What is a Brand Promise?

When it comes to branding, nothing sums it up better than a quote by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. In the most simplistic explanation, brands are the PROMISES that marketers make about their product or service to their most important target consumers.

How consistently a brand delivers against their promises has a lot to do with two key elements. The level of trust, and the emotions that consumers have about that brand, and, ultimately how loyal they are to that brand.

How a brand makes it’s consumers FEEL makes the ultimate difference in the level of loyalty.

Relevance and consistency is key for all brands. This is true whether it is delivering on quality, the manifestation of the functional benefit, the level of customer service delivered, or the engaging storytelling the brand uses to communicate with it’s target consumers.

When brands consistently deliver their promises, consumers talk about them in a positive light. When they don’t, they talk about them in a negative light.

Just think about what you have had to say recently about brands you interact with the most.

A Brand Promise Almost Broken: A CASE STUDY

One of the brands I love the most is Lexus.

To me, the promise Lexus makes is simple. A smooth, stylish, and luxurious ride for a reasonable price … a pleasant “escape” of sorts. This is coupled with a dealer network that consistently delivers the highest quality of personalized service. I always feel great about bringing my car in for service.

This combination is one I have grown to trust and admire a lot. It is one of the reasons I’ve always said I will never buy anything but a Lexus.

Recently, this trust was almost broken!

The door lock system on my Lexus ES 350 was malfunctioning. I promptly took it to my local dealer for repair. They explained that my Lexus was beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. There would be a sizable charge to return the door lock system to proper operating order.

This news was not well received.

I politely pushed back and reminded the dealer management of how many vehicles I had purchased from them. I reminded them about the amount of money I had spent with them on service over the years. Basically, I reminded them how loyal I have been to them and Lexus. 

While doing this, I had already started writing the “nasty tweet” in my head that I would have posted had the dealer broken my trust.

The good news is they listened!

The Value of a Brand Promise Upheld

The dealer agreed to ask Lexus to pay for the repair even though the vehicle was out of the warranty period. They would fight for me, but it might take a day or two to get Lexus to approve the repair.

Then they proceeded to put me in a nice, upgraded loaner vehicle for the weekend while they sorted things out.

Lexus ultimately agreed to cover the cost of the repair!

I’m happy to report that my trust in the Lexus brand and their dealer has not been broken. My loyalty is stronger than ever. This is exemplified in the tweet below:

“So thankful to @Lexus and @NalleyLesuxRos for taking the right action to maintain my trust and reinforce my loyalty to their brands! #satisfiedcustomer”

This is a great example of why it is critically important brands look at the bigger picture.

Brands must consistently deliver against their brand promise … and continuously protect and nurture the relationships with their most important and loyal consumers.

What THIS means for your Personal Brand Promise

A personal brand is no different!

Your personal brand is the bundle of promises you make to those most important to you. This includes your significant other, your children, your friends, your co-workers, your boss, etc.

How well you consistently deliver against those promises, and nurture those relationships will have a significant impact on what “people say about you when you’re not in the room”!