Imagine your business is a machine. The nuts and bolts and screws are your daily tasks, the bits you and your employees need to do to keep the machine moving. The nuts and bolts are rarely seen, but without them your business is going to fail because quite simple there wouldn’t be a business.
What IS seen is the outer casing. The beautiful or quirky casing that covers the nuts and bolts of your business operation. This casing is your branding. But how do you decide what it should look like? Are you going for modern or chic, or stripped down and industrial?
There are a gazillion materials to choose from and even more shapes and colours.
This analogy clearly depicts the issues many business owners have when defining their brand identity. There’s so much choice.
Branding in today’s business world is so important, just think of Google & Apple, the worlds most valuable brands. We are visual beings and marketing is heading heavily towards a design intensive route.
If your brand could do with a little bit of sprucing or you are building it from the ground up, here are 3 questions which will help you.
1. Who are you serving and how are you serving them?
Wherever you put your energy it grows. You’ve probably heard this saying before. Well, if you start off in one direction you had better make sure it’s a direction you want to head in before you do. Course correcting and changing half way through is one of the most common reasons for new business failure other than running out of money.
So getting clear on WHO you want to serve is the first step. Who are your ideal customers? Who do you want to speak to on a weekly basis? Once you have a clear idea the next step is to define HOW you will serve them. Find their biggest pain point which your product or service can solve.
When I founded Bluchic, I knew that I wanted to work with Girl Boss’s and Female Entrepreneurs who were business savy and creative. I also identified that many of them were very creative but didn’t have the technical skills to develop their own website.
As a web designer, this is what I wanted to help them with. To make it super, super easy for them to get a beautiful feminine website and take away the pain of needing to spend a huge amount of money hiring a web designer.
Get as specific as possible. You want to paint a very clear picture of how your product or service is going to serve your ideal customer and take away their pain.
2. What is your single-minded proposition (SMP) and how can you convey this uniqueness to your customers?
A Single-Minded Proposition (SMP) is about defining your proposition in house so that you have a very clear picture of how you intend to serve your customers. It doesn’t need to be a statement you go out with but something which sets the tone for all communication.
Ideally, your SMP highlights the one aspect which separates you from your potential competitors
Here are 3 steps to take to help you write your SMP:
1. Identify your product's most important features.
2. When you identify the important features, figure out each feature's benefits.
3. One of those feature/benefits will be the compelling reason to make a purchase.
Now form this all into one compelling statement. Take a step back and be honest with yourself. If you were to find your ideal customer in a cafe, walk up to them and give them your Single Minded Proposition would they want to work with you?
Once you have your SMP check back to this statement every time you put out a large piece of communication, does it align?
3. Is your tag-line results focused?
Your tag-line is a single sentence which you use to market your business and paint a vision of what your product or service can do for your customer.
For example; Apple’s tagline is “Think Different”. Absolutely nothing to do with the technology they produce. They focus on what the result of buying their products will do, and in the process they capture a market who are early adopters and rule breakers which is the reason they have people literally queuing round the corner when they release a new product.
Usually companies focus on the What they are delivering not on the results.
Let's take a look at some examples of each to help illustrate the difference.
Take your dining room to the next level with our ergonomically designed chairs.
See how our proprietary software can redefine the ways that your company conducts business.
Both of these statements are focused on what is being delivered. These are great SMPs, but they don’t tell the user how the product will improve their life or solve their pain.
Take a look at these two examples:
Changing your digital life one web page at a time.
Trust, growth and reliability: turning your house into a home.
In both of these statements, we can see much more of a "vision" than a proposition. The reason that these approaches can be so effective is that they cause the client (or potential client) to imagine the role of your product serving them in their life and then they wonder how they have ever done without it.