Consider systematic changes in organizational behavior that promote and improve the customer experience.
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May 29, 2021
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
The success of a business can increase or decrease depending on the validity of the thing that made it exist. This is an indisputable reality in business, in which success over time depends on the product being properly controlled, proven, determined to be reliable, and meeting a need in a given market.
But then a question arises: is the secret to a successful business the actual product, the perceived value of it, or a combination of the two?
A great product or service is an essential part of a business, so it’s understandable that so many entrepreneurs and businesses focus a lot on developing a solid product or service. If you’ve been in business long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard companies say, “We’re going to beat our competition by having the best product.” But it ultimately begs the question of why many businesses fail or end up in the land of mediocrity. It turns out that this narrative is not a competitive advantage and falsely puts a company’s hope in a bad light.
In 2011, after quitting our job, my dad and I started a business in the spare bedroom of my parents’ house. Our competitors were generating millions in annual revenue while we weren’t sure when we would see the first dollar. However, we were industry experts and had enough connections to generate some interest. We knew more about our industry and the services we provide than our multi-million dollar competitors. But as we looked for business in the coming months, we realized we needed something more to be successful.
Our strategic goal was to develop and put personality into our brand. Although the goal was simple, the action took time. Early on, we started acquiring customers from our long-standing competitors because we were able to effectively communicate a feeling and an experience. Essentially, we were able to create a customer-based perception that the goliaths ruling the market had long forgotten.
Related: How To Build A Brand That Contributes To A Bigger Cause
As entrepreneurs, our products and services are the backbone and come first. But are we preparing for exponential and sustainable growth? Think about the most important question every business owner should regularly assess: How do my customers and clients perceive our brand? If the answer to this question is – for lack of a better term – boring, then you have work to do.
Consider focusing company-wide on brand personality. Brand personality is the creation of a corporate personality that transcends the services or products being sold. It’s the difference between successful businesses and unsuccessful ones. Of course, some companies just have bad products or provide poor service, but those companies are irrelevant to this discussion. The assumption is that you have a strong product or an expert service team, but you cannot access the land of sustainable and exponential growth.
Here are the steps to follow to properly develop your brand’s personality:
- Humanize your brand – When it comes to marketing your brand, put your employees in front of your static logos and service descriptions. Whether they are buying a product or a service, customers and customers want to do business with people, not companies. They want a face, a name and a smile.
- Having fun on IQ – Professional companies find it difficult to assume that the best recruit is the person with the best CV or highest GPA. While this does not rule out the overall value of these metrics, the focus should be on personality and the right fit between the personality of the company and the individual being assessed. Don’t hire boring people. Personality comes first, as it is usually the first thing clients and clients experience.
- Sell the experience on the product or service – We all have competitors. In most cases, these competitors have very similar services. What are you doing to be different in the eyes of those you are looking for business with? What value do you offer? Business is tough, tough and stimulating – if you are not prepared and expect the future, you will be forgotten in a very competitive market. A market has full control over the companies from which it chooses to buy. Ultimately, success comes by selling something other than what people are buying. Yes, it’s counterintuitive, and the point is to rethink the way we market ourselves. Sell the value of a partnership, not a deliverable. Sell an experience, a relationship, a trusted supplier – not a one-time deal.
Related: The 4 Key Differences Between Thought Leadership And Content Marketing
Less product and more experience
In three years, we have amassed a million cash flow without hiring an employee and started conducting interviews to answer the question: why our clients choose a two-person company over our nationally recognized competitors ? The common answer was simple – they enjoyed jokes, socializing, and working with nice people.
When you think about how your business can differentiate itself from its competition, think less about the actual product or service and think more about your brand personality. Continually check to see if your business is doing enough to not be boring. Build a following and consider being known for something other than what you’re selling. If you hire well, the best place to find your brand personality is in the people you hire.
A company with a great brand personality often advertises the experiences it offers with the products it sells. Think about the companies you know and trust. In many cases, you’re not quite sure what they’re selling in a given ad, but due to the fun factor, you don’t even care.
We know there is a fine line between success and failure in business. Focus more on your perceived value in relation to the functionality of any given product or service.
Related: Why Branding Is Even More Relevant For Businesses Today