By: Gordon Conner
This week in our series of solving business problems with branding solutions, we discuss the problem of having to constantly compete on price. If you don’t define your core message, people will be comparing you on price until the cows come home. Obviously, people want the best deal they can get. But, they also want to be treated with respect and taken care of. They want attention! They want to buy from companies they can support and depend on getting what they want every time they shop.
Here’s what you need to focus on when developing your core message:
- The true core difference- do your research and be sure you aren’t preaching the same thing as your competitors.
- An idea that your clients want-Take the time to understand what your clients need and are looking for.
Piece of cake, right? Well, here are four steps just to make sure you’re not competing on price alone.
LEARN WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE UP TO
OK, time to get busy. Start by visiting each of your competitor’s websites and read the “About Us” pages. Copy and paste the overviews and put them in one document. Do the same for your site. Pick up the highlights from your site. Do you see “ great customer service” and years of service” a few times? Thought so. Now take out all of the company names and pass it around to your staff and see if they can identify each of the competitors. It just might be eye-opening.
GIVE YOUR COMPETITION PROPS
Now it’s spy time. Keep tabs on what the competitors are doing. Monitor their social media, sign up for their newsletter and track their keywords. You’ll learn what they’re doing and what seems to be working for them. Not that you will copy them, but they aren’t going to spending all their time on Twitter if it isn’t paying off for them.
Listen to the MOST IMPORTANT people-YOUR CLIENTS
These are the most important people in your business. You need to listen, show them you care for them and learn. Meet with 10-15 of your best clients and interview them. Ask how it’s going with their relationship with you and what you can do to improve. Use this feedback to get better, but also to use to develop your core message.
Here are a few key questions:
- Why did you choose us in the first place?
- Why do you stay with us?
- What do we do that others don’t?
- What could we/our products/services do for you that we don’t?
COMMUNICATE YOUR DIFFERENCE STORY
OK, you’ve done the research. It’s now time to develop the core message. This will be a short statement that will tell your story. Stick to it, commit to it, live it. You may tweak it over time, but this is the core of your business and it should be something you can be proud to preach for many years to come.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build killer brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com