I have one question for you and four questions to ask your customers to revolutionize your branding and marketing efforts.
Answer this question with as much detail as possible:
What does your business bring to the market that is unique and compelling? Something your ideal target customer highly values and is difficult, if not impossible, for your competition to copy that you can deliver flawlessly every single time to every customer.
I have challenged hundreds of companies to answer this question, and only a very few could successfully do it. Unfortunately, most businesses offer a good product/service with tolerable service at a reasonable price. Consequently, this is not the way to dominate the marketplace. If you want to have a brand that stands out, you’ve got to answer the above question clearly, and your customers must believe it as well.
Next, identify a group of your best current customers and ask them the following four questions:
1. Why did you choose to do business with us? List the top three or four reasons.
After you ask several of your key customers to answer this question, you will begin to see a pattern if they all mention the same three or four reasons they chose your business. The results are your brand and your unique selling proposition (USP). You just had a group of people who spend money with you telling you exactly why they gave you their money, which is likely the same reason other potential customers would give you their money. So, take their answers, turn them into your brand identity, apply it when approaching customers, and share how you will help them.
2. What do we do now that frustrates you? What could we do differently, stop doing, or start doing to make it easier to do business with us?
Again, after you have talked to several of your best customers, it will become clear that there are a handful of things that would make your customers much happier and loyal if you changed.
3. What would we have to do to earn more or all your business?
When you see the clear pattern here, you have just discovered the key strategies you need to put into place to start growing your business immediately.
4. What would cause you to fire us right away?
When you understand this pattern, put in the necessary systems and processes to make sure you never do these things!
How to Apply the Responses to Your Company
Once you have compiled all this information: your unique selling position, your brand, how to make it easier to do business with you, increase your productivity level with customers, and avoid what causes you to lose your customers. You are armed with valuable information you can use in branding, marketing, and managing your business.
One last piece of advice, as someone who owned a marketing and advertising firm for several years, one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not understand who their ideal target client is. Then focus all their efforts on marketing channels and messages that speak directly to the key constituency. Putting an amazingly fantastic ad campaign and then placing it in media that your target customer doesn’t look at or listen to is a total waste of your money.
Successful branding and marketing are about homework and focus. First, you must put in a tremendous amount of effort to look at your current best customers and understand them as much as possible. Their needs, wants, fears, and wishes. Then build products and services that meet those needs.
You also must understand how they make their buying decision, how they found out about you, and what made them want to do business with you? If you can get a good handle on these crucial pieces of information, then you can target the specific group of people who are most likely to buy from you, become loyal customers, and generate lots of positive word-of-mouth.
Unfortunately, most businesses throw together something they think looks good and then blast it out on every single platform they can afford. Hoping that someone will see their ad and decide to purchase something from them.
Let me end with one of my favorite phrases:
Hope is not a strategy.