The clearer you understand and communicate the value of your business to people, the more appealing its offering.
1. What is your proposition?
What does your business do, and what do you provide to people? For example, it might be that you are a florist, and your product/service is selling beautifully designed bouquets of flowers.
Now, think about this from the perspective of potential customers or clients. Why might your business proposition be of interest to them? And importantly, what value (both monetary and emotional) might they find in the proposition of your business and brand?
2. What is your purpose?
Most businesses have the aim of making a profit – without one the business couldn’t continue – but is that the only reason for your business to exist? Why was the business founded in the first place? It might be a passion, or it might have been a potential gap in the market was noticed.
Now consider why would the purpose of your business be of interest to anyone else. If you want to develop a relationship with customers then it is becoming ever more important that your business has a purpose – other than making a profit – for people to relate to and share in.
3. What is your personality?
One of the things that makes your business unique is how you approach your work, and how you come across to the people you deal with. What do you think is people’s experience of you and your business, and what would you hope it was? You might pride yourself on your pragmatism, or your business might be known for its’ fun approach.
People’s experience of you will shape their opinion of you, and importantly how they then talk about you to their friends and wider social networks. What impression do you want to leave with people?
4. Who are your target audience?
Start by being as specific as possible here – too general a range will hinder your ability to identify with your audience. What do you think your target audience might be looking for? You might want to consider factors such as your audience’s geography (e.g. local or national), their financial situation, or the type of business they are.
Having a clear idea about your market is essential to developing a strategic approach that might appeal to them. Be aware that your market is always developing and changing, so your market may be different in a year’s time.
5. Who are your competition?
It’s unlikely you’ll be the only business with your product or service offering, so which businesses are your nearest competition? Consider that your competition might not necessarily offer exactly what you do, but might be something that attracts the same audience ‘spend’ (e.g. it could be argued that cinemas compete with video game producers, as they both compete for the same ‘entertainment’ spend). Also, is your competition purely local, or is it geographically widespread?
In analysing your competition can you identify what they are doing that you aren’t, or can you see how they present themselves both in written content and visually? Are you clearly identifiable from your competition? It is useful to know how you differ from your competitors, and in what areas you might have a competitive advantage.
These 5 top tips will help provide a starting point to develop a better understanding of your business and brand. A strong brand is not a luxury – it’s a requirement for a more successful business!