The brand promise or in my lexicon “claim” is often a very common promise. The common or commodity promise is a blight on the branding world. Let’s look at healthcare or hospitals as an example – a place where doctors do medical procedures. Docs and hospitals often share the promise “making patients well.” If you were to wrangle all the healthcare promises in the country, 90% will be the same. A commodity promise.
Getting past the commodity promise is hard work. And work not easily done by marketing staffers; it requires a specialist. A deep-digging brand planner.
A big hospital in the northeast had a marketing director who fancied himself a creative person. He decided he wanted the hospital tagline to be (and I will paraphrase a bit) “Your wellness means the world.” Say it enough times in radio and TV ads and people might just believe it. That’s adverting not branding.
After having done some a little bit of discovery on the brand, I came up with a competing promise “Where every bed is precision.” It’s not a tagline, but a brand strategy. With this as the claim, supported by three proof planks, the hospital would have had a brand strategy. See the difference? Not a commodity promise.