The past few week’s topics regarding how a company communicates its brand have garnered some interesting conversations revolving around using mission statements and vision statements as brand positions.
Make no mistake your mission statement is not your brand position.
A mission statement should encompass your values and your purpose of being.
A vision statement should project where your company is headed.
A brand position should differentiate your company by communicating how it uniquely solves a problem your audience faces.
For example, a community bank I worked with had the backing and resources of the regional and national banks, but with a more local approach desired by the community in which it operated. Its brand position was a very simple, where main street meets Wall Street.
While current economic conditions now make that position undesirable, it was quite motivating to the well-heeled families in a wealthy North Georgia community in 2002 allowing the bank to reach $100 million in assets a year ahead of projections.
So is your brand position where it needs to be?
Does it differentiate your company from the competition? Does it solve a problem for your audience? Does it motivate your audience to engage your product or service? Does it truly represent what your company does and can deliver on?
If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions then it is time to revisit your how your company is positioned in the market.
Start by gaining a better understanding of how your customers use your company. This can be accomplished using a third party to conduct focus groups or an online study – a third party will ensure objectivity by both the respondents and the researcher.
This is not a customer satisfaction survey, this is research that will help you compete more effectively and discover how much money your business might be leaving on the table. You’ll want to:
- Learn when they use your company, when they use a competitor and why.
- Understand, from their perspective, what your company does well and what other companies do better.
- Discover how your customers describe your company versus the competition.
When you learn these answers, objectively assess whether or not your competition does things better than you and if you have the resources to change your offering or convince your customers that you are better than they believe, they just weren’t aware of it.
Over the next few weeks we’ll discuss other steps to helping your develop a brand to motivate your audience, but this is a good place to start.
By simply gaining a greater understanding of your customers and how they interact with your brand you’ll begin to market smarter.