Hearing today’s reports that Brett Favre might be retiring got me thinking about brand promises – and it’s not what you think.
The collective sporting world has reacted to the former Packer great (and last year’s Viking QB) setting to make this third retirement announcement with a collective “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Favre is the poster child for “the boy who cried wolf” syndrome and, from a brand perspective, that feels like a brand not living up to its promises.
Fulfilling brand promises is crucial, and effective brands understand that once you let audiences down as a brand, the less likely they are to believe you. It’s the reason why consistency is so key and why brand promises must be fulfilled in order for the brand to resonate.
But the larger issue is first understanding what the brand itself actually promises, especially on an emotional level. (Whether it’s a brand that creates preference is another discussion.)
Brett Favre, whether you like him or not, definitely has a brand as a player: Wild at times, impulsive at others, and always exciting. What Packer fan doesn’t remember head coach Mike Holmgren chewing Favre out on the sidelines after a stupid pass, only to see Favre throw the same pass later for a thrilling touchdown? So, what else would you expect from a brand like that? That he’d do things the standard way?
Favre could show up on Week 6, take over a struggling Viking team and lead them heroically into the playoffs.
And it would be “on brand.”