There is one essential startup strategy I believe is the foundation of every successful business – and it’s the Brand Promise.
Before you choose a name for the business… before logos and graphics… before you build a website or design the details of your product and service offerings… you must develop a clear and compelling Brand Promise.
This is the emotional connection you promise to deliver every time you communicate with your ideal customer. It’s an experience.
Here’s a great quote from Howard Schultz, Starbuck’s Founder:
“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”
(Buy Howard’s book “Pour Your Heart Into It” here)
Your “brand promise” needs to convey a compelling benefit and it needs to be authentic and credible.
And the promise must be kept – every time… whenever you speak, share on social media or pitch to investors.
A strong brand promise is one that connects your purpose, people, competitive positioning, and your sales and marketing strategy – with your customer’s experience.
It’s how you connect with customers on a direct emotional basis… which in turn creates customer value and sustainable brand differentiation.
When you connect with people in ways that inspire trust and a sense of intimacy, you’ve formed a more personal relationship with your customer. That’s when they become loyal repeat customers and… even better, passionate word-of-mouth evangelists for your business.
This connection keeps customers coming back, even though competitors are knocking at their doors to get them to switch to their product.
And please don’t compare yourself to similar services providers.
If you need further guidance, check out the book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon… a terrific new book that shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns…but exceptions rule. (Buy a copy here)
What emotional experience do you want to evoke in your customers?
My brand promise is: “Andelicious Advice” (translation: “core business strategies delivered by a trusted partner with high enthusiasm and inspiration”)
Here are some well known brand promises:
Geico: 15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.
Dunkin Donuts: America runs on Dunkin!
FedEx’s: “absolutely positively overnight;
BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine
Apple: Think Different.
Do you see … or feel … the common thread?
There’s an emotional current that resonates with their customers
Reflect on your brand promise and the emotional connection you’re creating with customers.
Is it really powerful enough?
And are you and your team communicating your brand promise consistently everywhere you glow? Especially across all social media platforms?
Do you have a brand promise? Please share it in the comments. I’d love to “FEEL” it.
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Thank you so much for tuning in and remember — You’ve got this Startup Founder! You had the courage to begin and you have the courage to succeed.
See you next time – MUAH!
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