The mistake: believing that doing a good job or providing an outstanding product or service is enough to grow the organization.
Even if your product or service is extraordinary, you have to let people know about it. You have to market. And now it’s more important than ever to be targeted, focused and effective when you communicate about your business to potential customers or clients.
After more than thirty years in the marketing business I have talked to many organizations—from colleges to associations, manufacturers to financial services—that provide an outstanding education, experience, service, support and products to their customers. Yet they still claim “we’re the best kept secret” in their region or category. What’s missing?
Although each company may have a loyal customer base, each also wants to grow and reach new audiences. They have not yet uncovered how to distinguish themselves in their market or category … from their audience’s perspective. They have not identified the most important point of contact, the point of choice, and they have not leveraged or distinguished what their customer’s value the most. In other words, they have not built their brand.
Building a brand is communicating what makes your organization unique and valuable from your audience’s perspective, not your own. What resonates with them? What generates the “wow” response—“wow, I didn’t know you did that, could do that for me, provided that!” What’s the inherent story that people respond to? This is where to start building your brand message, and articulating the value you have to offer.
And … you can’t just hope people will find out. You have to tell them, in a clear, simple and direct manner, and in the channels they are using for communication.