Lately I have had brands on the brain. Usually I talk marketing here, but I am feeling the need to get back to basics.
Without a solid brand, all the marketing in the world isn’t going to help you.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, that statement should not be news to you, but what I am finding more and more is that the way we EXPRESS our brands is changing. You see, we are flooded with options, and more and more our “distinctiveness,” or our “unique selling proposition” (USP) is really not so unique. I believe that the ways we differentiate ourselves from the competition can really be boiled down to these essential elements:
- Service (you could provide the best possible service out there. 24-7 etc)
- Product (you could have a patented product or process)
- Experience (your customers are treated in such a way they will never leave – think flying Virgin airlines)
- Expertise (you could do something far better than anyone else – a very difficult claim to substantiate, but possible. An example might be that you won best in class for last 5 years…)
- Distribution (you could take a ‘regular’ product and think of a new way to distribute it. Maybe you will be the company that delivers a new razor to your door weekly, or Grocery Gateway etc.)
Traditionally we have mixed, matched and combined these elements to create what us uniquely ‘us,’ but when you take a hard look at them – ALL of these fundamental elements are capable of being reproduced by your competitors. That worries me.
With so many competitors in the marketplace, it is a simply matter of time before someone copies your customer service philosophy, your delivery method, or even your unique service idea. What if there was another element we have overlooked? There is – and as a Speaker, that element is YOU!
YOU are the only truly unique element in your business!
Okay, so if ‘we’ become the brand, how, then, do ‘we’ express it? I believe that the best way is to tell your story. How did you fall in love with the business you are in? What happened in your life that makes you uniquely qualified to share this message? Why is your delivery of this message different? And most importantly – why should we fall in love with you? You know, THAT is the ultimate selling feature. Realistically all the things that we can ‘do’ for someone are easily copied. But when we have a real relationship with our clients, when they know us and love us – we have their loyalty.
The ‘know, like and trust’ factor is not news either, but the idea of using storytelling to express is seems to be a growing trend in business. Over the next few weeks we will delve deeper into this concept and explore how YOU can integrate it into your business and your marketing.