By Rahul Katrak, Managing Director, Futura Business Growth Partners
Right now your company has numerous potential customers trying to decide whether or not they should do business with you – or with one of your competitors. Your marketing strategies or your networking abilities may have got your business in front of them, you may have pitched to them with passion and energy, but unfortunately in the absence of a compelling brand positioning strategy, your customers will struggle to see why they need your product or service and why they should pay a higher price for it than a competitors offering.
Welcome to what I call the commodity trap. It’s a bad business place in which the lowest price almost always wins, because customers don’t see or can’t relate to any other difference between you and your competitors. From a business growth perspective, it also means that unless your best sales directors is talking to a prospect, they will fail to understand the unique benefits of your product/service that will PROVOKE a purchase. It’s not a place where your business should be competing from if you want to remain profitable and fast track your growth. To escape the commodity trap, you have to answer the toughest question in business. Why should I choose you?
Make It Glaringly Obvious
Today’s buyers are so bombarded with sales messages that they will struggle to see much difference in their choices – unless your branding and marketing messages makes it obvious and compelling. Not only do you need to be able to answer this fundamental question, you need to do so in a way that grabs attention, appeals to their emotions and the intellect and get your messages across in the most punchy way possible.
You have to give potential customers a reason to say “Okay. That’s the difference. It’s valuable to me and I’m happy to pay a premium price for it.” Yes, we know, that’s a lot of work.
What Decides A Purchase?
Hundereds of factors go into clinching a sale, from prospecting the right leads, to the visual appeal of your brand collateral and the charm and charisma of your sales directors. But, none matter as much as your company’s ability to answer the question, “Why buy from us?”
Ultimately, this is the core foundation upon which your business growth is built – the ability to distill your competitive advantage into a masterfully articulated unique selling proposition that your customers understand, are excited by and can buy into. People buy certain products and services because they see a real and compelling advantage over all other available choices.
Where Are You Tripping Up?
When we work with clients on their brand positioning strategy, a common problem we encounter is that too many companies don’t really understand what their real competitive advantages are. Just as often, what they perceive to be an advantage is totally irrelevant to their customer’s purchasing priorities Some companies have a vague idea of where their competitive advantage lies but don’t have the skills to articulate and convey that idea clearly and consistently across all their sales and marketing. This leads to sales opportunities that fail to convert — and money wasted on advertising and sales that’s getting the message wrong.
Many companies base their marketing and sales messaging on their own hunches, assumptions, perceptions, and the historic inertia of, “This seems to have worked in the past?”
To truly hone in and identify your competitive advantages, you need to execute a brand positioning strategy that keeps your customers at the heart of the process.
The discoveries you’ll make can often be surprising. Here at Futura, we used to sell ourselves on our great branding and web design skills till we realized that clients were choosing us for our brand positioning and business consulting skills – which lead two new service offerings in our business! This is encapsulated in our brand promise. Business Growth. Delivered.
Communicating Competitive Advantage
After you’ve identified your company’s key competitive advantages, you need to craft new marketing and sales messages, also known as “brand positioning statements.” These need to be concise, memorable, measurable and highly relevant to your customers — every word needs to resonate and remind customers why they need to buy from you instead of the competition.
Far too many businesses that I meet talk to me about vague clichés like “quality, service and value for money.” These terms don’t mean anything to me or your customers, and they’re so over used and stale that they’ve become meaningless.
When we work with businesses on their brand positioning, we get them out of their comfort zone and get specific. You need to find a way to explain to your customers in real, exciting, human terms how your business delivers quality, service, and value in a way that is most relevant to what the customer wants to get from your product or service.
Don’t let your marketing and sales messaging bucks go to waste due to hollow messages that are not relevant to your customers. Commit some time, money and effort to working with a brand strategy company like ourselves, to identify your true competitive advantages. Hone in on what your company does best, find out why your customers truly choose to buy from you, and then trumpet your new messages to the world.
If you’d like to find out more about how our brand strategy services can turbo charge your sales and business growth, please drop me an email or contact me on 020 7993 4477 for an obligation free chat.