled value proposition. It sums up the value that you promise to deliver to every customer.

In action, it’s manifest in your daily operations and customer service. Your loyal customers come back because they believe they will get from you what’s promised. And they are confident to refer their friends to you. So, now I give you the secrets to create your ideal brand promise.

To be effective, your brand promise must be:

  1. Simple and memorable – be comfortable with it.
  2. Easily understood – distinguished from competition.
  3. Credible – it delivers as promised.
  4. The sole occupier of your niche position – you own it!
  5. Believable – what are the real reasons to believe?
  6. Supportive of growth – plenty of people can identify with it and like it.

Work on what you promise your customers. Then deliver the experience to them. And by all means, get the message out! We can help you with that.

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