Take the Leap: Make a “Brand Promise”

With social media becoming such a popular platform, it is no wonder so many companies are starting to push their brands through them. However, it is not just about pushing material out to consumers through these platforms. It is about branding effectively. In the article, The One Thing You Must Get Right When Branding, Patrick Barwise and Sean Meehan, two business school professors,  talk about how to push a brand in the most effective way.

The authors first highlight the need for branding correctly by pointing out that the rise in social media popularity has created a dramatic shift of power to the consumers. Due to this social media has made it urgent for companies to convey a compelling brand promise. This “brand promise” is something that Barwise and Meehan mention a lot throughout their article. They comment that companies who constantly deliver whatever it is that they have promised, benefit greatly in the end.

Social media is a useful tool for engagement and collaboration with consumers. This is why it is important to take advantage of all the facets of social media, however, the authors advise to never lose sight of the brands promise. They proceed to tell readers and brands how they can make sure they deliver their brand promise.

They talk about how it is beneficial to first do ethnographic research to see how the brand or the product will fit into people’s lives in a specific area. Social networks like Facebook can provide great ways to investigate consumers lives and see how they feel about different things. They advise that it is important to constantly revise the marketing playbook to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media. It is also important to deliver the promise, not to just communicate it.

Branding is not just about using social media as a selling tool, Barwise and Meehan say that social media should be used for gaining customer insights instead. This can be done through capitalizing on social media’s speed to push the brand out there and gain awareness. It is important to watch what is being said, however, to always protect the brand’s reputation since these forms typically house very unstructured conversations about the brand.

The authors briefly talk about Virgin Atlantic Airlines and how they do a great job of branding through social media. Adam Okimatsu talks about Virgin Airlines and their effective branding in his post Corporate Branding in the Eyes of Virgin America. Another airline that is branding effectively is Delta Airlines. They make each aspect of their social media a glorified press release and essentially brag about their brand without being too in-your-face about it. Delta also offers booking a trip through Facebook which is not only convenient for the consumer but also extends the brand across different platforms.

The biggest piece of advice that the authors repeatedly give throughout their article is to stay true to the brand promise no matter what. They tell readers to strive to go viral but protect that brand and ultimately never lose sight of the brand. Follow their advice and you will be effectively branding through social media in no time!

To get a better sense of what branding in general is, watch the video below.


The entire video is pretty great starting with a history of branding throughout the years, however, at 1:19, the video gets more specific into what exactly branding is today and what you as a business can do with branding.

By: Gina Mogavero


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