What makes you stand out from others?
What makes you unique?
How do you communicate that uniqueness?
In advertising, this quest to distinguish you from others is called “branding”. Companies invest large amounts of money to create and maintain their brand. To find your brand, do the following exercise described in Tom Peters’ book, Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age:
The Brand Promise Exercise
- Who are YOU? Write a two-page short story about who you are. Distill it down to one page. Cut it to one paragraph. How about 10 or 5 words?
- Do a THREE WAY list. List 3 ways you are unique to your customers.
- Figure out your DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE. Peters defines this as something that you do that makes your service or product offering a very dramatic difference in bottom-line success. Write down, in 25 words or less, your one great Dramatic Difference Thing that distinguishes you from your competitors.
- Who are THEY? Explain who your competitors are in 25 powerful words. List three distinct ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ differences.
- Ask your favorite customers, “What makes us unique to you?” “What three words come to mind when you think about our work?” Once you’ve discovered your brand, don’t keep it a secret.
- Try it on teammates. Discuss it at your meetings. Get comfortable with it.
- Try it on customers. Test it with your friendly clients, and then share your uniqueness with everyone.
In the past, service was about serving a function. Now it’s all about telling your story. As we become inundated with technology and data, the ability to connect with your customers on an emotional level by telling your story, your branding synopsis, the better your business will thrive.
Good luck in creating your story, your brand, and your connection with your customers.