In some ways, the current crisis is a moment of truth for brands. In the face of extraordinary demands, they’re being forced – some for the first time – to live up to the promises they’ve made. It’s easy to say “we care” or “we’re part of the community.” Much harder to actually walk the talk.

Consumers are quickly finding out which brands truly mean what they say.

Most companies have a stated brand promise. It’s the unifying vision that sets expectations for how your brand will interact with customers, a declaration of what you’ll deliver. This promise plays the same role in the market as it does in personal relationships. Deliver and you gain trust, strengthen a bond. Fail to come through and you’ll disappoint and anger – even alienate – the people you want to attract.

Tesla has long profited from their self-proclaimed “fundamental goodness.” This is what they promised to bring to the world. So when they kept factory lines running and mandated shifts in conflict with stay-at-home efforts, the backlash was immediate and understandable. Seeing Tesla break their brand promise, people began wondering just how fundamentally “good” the company really is.

They’re not alone. In a recent Gallup survey, only half of consumer respondents felt the brands they do business with always keep their word. Even more telling, only 27% of employees said their company always delivers on their brand promise.

How can you make sure your brand stays consistent with your promise? Adopt these simple (yet not easy) strategies:

DEFINE YOUR PROMISE: What can a consumer expect during interactions with your brand? What can you do that others can’t? What can you commit to?

INTERNALIZE IT: Deliver on your promise with your employees as much as you would your customers. Make sure they’re trained to do the same and are unified by this vision.

RETHINK EVERY TOUCHPOINT: Every interaction – before, during and after the sale – is an opportunity to keep or break a promise. Stay consistent throughout the journey.

OVERDELIVER: The public is watching, and they’ll have long memories. As life moves forward, they’ll remember which brands came through and which ones didn’t.

Bottom line, brands that are consistent with the promise they’ve made will be seen as more authentic and more trustworthy. When your company is fully aligned with your brand promise, doing your part and doing your job are one and the same.