Joshua Conran is the Managing Partner at Deksia.View all articles written by this author
When doing research to construct a brand strategy, there are four factors to consider regarding your business: who you really are, who your clients say you are, what your potential clients want, and who your competitors are not. If your selling proposition is “fast and affordable,” are there 10 other companies on the market saying the exact same thing? And if so, do we need to find another aspect of your business to differentiate you? But if do answer those four questions and they coalesce into the idea of “fast and affordable,” then we can begin to translate that into a brand strategy.
Referring back to Aaron’s example, let’s say you provide fast, affordable hardwood flooring services. But there are other businesses in town that claim to do the same thing. That doesn’t mean you have to stop being fast and affordable, but it would greatly benefit you to find some other aspect of your service to showcase. Through the research, who you are will come through loud and clear.
It’s just a shift in focus. It doesn’t conflict with who you think you are; it just repurposes the message to better speak to your client. If you do business consistently in any one way, there’s a good chance you can make it if the communication is set properly. If you don’t do business consistently, no one can count on you for anything. Communication is what’s going to take you from where you’re currently at to unlimited success.
The research also helps you discover how the clients who actually engage with your brand feel about you via a third-party, which has proven to be more effective than clients doing it themselves. It determines what potential clients actually want, where they’re looking for you, and how they want to engage. You might think, “Hey, everyone’s on Facebook, I’ve got to be on Facebook, too.” Well, guess what? If your demographic is 17-year old girls, you’re way behind the times. They’re not on Facebook anymore. You need to find out who your potential clients are, where they’re at, what they’re doing, and how they want to hear your message.
Some people are reluctant to make changes to the way they run their business, and want to keep it to small adjustments. Minor changes might be effective, but they also might not. What you have to do is research to determine that. I’ve met with people who want to accelerate the research component. But that’s not how it works. If you were building a house, would you just pour your concrete on the sand, or would you dig and put footings in first? If you want to build something that lasts, put it on a foundation that will support what you inevitably want to be.