The Importance of Formulating your Unique Brand Story
Before you can convince clients to buy your product or service, you need to be very clear about your unique brand story, or value proposition, so that you can clearly articulate how you can add value to your clients’ opportunity or solve your clients’ challenges.
To formulate your unique value proposition or brand story, there are a few steps to follow:
Step 1 – Understand your why
You need to really ask yourself why you do what you do, or why you provide the products that you sell. What is your core purpose? Try not to talk about what you do or sell, or how you do it, but why you fundamentally believe that what you do is essential to your being. For example, Apple is a great example of a company which understands its ‘why’, which is to challenge the status quo. They do this by creating products which change the way consumers think and behave. What do they do? They sell computers, i-phones, i-pads etc. Now it’s your turn – why do you do what you do?
Step 2 – Understand what you have to offer and so what?
What do you offer your clients? Why should they care about it? Is what you are offering of value? How do you know? It isn’t enough to say that you produce great software or you provide competent legal advice. So what? There are a lot of other companies which do the same thing. Why do your customers buy from you? You might have some assumptions about this, but the only way to truly know is to ask your customers.
Step 3 – Understand your customers’ motivations, drivers, challenges and opportunities
Do you know who your customers are? More importantly, do you understand their motivations, drivers, challenges and opportunities? Do you know why they use your products or services? Are they satisfied with what you have to offer or can you improve? If you don’t know this for certain, then you need to ask them to test and validate your assumptions.
Step 4 – Understand how you can uniquely assist your customers to overcome their challenges/solve their problems/meet their needs
What are you offering your customers and how does it solve their problems or meet their needs? It is useful to follow the FIBER approach to answer this question. That is:
What are the Features of your offering?
What is the Impact of your products or services?
What are the Benefits to your customers? Does it enable them to move away from pain or towards pleasure?
What is the Evidence that supports the benefits claim of your products or services?
What are the long-term Results of your offerings? Give concrete examples
Step 5 – Match your customers’ challenges and opportunities with your features
The ‘sweet spot’ of your offering is when your products or services, as articulated through the FIBER approach, match the challenges and opportunities of your clients. As part of this process, you need to understand how you can emphasise your strengths, downplay your weaknesses, neutralise your competitors’ strengths and indicate their weaknesses.
Once you have covered the above steps, you should have a very clear idea about who you are, why you exist, what you stand for, who you can help, and how you can help them.
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