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Balancing Your Brand: When Promise & Experience Don’t Align

Balancing Your Brand: When Promise & Experience Don’t Align

For many businesses, branding is about what you say and show to customers. Your brand image, in other words. But in fact, it runs much deeper than that. Branding is actually the identity you give to your business.

For it to really work, what customers experience (what you’re doing) needs to match your promise (what you’re saying and showing). When there isn’t a balance between the two, problems are not far away…

What is your promise?

While you might not realise it, every brand has a promise. It’s what you offer customers on your website, in adverts or through printed marketing materials like leaflets and business cards. And it can be explicit or implicit.

Explicitly, your company’s tagline might focus on being hassle-free for customers. Implicitly, your design could be sleek and modern, hinting at innovative products or services, for example.

What about experience?

Much like promise, every brand has an experience. It’s pretty much every interaction and encounter customers have with your business. While the quality of your products or services are a big part of this, they’re not the only component.

Stepping into your store, visiting your website, speaking to a member of your team. It all contributes to the overall brand experience.

The problem for some brands is that their promise and experience don’t align. They might put themselves out there as a customer-centric company, for example, then leave customers on hold for hours or leave them wandering around their store waiting for assistance. The result is a false promise.

Customers are given an expectation for your brand which simply isn’t delivered.

So why does this happen? In many cases, it’s down to a narrow focus on the promise. Companies see branding as a way of changing and improving the promise. But all too often, they don’t change the experience too.

That’s reflected in the 2018 Brand Experience Report from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. They found that two thirds of marketers think their senior leadership teams fail to fully embed brand values throughout their organisation and relationship with customers.

Finding the right balance

Creating a balance between your brand’s promise and experience is key to an effective branding project. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to achieve it..


First and foremost, make sure everyone agrees on the task at hand. You need confirmation from the very top of your business that this project is something they’re committed to in terms of time, money and human resources.


Everyone in your business needs to know exactly what the brand promise is and how they can contribute to the experience. This is where a physical document like brand guidelines can help.


The brand promise needs to manifest in every corner of your business. From customer service and complaints handling to the user experience on your website, everything should align.


You’ll need to keep track of how your promise and experience are working. The perfect balance won’t happen overnight, so be prepared to make tweaks on both sides of the scales.

Developing and delivering your brand

At BGN, we’re specialists not only in developing brands – but in executing and delivering them across all platforms. From web design, social media and advertising campaigns to strategy planning and onboarding, we’ll work with you to make sure your promise and experience align across the board.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with our team on 0161 808 4557 or to talk about your project and how we can help.