Most times, when I ask business leaders to explain their company’s brand promise, my question is met with hesitation.
Instead, if I were to ask you what your customers would miss if your company didn’t exist, you’d likely have some beautiful answers about why they need what you make or serve.
Recently while running a workshop for business owners, I guided them through an exercise of writing obituaries for their businesses (AKA a celebration of the life of their business). Once everyone had written their first draft, I had them pair up and exchange documents, so each participant heard her partner read her company’s obit aloud.
This is a powerful exercise in objective noticing. We often take for granted what’s already here and valuable, and miss it most when its gone.
Customers do this too.
So by reminding them or clarifying what you promise them, you deepen your relationship with them. You also set an expectation for what they can expect to receive from you. It’s obvious to most people that promises are only as good as they are clearly stated and kept. And, they have to be valuable to the receiver.
A potent promise process.
One way to identify and distill your brand’s promise is to talk about what can’t happen without your product or service:
“Without our business, fewer people can / experience / do / are / feel / have / become _________________.”
Feel free to make a thorough list, then scan for what resounds. Fill in as many responses as you and your team can think of. Or go the bolder route and ask your customers to tell you what they’d miss about your brand if it didn’t exist. Be earnest in your listening. Then figure out how to tell that story back to them.
You’ll know how to tell better brand stories when you clearly understand how your customers’ lives are changed in the presence of your service or product.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.