Unpopular Fact: Why the Under-Promise-Over-Deliver Mindset Is Ruining Companies

Don’t skulk behind the fine print. Stand behind your company and stand up for your customers. Own what you do when you do it. Own what you’ll do when you don’t. And keep improving.
— Bill Watkins, Founder

For the record, “under-promising” isn’t a thing.

Many businesses have convinced themselves that the “under-promise-over-deliver” mindset will save them from scorn and scrutiny under the guise of the “nice surprise.” Under-promising is just a cheap way of convincing the customers to expect less—and it gives you too much wiggle room to make exceptions when you don’t deliver.

Instead, boldly say what exactly you’re going to do—and then do it consistently, constantly, and brilliantly. That’s a brand promise worth making, keeping, and promoting.

Brands like GEICO, Apple, and Walmart get it. Their branding aligns with their investment in the customer experience and outlines what people should expect with every sale. You know what you’ll get in 15 minutes or less. You know how to “think different.” You know where to shop to “save money and live better.” These companies are clear on what they offer and what they deliver because they are one and the same. That’s authenticity, the hallmark of great companies.

When it comes to your branding and messaging, your words are only as good as your word. Start with a product or service you can stand behind or start over. If you want to make a living, a legacy, and a lasting impression, it’s the best way to go.




A Brand Guarantee does two critical things. On the outside, it removes distrust so prospects become customers faster. From the inside, it focuses your team on creating an exceptional experience for its raving fans—and being authentic on the rare times it drops the ball.

Answer these questions in order as quickly as you can.

  • What is most important to your ideal customer?

  • What does your company do to support that?

  • What does it do (or what can it do, if you aren’t doing it currently) better than any other company?

  • What makes that possible?

  • How could you track happy, contented customers?

  • What would make working with you a no-brainer?

Your unique, measurable, game-changing brand promise is hidden in your answers. Did you find it? Share it with me so I can help.


If answering the 10x Your Day questions took you more than a few minutes, it’s time to evaluate your company’s core purpose, core values, and core vision. Find out what happened when one of our 10x Cohort members upped the game with a Brand Promise.

Learn how he did it here.