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Building a great brand and company starts with proper strategic brand management!

Branding is one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the marketplace today. I know this from my 15 years of working on effective strategic brand management with entrepreneurs, CEOs, organizational leaders, and executive teams. I’ve had my fair share of successes, and failures. While there are many variables that go into building a great brand and a great experience, the first step is building a great brand’s promise.

The brand promise is the foundational statement for all branding, the internal statement that drives the creative work of the organization: usually not a public statement. Below is a fantastic checklist for building a great brand promise:

1) Understandable
2) Believable
3) Unique (different from others)
4) Compelling (is it something valuable to the end user)
5) Delivery is 100%
6) Measurable
7) Something you can control

How well organizational leaders understand and manage the brand promise will determine it’s success. A great brand promise advances beyond just making money and managing perceptions in the marketplace, it is the foundation for all creative communication. The creative communication includes brand strategy consulting – website content, video promos, commercials, all print media, SEO, and SEM content creation.

Since brands are defined by the experience others have with it, we need to take a closer look at what the executive team is communicating and what product, good or service is being delivered. The R7 brand uses the strategic brand management plan and vision as foundational pieces when crafting the brand promise. If these pieces are not in place there is usually a gap in the organizational brand promise and what the brand delivers. Some marketers would call this gap “brand confusion” or “brand disconnect” and if it’s really bad it is an “identity crisis”. To understand if there is a brand disconnect or crisis here are some questions to ask the executive team or employees:

What is the organizational brand promise?
Are we clear about our brand promise?
How well do we deliver on our brand promise?
What is branding in marketing?

When building the brand promise awareness is critical. Can the leaders of the organization deliver the brand promise with 100% consistency. One common pitfall for not delivering 100% on the organizational brand’s promise, stems from too many services, or perhaps too many features and options. As consumers, we love to have options, but we want clarity with our choices. We love the power of having choices, but we crave convenience. Spending time to refine the brand, its services and offerings based upon the organization’s overall purpose, vision, and strategy may be emotionally challenging; however, it will make it easier for customers to choose your service or product.

The organizational brand’s promise is one that needs to be measured internally and externally. How the executive team operates, manages, communicates and delivers are the internal benchmarks. For external benchmarks, customers will grade their experience with the brand and how well it was delivered. If it’s too difficult to measure, then the promise is too complicated, therefore it will fail on not only setting expectations, but delivering on them.

If your organizational team has settled on a single promise, but it’s not delivering 100%, then don’t despair as there are many brands that do not deliver 100% every time. Consistency will determine the life cycle of the brand, so figure out the steps to achieve 100% quickly,so there is consistency. Involve your team and your customers because their feedback will prove invaluable.

Delivering 100% on your brand promise needs to become priority #1. Do not stop until your organizational leaders can say, we deliver 100% on our promise.

Once you’ve defined and mastered proper strategic brand management and the correct brand strategy consulting, the next step is how to communicate it clearly and how do we measure it for success. R7 Brand and the R7 Health Assessment delivers clarity to the organizational leaders. Try out our free R7 health assessment.

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