Are you looking at your brand through your customer’s eyes?
November 21, 2012 | Inga Rundquist
In any industry, every potential customer goes through a decision process. In most cases, it goes a little something like this:
"Man, I really need a highly explosive, super high-tech torch.”
"I wonder who sells those.”
"Holy smokes…there’s so many brands to choose from. Which one should I pick?”
"Maybe some of my fellow Arsonists have recommendations?”
"This one’s perfect. I’m buying the XYZ brand.”
Whether or not you get a chance at the new customer’s business is determined by the strength of your brand and how it compares to the brand of others that are in consideration.
Because of this, it’s extremely valuable to look at your brand through your customers’ eyes and examine how it compares to others in the competitive marketplace.
Any potential customer will begin the buying process by trying to find a company that will help him/her fulfill his/her need – in our case, finding a smokin’ hot torch.
In most situations what the person sees in the marketplace when they begin their search is pretty common – lots and lots of business that promise pretty much the same thing: great customer service, quality product, best technology, etc, etc.
As you know, this can be an overwhelming and confusing place to start from. Sometimes there are just too many options!
So which businesses make it into the decision making process? Those that are able to stand out and get the customer’s attention. That contrast - my friends - starts with your brand and more specifically your brand promise!
How does your brand compare to others in the marketplace?
Start by making a list of all your competitors. Try and pull together the list in the same way a potential customer would. Search online, consider any print, radio or TV ads you’ve seen, and don’t forget direct marketing techniques. Would your business even be on the list?
Visit your competitors’ websites and review any marketing materials you may have and jot down their brand promise or tagline. Is there a clear message that sets the business apart?
Now, take a close look at your own site and collateral materials. Are you conveying your brand promise and tagline prominently? Will potential customers know what makes you different, and why they should choose you? Remember, your differentiator can’t be the same as everyone else’s. Otherwise your message will just get lost in the clutter.
Looking at your brand through your customers’ eyes is an important exercise for any marketer. If you find that your brand position in the marketplace is too similar to others out there, it may be time to update your messaging.
Inga Rundquist is a Public Relations Arsonist and Co-Owner at MindFire. When she’s not dreaming up ideas that will generate publicity, you can find her knee deep in the social media world, also known as the next PR frontier.