We all forget things from time to time, but being dependable and keeping our promises is important.

Do you keep your promises?

3 Things to Talk About this week: 

  1. The Right Way to Build A Brand (Yes, through PROMISES!)
  2. What’s Your “Say-Do” Ratio?
  3. TL;DR – Keeping MY Promises to You


1️⃣ PROMISES: The Right Way to Build a Brand

Last week I shared several insights from my interview with Roger Martin. In January 2024, Roger published his 33rd HBR  article, “The Right Way to Build Your Brand.”

Talk About Talk ep 150 - Thought Leadership and Building Your Brand - promises - Roger Martin's article titled "The Right Way to Build Your Brand"


Here’s the premise: when we’re evaluating a brand message, perhaps an ad campaign or something you’re considering a theme for your own personal brand, you need to make a PROMISE.

Your brand message is effective when you make a promise to a customer and fulfill it consistently over time, to the point that the customer doesn’t even think about it anymore.

There are three key elements to establishing a brand promise:

  1. Memorable: A promise needs to be clear and easily remembered. The more memorable a promise, the more likely it is to stick in the minds of customers, reinforcing the brand.
  2. Valuable: The promise must address a core category benefit that is valuable to customers. Brands should strive to connect with customers on a level that resonates with their essential needs or desires.
  3. Deliverable: A promise should be something that can be consistently delivered and audited. Think Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15%.” Your customers/audience should be able to verify whether the brand has fulfilled its commitment, building trust and credibility.

Yes, this applies to your personal brand – creating a brand promise that you can fulfill on a daily basis.  It’s a statement about what others can expect from you!


2️⃣ What’s Your “Say-Do” Ratio?


Talk About Talk ep 150 - Thought Leadership and Building Your Brand - two hands making a pinky promise - image from Canva


Recently when I was working with a client on her personal brand, we decided I should interview her clients to understand how she is perceived. One of her clients said, “She’s very dependable. She has a very high say/do ratio.”

Say that again?

“A high say/do ratio.”

I loved that expression! As humans, we all want to have a high say/do ratio, professionally and personally. We want to be reliable.

When it comes to your personal brand, being consistent in actions and words is crucial for building and maintaining a strong professional identity. We want to be known for keeping our promises!

What’s YOUR say/do ratio?


3️⃣ TL;DR – Keeping MY Promise

Talk About Talk ep 150 - Thought Leadership and Building Your Brand - Promises - Reads "TL; DR" which means "Too Long; Didn't Read"

I recently spent a few days with my 20-year-old at his college.  He mentioned “TL;DR“.

Do you know what TL;DR is?  I didn’t. TL;DR stands for:

 Too Long; Didn’t Read

As in:

  • “Did you read the textbook chapter for today’s class?”
  • “Nope.  TL;DR.”

TL;DR also refers to the practice of summarizing what’s to come, so you can read more if youre interested. This is something I encourage my clients to do. This is also what the authors of SMART BREVITY preach. Whether you’re writing a long detailed email, you’re leading a meeting, or providing a speech, let the audience know what’s coming.

So, here’s MY promise to you.  I promise that this newsletter will:

  1. be as brief as possible
  2. summarize the main ideas at the top
  3. contain high value, actionable content

I never want you to feel this newsletter is TL; DR!


There you go – 3 things to Talk About this week:

1️⃣ The Right Way to Build A Brand (Yes, through PROMISES!)
2️⃣ What’s Your “Say-Do” Ratio?
3️⃣ TL;DR – Keeping MY Promise

Please email me or message me on LinkedIn with your feedback and ideas.  I PROMISE I will read and respond!