It is so easy today with the battleground of social media at our fingertips for someone in the world to rubbish your service or product. Your brand promise can counter any negativity by telling potential clients what your brand stands for and why they should choose you.

Let’s take as an example FedEx, one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, they recognise that their business is more than just about delivering something from A to B. Reliability is a key element of their brand promise, however, they understand and appreciate that it’s about delivering items that matter to people; like their customers’ treasures, livelihoods or an important business document. As a result they have been able to elevate their brand in the eyes of their customers. So what can small businesses learn from a global organisation such as FedEx?

Make a promise your customers aren’t expecting. Speed and delivery are probably a given for all express transportation companies. FedEx focuses on the ‘We understand’ campaign and as a result they’ve been able to give their brand more prominence in the market place.

Make your benefits clear. Why should your customers work with you rather than someone else? When you are clear about them, wrap your brand promise around these key benefits.

Make your brand promises short, simple and direct like some of the best corporate examples – Volvo ‘Safety’, Apple ‘Revolutionary’, Facebook ‘Staying connected’. They are simple statements that are embedded in everything they do.

Make your brand consistent. From products and services, strategy and execution, consistency needs to reach all corners of the business. If you are not consistent you will lose credibility, you will look confused and vague to your clients and the impression you will leave them with is that you haven’t been in business very long.

Collect proof points like testimonials, client quotes and case studies – these are the things that tell people you have done a great job and kept your promise.

Embed your brand promise throughout the whole of your organisation, it doesn’t matter if you are a solopreneur you need to be feel that it is part of everything you deliver and not just a statement that appears on your website.

Big brands and big companies can teach the small start-ups a lot so identify your favourite brands and follow them for a year and watch closely how they represent themselves.  What are they communicating? How are they communicating? What is the essence of their message? You will learn so much by observation. If every element of your business is adding to the experience of your customers then you are delivering on your brand promise.

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