I recently was called by a close friend who owns a business with a great product line. In fact, I’m understating how great of a product line it is. In my mind, it could be an industry disruptor and game-changer.
Within minutes of the conversation, I could sense his frustration. The business has been operating for 7+ years, but barely breaking even each year. He knew his product line was superior, but he didn’t understand why there was limited brand awareness after all these years.
Naturally, I asked him what he thought the problem was. The response: “we’re not doing enough marketing.” Little did he know that would not be the problem my team and I identified.
So, I asked him one simple, fundamental question: “Who is your customer”?
After a few seconds of dead silence, I started hearing explanations about the markets for the company's product lines. Immediately I identified the problem: No one could clearly, concisely, and confidently articulate who the target customer was.
Products and services are useless if they don’t have a following of people who need them. I’ll take it one step further. Products and services are useless if they don’t have a following of people who needs AND believes in them.
Before any business modeling, marketing, and branding can be done, businesses MUST hone in on their ideal customer segment. Let’s face it, customers rule the day for any business.
I left my friend with a set of questions to ponder. Whether you’re looking to enhance your professional or personal brand, I encourage you to ask yourself the same.
- Revisit your “why.” What do you believe in? What fires you up every morning about what you do or what you offer? Why should anyone care about what you believe in and what fires you up? If you need more inspiration on this topic, read Simon Sinek’s Start With Why.
- Clearly define your target customer(s). Who do you want to do business with? What are their attributes? What are their needs? Do they believe in what you believe in?
- Define how you are a problem-solver. How do you or your products/services offer a solution to a problem and/or need in your target customer’s life?
Sometimes we just need to get back to basics when it comes to addressing our business and branding concerns. Starting with your customer is a necessity.
What issues are you facing in your business? professional life? When is the last time you got back to the basics of your business?