simplify brand promise

It’s a New Year and a renewed identity and simplified brand promise for the Kennedy Global team. In the past, we’ve described our work as Internal-External Brand Alignment or IEBA. While that remains the cornerstone of our work and expertise, our new brand driver describes it in even simpler terms: Ignite Your Brand Promise.

To borrow a phrase from one of our favorite clients: “We reserve the right to continue getting smarter.” Over the years, we’ve advised many clients to simplify their stories. Don’t make it too complicated or customers and prospects (and maybe even employees) won’t understand how to relate to what you’re promising.

So in the spirit of continuing to get smarter, we have taken our own advice and simplified our brand promise. The principles of IEBA are still at the core of everything we do: aligning internal culture behind an external customer promise.

Is your brand promise clear and easy to understand?

It’s powerful for any organization to occasionally take a step back and revisit the brand promise. Ask yourself – “If someone had never heard of our brand, how quickly and easily would they understand what we do based on our promise and all the ways we communicate?”

If the promise seems even slightly unclear, then perhaps it’s time to pause. A lack of clarity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to change the essence of what you’re promising – but it could be time to simplify how you talk about it.

The brand promise is only as strong as the weakest link

A first step would be to look at all the major functions in your organizations that are either touched by the promise or have a direct role in delivering it – everything from leadership to HR and marketing, sales, operations and more. Are all of these functions aligning behind the promise or are there gaps and breakdowns that need to be resolved in order to bring more clarity? As the saying goes, the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. If one function is out of alignment, it impacts all the others.

To help you get started, check out our new homepage where you’ll find a breakdown of functions that our work on IEBA has impacted over the years. There are articles on our site that speak to all of these functions and how they contribute to aligning your organization. We invite you to explore our thinking, and hopefully you’ll find ideas you can put to use right away in your own alignment journey.

As you head into 2018, look for all the ways to bring clarity to the promise. We would challenge you to see how simple you can make it – and not just simple for customers but for your teams as well. When the promise is clear, easy to understand and top-of-mind for employees, you are truly on the right path to aligning behind the brand promise.

If you need ideas for bringing clarity and simplicity that will ignite your brand promise, the Kennedy Global team is here to help. Contact us anytime – we’d love to talk.

Here are a few other thoughts that might be useful:

The Power of the Customer Promise: Characteristics of Aligned Brands

Why Customers and Employees are Drawn to Focused Companies

Is Your Culture a Brand Culture?


About Alice Wright

As Director of Content Strategy, Alice directs projects while also designing program strategy and instructional content. She has more than 22 years of experience managing integrated strategic marketing, communication and training programs for globally recognized brands. Some of her current and past clients include Nike, Sunglass Hut, Safeway, Banfield Pet Hospital, Office Depot, Unilever, LensCrafters, EMC, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, adidas, Joann Stores and others. Alice earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Oregon. She lives with her husband and teenage son in Portland, Oregon where she loves exploring the outdoors and being a soccer/band mom.