Can brand promises deliver what companies can’t?

Published on
June 12, 2012

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Last month I noticed a billboard on the way to the airport. Can’t was all it said, in huge letters across a plain background

I have to admit, its nondescript nature piqued my interest, but not enough to find out more. It was only when I saw the Commonwealth Bank’s Can TVC featuring Toni Collette reading poetry I put two and two together. The big Can’t sign behind her helped!

Of course, this type of approach to a brand campaign, designed to own a word or phrase is not new. Nike owned Just do it for almost two decades, leading the sports shoe market with a range of products designed to inspire athletes and want-to-be athletes to exercise.

The risk of this type of approach is that your brand promise is not delivered upon, and can be turned against you. (See online campaign by Global Exchange)

Michael Hogan at Smart Company has already blogged on this and has some good advice when considering brand promises such as can.

At Rowland, we recommend conducting research with all stakeholders regarding current perceptions of your brand before you consider a new brand campaign. It is critical to know exactly where your brand gaps might be between current perceptions and the future brand promise you wish to make.

Considering how well your brand promise will be delivered through your company’s multiple touchpoints (in particular, by your employees) is a good place to start this analysis.