We often say brands are stories.
But there’s more to it.
Stories change and evolve. Stories are simplified and more than a bit abstract. Stories are also close to fiction.
Don’t get me wrong – stories are a great tool in marketing. But they are the way to get to something bigger.
Let’s look at promises.
They are hard. Promising something requires confidence in your own abilities. And it requires integrity, too – as long as you want others to believe you.
Brands are promises.
I read that reframe from WorldBuilders’ Nathan Baugh, and it immediately clicked.
The promise is the end goal. From the customer’s point of view, it needs to align with the desired outcome. From the brand’s point of view, it relates to the company’s vision.
And brands that resonate have a well-articulated promise.
- Nike → you can be an athlete
- Disney → you can enjoy life like a child
- Shopify → you can be an entrepreneur
Of course, it’s easy to make it short and punchy if you’re a customer-facing brand. Articulating a promise can be more complex for a large-scale enterprise product, a multi-brand pharma company, or a consulting business.
But that doesn’t mean the promise isn’t there.
Let’s look at a few of them:
- Microsoft Azure → you can grow limitlessly without sacrificing privacy
- Lundbeck → you can keep the brain at its best longer
- McKinsey → you can shape the strategy of tomorrow
If you’ve identified the right brand promise, the brand story gets to write itself. And while the story – the way you help your customers achieve the promise – can change over time, the promise rarely does.
To identify your promise, think about the following:
- What does your customer care about but doesn’t feel confident they’ll get or achieve?
- What are you best positioned to give, teach, or help with?
- What do you do or believe that competitors don’t?
- Why was your brand created in the first place?
These will just scratch the surface, but they’re a good starting place.
Keep in mind you don’t need to articulate the promise directly in public. But knowing it will unlock brand messaging that stands out, it will help your positioning, and it can even serve as the basis for your content strategy.
🤞 P.S. What brand promise resonates with you the most at the end of the year? Let me know!
📝 New Post
I’m a collector of in-depth marketing reports – and here is my collection. This post will give you a recap of interesting trends and stats to mull over as you’re setting up your 2024 plan. There are a lot of interesting elements in there, the chief among them: the need for brands to express their values and take a stance on social issues; the role of AI in improving and quickening content production, and the disillusionment with social media in favor of building long-term engagement and loyalty.
👌 Handpicked Stories for You
Competitive Analysis: The Lean Guide (With Template)
I hate articles created by online tools that only serve to promote their paid features. This isn’t one of them. Ahrefs has done a good job at creating a competitive analysis template that doesn’t only rely on SEO data. It goes into pricing, features, customer feedback, and more. My only issue is the “features vs. pricing” comparison – I believe feature availability should be weighted because not every one of them has the same value for the audience. Still, it’s a great template to start with.
How OpenAI Rewrote the Rules: A Brand Story
This post won’t be a revelation. Essentially, it tells us that branding and SEO go hand in hand. But it’s curious to see just how big the disparity can be between generic and brand terms. I’d also suggest you check out the embedded webinar for some other examples of brand search. Still, no one seems to have the answer to the important question: how to drive brand search intent in the customer’s mind.
AI for SEO content creation: 5 real-world examples
We’re currently in a type of AI arms race, with different publishers experimenting with different ways to boost efficiency while making AI content worthy of the attention of both readers and the algorithms. This post covers five real-world examples with different levels of human involvement. The takeaway seems to be we still need humans in the loop, but there’s a lot of potential in some content production models.
How to Create Brand Guidelines to Ensure the Integrity of Your Business
Consistency is at the heart of brand awareness. And consistency builds familiarity, which creates liking. This is one of the key – and many – reasons you need a brand style guide. It will help you define the characteristics of your brand and keep them at the ready for everyone to follow. This post will give you an overview of the elements in your style guide and some examples to take inspiration from. This is a bit more focused on visuals than language, but it’s still a decent start.
How To Turn ‘Meh’ Ideas Into Marvelous Content
At the end of the year, there usually are a ton of new ideas flying across the office. And some of them might be vague or seemingly not related to your goals. Like launching a podcast or creating a brand mascot to feature on social media. While some of these ideas are better off dying on the vine, a few of them might actually be diamonds in the rough. This post will teach you how to make vague ideas specific and useful.
👀 Interesting stuff to click on
- This research on cat expressions – to me, cats are always adorable. But even if you don’t see it, you may appreciate how expressive they are.
- Weekly cat – Christmas appreciation at its finest!
I hope these were fun for you!
🔥 That’s a wrap! Before you go…
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