Take into account systematic changes in organizational behavior that promote and improve the customer experience.
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6 min read
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A company's success can rise or fall depending on the validity of the thing that leads to its existence. This is an undeniable reality in business. To be successful over time, the product must be adequately reviewed, proven, assessed as reliable, and in need in a particular market.
But then the question arises: Is the secret to a successful business the actual product, the perceived value of it, or a combination of both?
Having a great product or service is an important foundation for business. It is understandable, therefore, why so many entrepreneurs and companies place a significant emphasis on developing a strong product or service. If you've been in business long enough, you've no doubt heard companies say, "We'll beat our competitors by having the best product." Ultimately, however, the question arises as to why many companies fail or find themselves in the land of mediocrity. It turns out that this narrative is not a competitive advantage and mistakenly puts a company's hope in the wrong perspective.
After my father and I quit our job in 2011, we started a company in the guest room of my parents' house. Our competitors had annual sales of millions while we were both unsure when we would see the first dollar. However, we were experts in the industry and had enough connections to generate interest. We knew more about our industry and the services we provide than our multi-million dollar competitors. As we looked for business in the months that followed, we found that we needed a little more to be successful.
Our strategic goal was to develop our brand and give it personality. Although the goal was simple, the action took time. From the beginning, we started winning customers from our longstanding competitors because we were able to effectively communicate a feeling and an experience. In essence, we were able to create a customer-based perception that the Goliaths who rule the market had long since forgotten.
Related: How to Build a Brand That Makes a Greater Cause
As an entrepreneur, our products and services are the backbone and take precedence. But are we preparing for exponential and sustainable growth? Consider the single most important question that every business owner should routinely evaluate: How do my clients and customers see our brand? If the answer to this question is boring for lack of a better term, then you have work to do.
Consider a company-wide focus on brand personality. Brand personality is the creation of a corporate person who goes beyond the services or products being sold. This is the difference between companies that make it and those that fail. Sure, some companies have poor products or services, but these companies are irrelevant to this discussion. The assumption is that you have a solid product or a knowledgeable service team, but you can't get into the land of sustained and exponential growth.
Here are the steps you should take 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 you're buying a product or service, customers and customers want to do business with people, not companies. They want a face, a name, and a smile. Having fun with IQ – Professional companies have a problem with the assumption that the best attitude is the person with the best resume or the highest GPA. While this does not detract from the overall value of these metrics, the emphasis should be on personality and the proper match between the person in the company and the person being assessed. Don't hire boring people. Personality comes first as this is usually the first thing customers and clients experience. Sell the experience through the product or service – We all have competitors. For the most part, these competitors have very similar services. What do you do to be different in the eyes of those you want to do business with? What value do you offer? Business is tough, difficult and challenging – if you are not prepared and think ahead you will be forgotten in a very competitive market. A market has complete control over the companies it has bought from. Ultimately, success comes from selling something other than what people are buying. Yes, this is not intuitive and the purpose is to rethink how we market ourselves. Sell the value of a partnership, not an outcome. Sell an experience, a relationship, a trusted vendor – not a one-time transaction.
Related: The 4 Key Differences Between Thought Leadership And Content Marketing
Less on the product and more on experience
In three short years we have amassed a million in cash without hiring an employee, and we have started conducting interviews to answer the question: Why do our clients choose a two-person company over our nationally recognized competitors? The general answer was simple: they enjoyed the jokes, relationships, and working with pleasant people.
When you think about how your business can differentiate yourself from the competition, you think less about the actual product or service and more about your brand personality. Keep thinking about whether your company is doing enough not to get bored. Create a following and remember to be known for something other than what you are selling. If you're hiring the right way, the best place to find brand personality is with the people you hire.
A company with a great brand personality often promotes the experiences it offers versus the products it sells. Think about which companies you know and which you trust. In many cases, you're not entirely sure what they're selling in a particular commercial, but because of the fun factor, you don't care.
We know there is a fine line between success and failure in business. Focus more on your perceived value than on the functionality of a particular product or service.
Related Topics: Why Branding Is Even More Relevant For Businesses Today