What's the Point of a Point?
Points are useful as they’re sharp, tend to stick into things and there’s just one of them (think arrow). Being singular means a single focus - only one thing to communicate. The oft told story still remains true that it’s easier to catch one tennis ball than twenty – just don’t try the exercise with arrows.
For a business however, corralling features and benefits, different target markets and audiences into a single point is tough. To be able to express the offer in a single-minded way that can be universally applied is a challenge.
But it’s a challenge worth pursuing because having a point means a business has more chance of sticking in the minds of customers and more chance of providing clear direction to the team charged with making the brand a success. It stands to reason that a company that is aligned behind a shared point will have a better chance of success than one that isn’t. And a good brand strategy can help a business define its point. Here’s how:
Step 1. Ambition - state where are you headed. Define the destination of your business because if a brand strategy is going to support and equip you to meet your ambition, it needs to know where you are going. If your ambition for example, is to be the best known brand in the world, you will not develop your organisation in the same way as you would if you were creating a niche brand that serves a small number of customers. The brand needs to know!
Step 2. Positioning - capture what lies at the heart of your business. How is the brand positioned in the minds of the people charged with creating and delivering it - your team. The positioning succinctly defines for the team the core nature of the brand – the common theme all the products and services share. It is in fact the most important part of a brand strategy because it is the root from which everything else grows.
Step 3. Proposition - express that positioning to your audience. This is the start of the narrative of the brand, the first few words in the story that makes your business relevant to customers and different from your competitors. Often used as a tagline it tees up what to expect from the brand. It will help the sales person introduce the products, the new starter to get an immediate sense of the organisation, the customer to know what kind of a company it is.
Step 4. Values - define the character that defines your business. Just as you can sum up of the character of a person, you should be able to sum up the character of your business. The values need to be identified, embodied and embedded in the brand. This will mean a customer can access any part of the business and have a consistent experience - one that demonstrates one or a number of its values.
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