Last updated: Defining your brand promise and customer experience mission

Defining your brand promise and customer experience mission


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Between consulting, workshopping, and keynote speaking, customer experience is a concept I introduce to somebody new almost every day.

As I begin working with new organizations, oftentimes the first step is one of the simplest, but most critical – helping to define the terms that are critical to customer experience:

  1. What do we mean when we say “brand promise”?
  2. What do we mean when we talk about “customer experience mission”?

Let’s peek behind the curtain when it comes to defining those terms.

I encourage you to share these definitions with your team to get everybody on the same page and even spark a larger conversation about how you set and fulfill your customers’ expectations.

Let’s start where customer experience really begins: with the brand promise.

Your brand promise, defined

Brand promise is what customers can expect from your brand, and is typically written for the customer from the company perspective. Brand promise is all about your organization and what you can – and will do for each customer.

(And don’t forget: you want to earn brand trust by keeping your promises.)

Your brand promise can be very specific and literal:

“The company is a leading content, commerce and technology company that provides customers easy and convenient access to books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform.” – Barnes & Noble

Or it can speak more to the overall essence of the brand:

“Nationwide is on your side.” – Nationwide

To talk about your customer experience mission, we’ll flip our perspective around to the customer.

Your customer experience mission, defined

Your customer experience mission is all about your customer. A successful customer experience mission statement relates to how you want your customers to experience the brand.

More importantly, it also speaks to how you want customers to feel.

The customer is the star of your customer experience mission:

“The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.” – Ritz-Carlton

Why is it important to consider both brand promise and customer experience mission?

Without a brand promise, you’re selling a commodity. (For example: your dry cleaner probably doesn’t have a unique brand promise.)

Without a customer experience mission, you’re selling an idea (your brand promise) with no backbone to support it.

See how critical each of these items are and how they support one another?

Digging deeper into brand promise examples

Let’s take a look back at Nationwide’s promise: Nationwide is on your side.

What if you’re a Nationwide insurance policy holder and your claim is rejected? It’s likely that they’ll feel as though Nationwide isn’t on their side.

As an industry, when we’re challenging business school students and entrepreneurs to write business plans, we urge them to consider the marketing angles of a brand promise:

  • How can you summarize your brand essence?
  • What makes your brand special?

But, too rarely, do we ask them to consider what their customer experience mission is:

Put simply, organizations that don’t to ask these questions are missing an opportunity to create better experiences for their customers… and leaving money on the table.

Brand promises are important, but too often they only go as far as driving the latest marketing campaigns. If it’s truly a promise, then push it to become a customer experience mission.

Is your brand house in order when it comes to customer loyalty?
The road to retention starts HERE.

This article was first featured on, and is syndicated here with permission. 

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