Define Your Business – Marketing Tip 6

Marketing Tips

Define Your Business – Build Your Brand

There’s one simple way to become great at marketing your business; start with the right ingredients!

Three reasons why you should read this marketing tip –

1. You should follow this advice before spending any money on marketing

2. Once you start to apply this idea you can significantly increase your business results

3. By following this advice you’ll be putting yourself ahead of 90% of your competition!

Before you even start to dabble with all the exciting opportunities for marketing there is one crucial thing you need to do.

You need to define your business.

You need to give it some form and substance and decide who you are and what you stand for.

I’m not talking about paying lip service with some plagiarised mission statement; I’m talking about really creating a personality for your business. Something that can become the core of your business.

Yes, if you’ve spotted it, you may call this your Brand.build your brand

However, at this stage I don’t want you to start thinking about fonts and corporate colours. Don’t be distracted by these things just yet; we’ll get to those in good time.

I want to encourage you to think about the values and principles that make up your business personality. I want to know what you actually stand for… and so do your new customers.

Here are just some of the questions you might use to uncover and shape this:

What business personality are we trying to create and present; are we formal and traditional, or youthful and energetic?

What really makes us different to our competitors; what key attitudes and behaviours makes us a better option for the right customer?

How do we want our customers to think of us; are we a professional resource that follows strict and formal business practices, or are we human beings who want to become trusted friends to our customers?

How do we demonstrate our attitudes towards Customer Service and excellence? What do we actually do that proves we go the extra mile and truly value our customers’ business?

I hope that these starting questions are giving you a sense of the point that I’m driving at here. Just because you say that your business is ‘customer-focused’ doesn’t mean that’s the actual experience your customers get.

Just as with each of us, developing, crafting and presenting your personality is all about being authentic and sincere. It’s not about a mask or image you want to project, it’s about what you do on a day-to-day basis.

Now you might be wondering how does all this link to your marketing?

Well, let’s go back a few steps.

As you continue to grow your business it will take on form. Your customers, suppliers and the general public will form an impression of who you are and what you’re all about.

Most importantly, they’ll form an impression of whether they should trust you.

If you win the trust and confidence of your customers and the wider marketplace people will seek you out, recommend you to family and friends and come back to you over and over again.

I’m sure, right now, you can think of at least one business like this that you’re aware of. It could be a local pub or restaurant, a motor engineer/workshop, or even a professional service, like an accountant or maybe even a bank manager!

You’ll recognise them because you will have a sense that you already know them. You know the people and the business on first-name terms. You trust them and you’d recommend them.

This is exactly what you need to be aiming for. And here’s the reason…

Before you can even begin to start your approach to marketing you need to work with your own Marketing Assets (more on these in future Tips). You need to have a solid, credible and authentic back-story.

And this business personality doesn’t just come from who you want to be, it comes from the real you and every other person in your business that is customer-facing.

If you want to give yourself the opportunity to become massively successful with your marketing then you need to start with the right ingredients.

If you’re running a new business, perhaps you’re just starting out, then great, you’ve got a clean sheet of paper to begin with. Now you can design a successful business in the shape and form that you want.

If you’re already in business, perhaps for some time, and you’ve been struggling with marketing, then maybe you need to consider this. Perhaps it’s time to take a few steps back and address more fundamental things.

Here are some examples of the things customers will judge you on. These can also become powerful assets in the way you market and promote your business offer, products and services:

1. How easy is it to contact you? The most basic of good business practice. Can your customers easily find a phone number, call you and speak with a human being who knows how to handle their enquiry or questions?

2. How easy is it to find what I’m looking for? So I want to buy something from you; are you making it hard work for me to do this? Are you expecting me to self-serve, or are you going to help me?

3. Does your offer reflect my own needs for choice? Are you offering to sell me what you want to sell, or what I may want to buy? Have you considered what my choices might be and what I want, rather than the stock/offer that you simply want to shift?

4. How can I get more information? I’m interested in buying from you but I need more information. Are you making it hard for me to find this or do you offer it willingly? More importantly; are you checking that I do indeed have all the information I need… how do you know?

5. Are you giving me enough trust and confidence to buy from you? What’s my risk? Are you being open about it and what are you doing to reduce or remove it? What guarantees do I get when I buy from you? How do I know this?

6. What happens if I’m not happy? Perhaps I want to return or exchange a product, are you cool with that or are we going to have a battle? Do you have a clear and honest returns policy? Or will you really listen to my concerns or reasons?

7. What do others say about you? Are your existing customers really happy with you and the service you offer, and how do I know? Are these honest examples from real people? Would they recommend you to other people and do they?

Hopefully you can see how these questions tap into the deeper mind-set that all consumers (yes, including you and me) have. And it’s right here that your marketing work actually starts!

It is in these areas that you need to address the questions up-front by being clear in the way you position your business offer. For example;

If you’ve got a positive refunds and exchange policy and it helps remove some risk, are you shouting about it before I buy from you? Are you laying out your stall clearly?

In Summary –

Before you dive into the exciting tasks of creating your marketing you really need to prepare the groundwork. This is going to be your foundation. It’s going to become what you’re known for and what you stand for.

If you get this right and keep working on maintaining those standards then you’re going to have some excellent resources to use in your marketing.

There’s also one other very important point to support this. In days gone by it was much easier for companies and businesses to present and portray a positive and customer-friendly image. Even if the reality was very different. And for the most part they could get away with it.

Today with the power of things like Social Media companies and businesses are under much more transparent scrutiny. If you give customers a bad experience the world will know very quickly. So keeping your standards up is not just about being seen to do the right thing… it’s about doing it!

Your next steps –

Think about what you’ve read and understood from this Marketing Tip. Almost certainly you’re already asking yourself some tough questions.

Use the example questions offered above and give your business an acid test. Add other questions that you feel might be relevant.

Then, if possible, ask your customers what they really think about your business? How would they describe it to others? Is this what you want and hope to achieve?

I hope this week’s Marketing Tip has been interesting and valuable, but most of all I hope it will stimulate you to ask this simple question –

How is my own business Defined, by me, our team and others?

In the coming Tips we’ll be looking at how you can start to weave this information into your marketing actions and promotions.

If you want to learn more about Defining Your Business, you’ll find more information and learning in Module 1 of Make Marketing Work. Take a free trial of my online course today.

 

Nial Adams

PS. Remember to add your comment or question to this Tip if there’s something you’d like to know or share, thanks!

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