Dig out that SWOT analysis. It’ll come in handy.
Part of figuring out your best moves to ratchet up your branding is to figure out what customers really want, what you’re really good at and what weaknesses exist in the competition. There’s no magic to it. It’s a basic formula to help you create the proverbial competitive advantage.
What do your customers want most?
Interview your existing customers. Interview prospective customers. Remember, those conversations need to address your space, the things your company can do for them. It can be tempting to pivot into areas beyond your expertise or know-how if you get feedback that’s outside the scope of your offerings. It’s fine. You can pursue anything you’d like, but I might suggest interviewing existing and prospective customers about what they most want from a supplier or provider in your niche. But plenty of entrepreneurs have unearthed brand new opportunities that caused them to ditch their existing plan. All because clients and prospective clients pointed out something they needed or wanted more. Pay close attention. Listen. Keep your eye open.
Spend some time finding out what the current frustrations or short-comings are. I enjoy asking prospects to describe their worst experience, then following up by asking about their best experience. What they say reveals what they love most and what they hate most. Along with some nice details that give me insights I couldn’t otherwise get.
Sometimes the best path to finding out what customers want is to quantify what they absolutely hate.
What does your company do better than anybody else?
This is what most folks view as their competitive advantage, but it’s just the start. You want to really leverage this strength so you must be willing to go deeper.
Remember that one-inch drill bit that produces the one-inch hole the customer wants? The customer needs and wants a one-inch hole. He could care less about the one-inch drill bit, but he knows if he’s going to get a one-inch hole he needs a one-inch drill bit. The customer is envisioning the one-inch hole he needs. He’s not picturing a one-inch drill bit.
What’s your one-inch hole? Your company must provide an equivalent value to your customers. That one thing you do better than anybody else is your point of leverage. You need to know what it is and you must be able to articulate it consistently and uniformly throughout your company. The message has to be congruent company-wide. Sometimes we have a litany of marketing materials that all say something different about our company. And we wonder why our marketing is falling flat. Because it’s not working for us at all!
One thing. That’s what’s tough for most of us. We look at Amazon and see they’re into all sorts of businesses, but they made their brand by selling books online. Everything else stemmed from that. The Earth’s retailer made their name for selling one category of products. Their growth stemmed from that.
But we all need to figure out the one thing that we can convey that will tip the scales into our favor with the prospect. For Jeff Bezos it was buying books online cheaper than you buy at Border’s or any other bookstore. It was easy. Cheap. And it worked well.
Your prospects need and want something. Sure, they want many things, but you shouldn’t try to solve their every problem. What’s the one problem you can solve? What’s the one solution you be best provide?
Start conveying that and ONLY that. Stop diluting your message. Stop shouting different messages. Get everybody shouting the same thing and watch how much attention you’ll gain. Your marketing doesn’t work because it’s not unified. It’s not singular enough. Too many messages and none of them being heard.
Until you get their attention you can’t possibly get their business.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some very personal things with you – well, okay, they’re professional, too. But you’ll want to listen because included are some big announcements!