We all know that a strong brand can be a competitive advantage, but it goes beyond simply having customers and prospects recognize your name. Ideally, the thoughts and feelings that you package up in your brand add up to a unique advantage to doing business with you.
Consider products that are supplied by several companies. Chances are, one of these companies is the “affordable” option. Another might be the “luxury” option. Still others might be the “fun,” “hip,” or “rugged” options. Each company has found a way to position its brand to give customers a way to differentiate them from their competition.
Differentiation is powerful stuff! Why? Because customers have millions of things competing for their attention. As human beings, we can only absorb so much. A well-defined brand gives us a quick way to think about any given company and to sort out how we feel about them and, more importantly, if they are the kind of company we feel like we should do business with.
Best of all, customers who identify with a particular brand will often rationalize choosing that brand despite possible negative factors like higher price, longer wait or less selection.
It’s interesting to note that not even the strongest brands can capture the hearts (and business) of every consumer. The best strategy is to stake out a brand position that makes you relevant to the largest, most profitable group of potential customers. Companies that try to be “all things” to all people are often far less successful than companies who choose a specific position and work to be “everything” to the people in their defined audience.
Start with these two questions: What does my company do better than anyone else? And, who do we really want to work with? Use the answer to the first question to create a promise you can make to the audience you’ve defined in the second question. You’ll be on your way to creating a brand position that can be a touchstone for all of your advertising, sales and customer service.