A couple of years ago, a there was an internet meme entitled “Who are you and why should I care?”
Whist the meme may have faded, this is still a very relevant question when it comes to marketing. Look at any brand, and basically it is trying to answer this question in the eyes of their target market.
So how do you go about telling your Story, and answering this question for your business?
Here are 4 questions to help you on your way:
1. How do you add Value?
To be successful, your business needs to add value. Why else would people hand over their hard earned cash for your products & services. So the first question you need to answer is
How do you add value to your customers?
At its most basic, this will be directly through the product or service that you supply, but a good brand goes way beyond this. Simply delivering a good service is rarely enough in today’s world. Take Apple as an example. Whilst they haven’t produced a truly innovative “must have” product for years, they still they have a fiercely loyal customer base. Why because they tell a great story that people can relate to and engage with.
The key is to try to understand what it is about you business that makes people come to you. Quite often, this can be a challenging question to answer.
Within BSA it has taken us many years to come to an answer we are even half happy with.
What value do BSA Add to their clients? We understand technology, we understand marketing & we understand running an SME business. We combine these pieces of knowledge to help clients engage with their marketplaces more effectively.
and even now it is still a work in progress and a regular a topic of conversation in the office.
2. Who is best placed to benefit from your services?
The next step is to understand which sector of the market is best placed to gain benefit from your services. And here, “we can sell to anyone!” is not an acceptable answer. Whilst you may technically be in a position to sell to anyone. There will be a subset who will value your services more highly..
Again, taking ourselves as an example. We do marketing, so technically any business who requires marketing support could be a customer – As I say – Not an acceptable answer! We need to narrow it down.
Looking at our value statement we can immediately start this process by accepting “We understand SMEs”, so we are not targeting the corporate world, more specifically we are targeting Small/Meduim sized, businesses . Furthermore, our experience is in niche marketing where clients markets are highly focused, so again this narrows down our target market.
Extending this process will allow you to build a picture of your target market.
3. What Drives your organisation?
Often the main focus in the process of understanding your position in the marketplace will be external. Whilst this is sound approach, for a brand to be believable, looking internally, and understanding what drives your organisation is crucial. If you are trying to tell the full story of your business, then what drives the people in your organisation to come to work everyday must be part of that story.
4. How do you communicate this to the world?
Once you have a clear understanding of points 1-3 above, you can start to look at how to pull this together into the story that communicates your brand. There will be many elements to this:
- Design, Colours, Typography
- The words you use
- The partnerships you create
- The channels you use for marketing
- The way you train your organisation
- How your think about new product/Service development
In reality, every aspect of your business & the way you interact with your market will form part of your brand, and help to tell your story. Whilst this is the most visible step in the process, it is only by having answered questions 1-3 that you are in a position to answer question 4. If you do not clearly understand:
- How do you add value?
- Who is best placed to benefit from your services?
- What drives your organisation?
Then you will end up with a brand that is weak, confused and difficult to communicate,
Get it Right, with a clear understanding of these things your story will tell itself!