In Part 2 of “Suit and boot your brand” we look at branding and how defining your brand promise can help grow your business.
Branding – what is your promise as a brand?
The perception of your brand promise, or what your product or service delivers to the outside world is key to your success and your growth. Try this simple exercise to check if your business is on track in terms of its brand promise: Sit down and write down in two short sentences what is your brand promise or your unique selling point (USP). Next ask some employees, customers and family/friends to do the same. Hopefully you will all come back with the same or similar responses. If not, then you will need to go back and take a fresh look at how you are branding your business. As a favourite former Marketing Manager of mine used to often say: “The devil is in the detail." And you need to get that devilish detail right if you want to grow your brand.
Defining your brand is a process of business self-discovery. This can be painful and time-consuming. The Branding Essentials and Checklist from Hubspot is a very useful read to help you on this journey. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/branding-guide However to kick-off the search for the promise of your brand, you can start by asking yourself these three questions:
• Firstly, what is your company's mission statement? What defines your brand?
In the infographic below built by Unum you will see some big brand mission statements. This is just to give you the idea of how to construct a mission statement for your own business. These definitions can be as lofty and high-level as you like or as a simple and down-to-earth as you like. What is important is that your mission statement is true to the essence of your business, that it is credible and that as a business you all stand by this definition, from top to bottom. As we mentioned in Suit and Boot Part 1 – this unified voice needs to permeate all aspects of your business. http://lapiccolaagency/blog/suitandbootyourbrand
This infographic was created by Unum UK. Unum provides employee benefits that protect businesses and their staff.
• Secondly, what are the benefits and features of your products or services?
For example for a dog-walking service a feature could be a mid-morning dog-walk. The benefits are that your dog is exercised and you don’t have to take time out of your working-day to do this, which provides you with peace of mind and a sense reassurance/security. The first ones are practical/tangible benefits, the second ones are emotional benefits. Quite often businesses find it difficult to extract or separate the benefits from the features, especially with technical products or services where complicated terminology can inadvertently take over. By staying in-tune with your customers you can make sure that you focus on the benefits that make sense to them, using a language that they understand. Quite often you may even learn about new benefits that have not even occurred to you before.
• Thirdly, what do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
If you don’t know then you need to find out. So engage with your customers and ask them. Here are some useful suggestions from Snapretail on how to do that. http://www.snapretail.com/blog/the-small-biz-suggestion-box/
Good luck with your suiting and booting!
Suit and Boot Part III…coming soon!