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Step 5 Brand Strategy – Why your Startup Needs to Make a Brand Promise

Some call it a Tagline, others call it a Slogan. Whatever you call it, it’s that key phrase that belongs on your business card, website or t-shirt. It captures the promise your business is making.

Your promise is where the rubber hits the road: it communicates what your business is about. It’s a great opportunity to make your customers smile, make them think, or give them a taste of your attitude. This phrase should pull at the emotional chords of your customers. It should reach the customer you intend to attract. This promise is most powerful when it’s the truth.

Companies like Apple have spent millions in creating an arresting brand name and promise. Obviously, Apple has nothing to do with selling fruit. It’s become the name that people recognize with a tech savvy lifestyle. And the promise “Think Different” says how they run their business and how you can run your life using their products.

How can you do this for your own business? It’s a process that requires both the head and the heart. So we are going to brainstorm ideas from the heart to create an emotional link with your customers and we’ll analyze with your head how you might deliver that link with your product or service.

Don’t block yourself by thinking that your name or promise has to do it all on its own. They work with each other and with the reputation you create. They will be in your customers’ consciousness every time they drink your coffee, buy your book, visit your website or walk past your shop.

When I was going through the branding process for my own business I explored several names all with the word “brand” in them: Brand Match, Next Brands, Purpose Brands (plus at least 46 other names). I also had a list of promise statements, all using words like “Good,” “people,” and “connect.” I got so frustrated I let it go for a few days. Later, when I came back to my lists, I saw Brands for the people, which I instantly loved as both a name and a promise.