How can I help my business stand out?
New and seasoned business owners alike struggle with this question.
To find the answer, you’ll need to determine what you want to be known for in your market and make moves to make it a reality.
Here’s the challenge: You might want your businesses to be lots of things for lots of different people. It’s possible to take on multiple identities—lots of businesses do—but it’s far more effective to select a single quality you want your business to be and devote your time, resources, and energy to realizing that goal.
Why is it a struggle to pursue multiple identities?
Your to-do list is long, and your time, resources, and bandwidth are limited. If you’re trying to build multiple identities with the time you have, you’ll find yourself pulled in multiple directions and distracted, not focused and determined.
How can I find the single right identity for my business?
The right identity for your business will come from these three factors:
- What you care about
- How you want to spend your time
- How you plan to set your business apart from its competitors
The right identity may not come to you right away. It may take some thought, and even some experimentation to learn what you want, what your customers want, and what doesn’t exist in your market.
This list of questions might help you find your way:
- What do I want my business to be for people who have used its products and services?
- What do I want my business to be for prospects and others considering solutions like the ones my business has to offer?
- How are other businesses positioning themselves in my market?
- How can I play up a strength that others claim to have?
- Can I play up a strength my competitors aren’t talking about?
- What do my target customers value in businesses like mine?
- What do people in my target market expect from businesses like mine?
- Which qualities would assure my target customers that my business could solve their problem?
Your answers to these questions can help you home in on an identity you can test, adjust, and experiment with to win over—and retain—your target customer base.
Why is this task important?
Determining what you want your business to be known for can help you in lots of ways. Here are a few:
- It can help you direct the marketing activities you undertake for your business.
- You’ll find clarity in what you want to say to your audience through marketing collateral, branded content, and social media platforms.
- You’ll find your brand personality and values.
- You may find a tone you can use to emphasize your status as the brand of choice in ways that truly resonate with your customer base.
How can I help my business stand out?
Help your business stand out by acting in ways that support the image you’re hoping to portray. Here’s how:
- If you’re hoping to play up your reliability, commit to round-the-clock support and delivering as promised: on time and with accuracy.
- When you want to position your business as the most helpful option in your market, invest in your sales and customer service teams and supporting technologies, such as CRM tools, that will help them know their customers, understand their needs, and exceed expectations.
- If you aim to be the brand that’s committed to your customer’s successes, commit to implementing touchpoints to learn what’s important to them before, during, and after the sale.
Brainstorm what you need to do to live the brand values that matter to you and your customers. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but most find that there are actions they need to start doing, stop doing, and continue doing to realize their goals.
Let’s consider some examples to work through these actions:
If you operate a cleaning business and want to position your business as trustworthy and dependable, you might take the following steps:
Using customer testimonials that praise your team’s dependability
Relying on systems and processes that slow your team’s work and cause them to run behind
Using rigorous background screenings to ensure you hire trustworthy, dependable employees
If you own a bakery and want to be known as the haute-couture option, you might choose the following actions:
Entering contests and submitting your designs to wedding blogs and magazines to build up your reputation
Accepting orders for low-ticket items that keep you from working on more elaborate designs
Networking with wedding vendors and party planners to gain better access to your target market
If you own a car repair shop and want your market to know your business for its emphasis on fair pricing, you might start, stop, and continue the following tasks:
Providing your customers with transparent pricing for every service and part you offer
Working with suppliers who overcharge for parts or speed of delivery
Marketing your business to cost-conscious shoppers who value a good deal, perhaps by offering coupons
No matter the business you’re in, you can take on this task by thinking about what you can do today to move one step closer to your objective. Ask yourself, “What can I do to help my business stand out?”
But take note: No matter how you attempt to position your business, your efforts will fall short if you make excuses, provide poor service, or fail to provide quality solutions. The fundamentals of good business must be firmly in place for branding to succeed.
How can I help my customers connect to my business’s new positioning?
As mentioned above, actions matter. You’ll need to commit to performing, providing, and communicating in ways that live up to your brand’s values and the reputation you want to achieve.
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