In my last post I made the point that every business is a brand – multinational, small one man operation or anything in between.
I made the further point that there are rich rewards to be reaped from understanding the brand at a deep level.
I also outlined a process for using our new brand personality statement to produce a set of core company values.
Inherent in this process has been an analysis of our customers, based on surveys of what they like most about our products/services.
Now, with this detailed set of company values in front of us, let’s answer this question:
How can our customers benefit from what we believe?
This is the vital step, because the answers we get will spell clearly, and in great detail, all the ways our brand is unique in its marketplace.
The hardest – and most rewarding – step of all
Because our new set of core values has been developed from an agreed understanding of our brand personality, we can know with great certainty that when we read them, we are looking at the truth about ourselves.
And so to the next step.
Up to this point, the activities have been relatively easy. Picking options, grading, making short notes etc.
But this next activity is mentally taxing and it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea.
Some of your team members will enjoy it but others won’t.
So although you do want as many of your team as possible to be involved, it will be counter-productive if you try to make this particular part a three-line whip.
I find it’s often better to bring the full team back once this step has been completed. Everybody will then have a chance to comment and add to what’s been done.
What they get from what we believe
OK, we have now articulated a set of beliefs. So what? So nothing, unless they also mean something for our customers/clients.
Now, working in small groups, we look closely at each of the value statements, then imagine we are talking directly to the customer:
“If we believe ‘x’ what do you stand to gain from that? What does it mean for you?
Take this belief statement, for example:
“We see things through our customers’ eyes’…
One of the many possible customer benefits from this might be:
“You’ll find our service more thorough than you first expected, because we’ll know your needs in depth.”
Try and be as thorough with this as you can, but don’t get bogged down. If the group is stumped, just leave it blank and move on to the next statement.
It’s always interesting to see what happens when colleagues finish this then share their insights. It’s often something like, ‘oh yes, of course’.
Things do have a wonderful habit of coming together in this way. It’s such an uplifting and affirming feeling.
When you’ve completed this step and collated all the responses, put all the belief statements into a vertical column on the left, with the ‘you’ statements in a corresponding column.
Now look at what you have:
A bag of marketing gold dust in the form of customer benefits; all the raw materials you need to produce a meaningful USP statement.
And… the basis for all of your most important marketing messages.
Next up… how all of this work flows naturally into your tone of voice guidelines – the foundation and bedrock of all your future marketing copywriting.