The Brand Promise

Part 1 of Build Your Marketing Plan

This is Part 1 of an eight-part series called Build Your Marketing Plan. In this segment we will learn how to create The Brand Promise. This series is a condensed version of my 17 week coaching program. Each “lesson” of the series contains a background article, down-loadable worksheets and a slidecast. You can also have this information presented to your organization as a full-day workshop, DIY Marketing for Small Businesses.

Part 1: The Brand Promise (You are here)
Part 2: Your Signature
Part 3: The Customer Experience Theme
Part 4: The Customer Experience Map
Part 5: Your Word-of-Mouth Message
Part 6: Word of Mouth Playbook
Part 7: Courting Customers – What You Say
Part 8: Where to Promote – The Media Spotter Matrix


First view the first slidecast, you will need your sound turned on.
Second, read the article after the slidecast.
Third download the worksheet pages for this lesson.
Fourth, view the second slidecast and fill in your worksheet.

Post comments and questions below. Now proceed with the first slidecast.

Introduction to Build Your Marketing Plan


The Branding Marketing Myth
The first thing we need to do is dispel this myth that the brand belongs to the customer. It does not. It belongs to you. Your brand does things for the customer. It gives them something they can’t find anywhere else. But if you want a strong brand, you have to be a strong leader. And that means never relinquishing control of your brand to anyone else, especially not your customers.

Don’t misunderstand. You need to be in tune with your customers. Your brand serves your customers, but your brand is uniquely you. If you let your customers guide your brand, you will end up with compromise and mediocrity. Your customers will direct you to improve something that already exists. They will add more features and increase benefits. But they won’t be able to create something that doesn’t exist yet, or they would have already done it. If every brand were run by customers, eventually there would be no differentiation.

Another reason to leave your customers out of the branding function is that they aren’t you. And you are the person who must implement the brand. Are you better at implementing something that someone else believes, or something you believe?

Branding is really about discovery. It’s about uncovering that thing deep inside you that creates unique value for your customers. Your brand is your soul. Every business owner has a unique brand hidden beneath a layer of marketing fluff. And that’s the tough part.

Because while part of marketing is branding, your brand should not be about marketing. As you develop your brand this week, ignore common marketing processes. Look to inspire yourself. That’s half the battle. To inspire others you must first believe.


Branding is About Discovery

“If it Captures Your Imagination, it will captivate others.”
– Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It

American consumers could never have envisioned the original Starbucks in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. It took the unique blend of personalities of founders Gerald Baldwin and Gordon Bawker. They roasted and served coffee in a way that changed the way America, and the world, drinks coffee.

Now it’s time for you to create something new and unique. This is going to sound weird: but just for today, forget about marketing. This is a chance to dream that big dream, to create that big idea that will inspire others.

Only when you create something unique will others seek you out to pay you money. Only when you are different will people talk about you and recommend you to their friends. So don’t just think about being different. Don’t just talk about being different. This is your chance to be different. This is your chance to be an original brand.

Let’s get started.

Download these PDF worksheets then view the next slidecast. If you don’t currently have it installed, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Brand Promise worksheet 1 Brand Promise worksheet 2

To download the PDF worksheet pages, right-click on each and save to your computer.
Then open them up and print them off before proceeding.

Additional reading on building your marketing plan:
The Marketing Circle of Life
What is a Brand?
The Best in Branding

The Brand Promise
Play the slidecast below while using the worksheets download from above.

This is the first of an eight-part Build Your Marketing Plan series. Find the other seven parts here: Build Your Marketing Plan

Let future articles from The Marketing Spot come to you: Receive by Email or Get The Marketing Spot in a blog reader





  1. […] think good customer service is product delivery that is in total alignment with the brand’s promise. In other words, good customer service is accurate/exact brand delivery. The level of customer […]

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  4. […] your ad to direct the consumers’ attention to your brand promise. Remember this: advertising is never about the product and always about the promise. It’s better […]

  5. […] to name your business. It’s more important to get it right. Take your time. Do create your brand promise before you name your business. Your business name should be representative of your brand. If your […]

  6. […] products. If you want to escape the product-thinking trap, the first step is easy: change your brand’s promise. What can you promise beyond the product or service you happen to […]

  7. […] alike, but there are no two people alike. Make your business an extension of you: your individual brand promise + your individual […]

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  9. […] become clear when you have properly branded your business. To build a brand you start with a brand promise based upon your values, mission and vision. Experience You can’t build a meaningful customer […]

  10. […] your frame with a metaphor. Try out several metaphors and find the one that best fits your brand promise and brand […]

  11. […] (See Part 1: The Brand Promise) (See Part 2: Your Signature) (See Part 3: The Customer Experience Theme) *Note: The next live, DIY Marketing workshop is September 24 at the Houston Small Business Development Center. “Marketing only begets trial. It is the daily, one-to-one activity that occurs inside your own four walls that creates compelling word of mouth and repeat business.” -T. Scott Gross, Positively Outrageous Service […]

  12. […] your frame with a metaphor. Try out several metaphors and find the one that best fits your brand promise and brand […]

  13. […] The Brand Promise The heart of branding is making a promise to customers beyond the product or service you happen to sell. Let customers discover your true value by making a promise, a brand promise. This audio/visual tutorial, with worksheets, shows you how to build a brand promise. See more to build your brand promise… […]

  14. […] the price of admission. Then, you need to do some brand analysis and decide how you can amplify your brand promise. What can you do within your promise that is above what people expect. So much so that compel them […]

  15. […] (See Part 1: The Brand Promise) (See Part 2: Your Signature) […]

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