Am I Not Who I Think I Am?

How are You Branded?
As mentioned previously, there are three branding levels that you can occupy in the mind of your client or customer:

  • Your generic product or service
  • The process or extras that you wrap around your product or service
  • The outcomes, what your product or service does for your customer or client and how they perceive those benefits

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do your customers understand your product or service well enough to be able to describe your product or service clearly?
  • Do your customers understand what makes your product or service special?
  • Do your customers value your product or service so much that they are willing to pay more for whatever it is that make it special?
  • Do your customers feel so strongly about your brand that they are willing to defend it, even at a higher price, when it comes under attack?

If you answer yes to these questions then you are well on your way to a successful brand, and company. If you did not answer yes to these questions, then you fall into a large generic zone like I found myself, a zone that requires dedication to escape.

We discuss this in our Business Network International* (BNI) meetings during our 60 second commercials. Answer these questions:

  • What kind of business are you?
  • What do I do?
  • Who do I do it for?

Did you describe yourself as a generic business or as a brand?

Look again and describe these three aspects of your branding and how it is that your branding can reflect each.

  • Product or Service
  • Process and Procedures
  • Outcomes

The question that you should be answering is:
If I bring my products and services and my people together in a special way, what outcome could they create that no one else has?
Use these questions as a guide:

  • What exactly is your product or service?
  • What are the processes and procedures you use to produce those products or services?
  • How well does your operations system function?
  • What is your marketing system? Is it effective?
  • How do you contact prospects?
  • Who makes up your customer base?
  • Who is your typical customer?

Understanding Your Brand in Your Market

Assess your market, then ask these questions about your market:

  • Who are the leaders in your market?
  • Where is your product or service positioned?
  • Who are your closest competitors?
  • What so they provide that you don’t?
  • What do you provide that they don’t?
  • What are the current market trends?
  • What are the future market trends?

Find the answers to these questions through your own knowledge but also from your customers and vendors.

Building or Re-designing Your Brand

All companies have a design for their brand, even if they have not created one. By determining the design of your brand, your capabilities, market, and goals you can guide your brand to success.
From the previous questions, determine which outcomes benefit your business and which have negative influences. Then drop the negative and follow the positive, or if the outcomes do not meet your objectives, change your direction and re-design your brand to reflect your goals.

Once you have your goals established, modify your behavior to facilitate the implementation of your brand.

*BNI is an international referral organization with over 4500 chapters worldwide. It is unique among referral organizations in that the chapters follow a formal agenda for mandatory weekly business meetings where membership is limited to one member per business category. www.bni.com