Making a brand promise

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What is a brand promise?

The famous Gallup company, which does all kinds of research to help big companies sell their products, defines a brand promise like this:

A brand promise represents everything a company stands for — or does not stand for. It is the unique statement of what the company offers, what separates it from its rivals and what makes it worthy of customers’ consideration.

Why do you need a brand promise? Because you want people to know what to expect of you. Then, when you deliver on that promise, they will trust you. And when they trust you, they will come back to see you again and they will buy your music and your merchandise and everything else you have because of that trust.

Of course, like all promises, the audience uses your reason to believe the first time. It’s up to you to actually come through on the promise. Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. So you need a promise you can deliver on.

It is NOT a slogan. It is an actual promise. the McDonald’s brand promises an inexpensive, familiar & consistent meal delivered in a clean environment.  But the slogan is “I’m lovin’ it”.

Your brand promise doesn’t have to be extravagant, it just needs to be something you can deliver all the time

So how do you come up with a brand promise to your audience? One place to start is to think of artists you like and what their promise is. I suspect you like those artists because they live up to their promise. You r promise might not even have to be specifically about your music:

  • live sets are always at least an hour long
  • no two sets are the same
  • I write a personal email to everyone who downloads the song
  • every song I write is about something that happened to me
  • we only play originals, no covers
  • the bass player always wears something weird
  • the piano player never plays the same solo twice

The other thing about a promise is that it obviously has two sides. The side doing the promising and the side receiving it. You probably have a pretty good handle from your why and how what you can promise. But not everyone is interested in what everybody promises.

Not everyone wants to see a screamo act. Or buy a CD of a New Age Ambient act.

So to begin somewhere, let’s try to figure out who may be interested in what you are promising.

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