When you understand and define your company’s unique value, you’re able to clearly tell your potential clients or customers how they’ll benefit from your product or service, how that product or service will solve their problems, and most importantly, what makes your product or service different from or better than the competition. Defining and being able to clearly communicate your unique value proposition is a critical first step in creating an effective messaging strategy, developing a successful sales strategy, and building a world-class brand.
Simon Sinek delivered a best-selling book and built his entire brand around the need for us to “Start With Why.” The “why” Sinek talks about is centered on your passion; about starting with the why behind what you do and allowing it to drive your path forward. As important as that is, I’m going to talk a bit about a different why in this blog. But for now and for the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to ask you to start where I’ve advised your brand start so many times before:
Start With The Who
While you can certainly enjoy “Baba O’Riley” while you continue reading, we’re of course not talking about the band here. But like most good exercises in marketing, you should start by defining the who. If you’re approaching your marketing as you should, everything from your branding and creative to your messaging strategy and user experiences should be crafted for your target audience(s). So many business owners, leaders, and even marketers often fall into the familiar trap of marketing to themselves. Why? Because it’s easy to believe that everyone wants to see, hear, and experience what we want to see, hear, and experience. In short, it’s easy to build in the direction of our personal preferences. This is after all our brand, our industry; our product. Who knows those things better than us? Spoiler alert: it’s the people who’ve shopped both us and our competition within our space; our customers. So set your personal preferences aside, start with deep dive audience research and make sure there’s good data behind the marketing and brand decisions you’re making. Know who you’re here to serve, because that’s who your marketing and messaging should engage. Once you’re there, it’s time to:
Define The Why
The why I’m talking about now is a question you should always be ready to answer: why should your potential clients/customers choose your business over your competitors? Most business owners automatically jump to “it’s our customer service” or “we have a better quality product.” Sorry, but you’re going to need to dig a little deeper than that. Everyone says they have great service. Everyone thinks their company or product is the best. Besides being largely unprovable, those points are repeated so frequently by so many brands that they’re just white noise in a noisy world. We’re looking for what makes you unique. What gap in your market are you filling for potential customers in your space? What makes you stand out as a company? Use these questions to define your competitive advantage and leverage it in your marketing and sales processes. We still need to do a little work to round this all out, but if you’ve really got your who and your why pinned down, establishing your unique value is well within reach and you’re ready to:
Dive Deeper Into The What
Now that you’ve put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes and decided why they should choose you over your competition, dive deeper into “the what.” Define what your potential customers need and care about, what you do really well, and what your competition does really well. From there, you should dive even deeper and ask yourself what your company stands for. What are your values? What impact do you want to leave on your industry or even the world? I referenced Simon Sinek earlier and he really summed that up perfectly when he said, ‘People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
Start with who, define your why, then do a deep dive into your what. Understanding and consistently returning to your unique value as a team will drive a healthier culture, more effectively messaged marketing, and in the end happier, more loyal customers.
About the Author
As president and co-founder, Joe is responsible for the development, execution, and success of client and company initiatives. With >20 years of brand and leadership experience, nothing puts a smile on his face like helping clients outperform their goals.
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