What is your purpose? This is the single most important question every business must answer in order to effectively market and differentiate in today’s experience-driven marketplace. Forget everything else—vision, mission, values, brand pillars, operating principles, strategies, priorities. Get to the guts of what you do and why you do it by answering three simple questions:
- What do you want your clients and prospects to think (and say) about you?
- How will you communicate who you are and what you do to clients and prospects?
- How will you deliver your brand benefits to your clients?
A simple approach to branding
“Define your purpose. Learn how to promote it. Execute against it, and growth will follow.” That was the message we heard loud and clear this week at Xchange Solution Provider 2015 from marketing expert David Mayer of Lippincott, a world-renowned design and brand company with an impressive client roster that includes Samsung, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, and Walmart.
What was so refreshing about Mayer was his simplified approach to developing a messaging platform that would stick and that people (associates, partners, and clients) could identify with and easily support. The exercise he shared could fit on the back of a cocktail napkin, but what was even more impressive was that it could done by a business with no marketing expertise (an IT service provider for example). Here is the sketch:
Three Ways We Deliver It:
Do your research
If you are struggling with the answers and want to get to the heart of what makes you unique and why people do business with you versus a competitor—ask! Ask your associates. Ask your partners. And most importantly, ask your customers. They want you to succeed and nine times out of ten will be open to spending a few minutes on the phone to talk about what you do and why it is valuable to them.
If you really want to dig deep, have a third party do the brand audit for you. Sure, you’ll spend a few bills, but what you discover will not only help you build a better brand, but it will help you build a more successful company with a defendable customer experience that you own.
As president and founder of WhiteFox, Marie is recognized throughout the IT channel for her straightforward, business-minded approach to channel marketing, PR and communications. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT channel, Marie is a friendly face at industry events and a respected advisor and colleague to many of the channel’s most innovative companies and business partners. Marie launched WhiteFox Marketing and Communications in 2005 with the vision of bringing channel relationships, marketing, PR and communications to the forefront of companies’ business growth strategies and tactics.