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Five Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Brand

  1. What do your customers think of your brand? Notice, I didn’t ask to define your brand, or what you think of your brand. I hear lots of great advice on branding and positioning strategies, but I’m always amazed that most experts forget one very important fact. Whatever you say about your brand is, is well, almost meaningless. What really counts is what your customers say about your brand. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to know what you stand for, define your positioning and be capable of differentiating from competitors. However, if none of this resonates with your clients then nothing else really matters. Ask your clients what they think of your brand – if they’re honest, I promise you will gain some valuable insights.


  1. Can you articulate the difference between your product’s features and benefits? There is an important distinction between features and benefits which every customer facing employee in your business needs to understand. Example: A three-year unlimited warranty is a great product feature. The benefit of this feature is peace of mind for your consumer that her product will be covered in the event of a problem. Customers don’t buy features, they buy benefits, even if they never realize this.


  1. Who is the Buyer vs. User vs. Influencer of your product/service? These can be similar or very different, and it’s important to know each, to properly focus your marketing communications and timing. Messaging, creative and placements should all vary based on who you are appealing to. Don’t try to skip ahead to the buyer – if you do this, you’re probably missing key opportunities to allow the user or influencer to fall in love with your products and close the sale for you.


  1. What makes your company different? Hint, it’s not your people. Everyone says they have great people, but I’ve met “your people” and I have bad news – they’re average, just like most, hence the definition. This answer can only apply for about the top 10% of businesses, so for the rest of you, it’s important to be able to distinguish specifically what makes you different from the competition in terms of product, processes, proprietary systems, etc. If you can’t answer this clearly and with conviction, maybe it’s time to re-think your business!


  1. What does the perfect customer look like? Too often when I ask this question, clients either don’t know or they say “my service applies to everyone”. If you try to serve everyone, you’ll fail because you serve nobody. Every business has a sweet spot client who is the ideal fit – this client really value your product, pays full price, really appreciates you, and they spread the word about you! Wouldn’t it make sense to understand exactly who this customer is, and why they like you? Use personas to identify and begin to qualify key vertical markets and customers, instead of using the shotgun approach – trying to be all things to all clients. Not sure what a persona is? No problem, contact us and we can help with mapping out personas for your vertical markets.

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