This article is part 2 of 2.
3. Product or Service Mix
In a sense the product or service that you sell is meaningless! Are you reading right? You are! The problem is more important than the solution. Too often marketers make broad assumptions when communicating their message to clients. This happens in both the selling interaction (face-to-face and on the phone) as well as the marketing interaction (with ads, brochures and web sites.) This is a natural tendency since as marketers we know far more about our products and services than our customers. In many cases we may know what the customer needs more than they themselves know. The danger, however, is that customers don’t care about the benefits and solutions that our company offers. Let me repeat that: CUSTOMERS DON’T CARE ABOUT OUR BENEFITS AND SOLUTIONS! First off people today make buying decisions more emotionally than ever before. Our prospects and customers care FAR more about their problems than they ever will about our solutions!
4. Exclusive Selling Proposition
For years, marketers have learned the way to differentiate their company, product or service was by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). I no longer think the USP is effective. We must create an EXCLUSIVE SOLUTION which is specifically tailored to solving the customer’s problem(s). This can only be accomplished by fully understanding the customer’s problem(s). Only then can we design the exclusive solutions to these problems. Ask yourself these questions: What do you do that is so different from your competitors that it makes you the ONLY solution to the problems you’ve identified? How can you use this knowledge to develop marketing language that emotionally speaks in terms of the problems that you have identified? How can you do this in an emotionally charged way that stimulates the right hemisphere of their brain? Don’t be a better option, become the ONLY solution.
5. Positioning Statement
The position statement allows you to articulate all of these messages in a tight, economical phrase. Often time the right tag-line or Meme is born from the position statement. Mission statements are also developed from well expressed marketing position statements. The position statement is ultimately a summary of the above elements tied-up in a nice little sentence or two. It communicates how you exclusively solve the distinct problems for those in your target audience.
Making the Brand Tangible
Once this strategy is established we can then begin “packaging” to make the branding elements tangible to clients, prospects, affiliates and even members of the team. When we can create visual, pneumonic and auditory branding messages that are overlapping then we have the ability to influence people on more than just a “conscious” level. We can influence them on an “unconscious” level which is far more powerful. Brand packaging is comprised of these typical marketing communication elements:
- business cards and stationery
- web presence
- incoming call reception
- email delivery
- advertising and promotional material
- product ergonomics and packaging
- brochure or collateral material
- signage, point-of-sale displays and billboards
- trade shows presence
- gifts, premiums and giveaways
- sales approach and presentation strategy
In the coming weeks I will be talking more about branding and how a synergistic branding program is conceived, strategized, and implemented. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. That’s what I’m here for. My sincere desire is that marketers will begin to look at branding in a more holistic way. It’s not about your logo or tag line, it’s about your heart and identifying with your clients problems in a way that no one else is doing.