Four Questions to Focus Brand Position and Build Trust

“Communicate better” is our firm’s new brand position tagline. These words succinctly state what we do for our clients, and it’s simple, clear and direct — even a 10-year-old can understand it. We came to this statement after years of defining ourselves around other public relations and marketing words that may have created complexity instead of clarity.We’re successful in helping clients avoid the trap of positioning themselves based on standard industry terminology or “me too” sales language. We help them set their business apart and paint a clear picture of outcomes by connecting value-based brand platforms to their audiences through messaging that resonates and builds trust.We needed that for ourselves.“Communicate better” has become our platform for building trust and sharing our promise that when you work with us, your communications outcomes will significantly improve. It’s our “Just Do It” or “Got Milk” phrase. And, combined with our launch of the second annual Columbus Trust Study, you’ll see us weave the concepts of trust and brand building into most of our communications.So, how can you refocus or reinforce your brand position? The four questions below can help get you started. But, don’t let the simplicity fool you. You need to think hard to avoid the trap of clichés and me-too statements.

1. Who are the customers you desire?

Define a profile of your key customers. Consider industry sectors, geographic status, physical size, or any other criteria that help target them in a meaningful way. Eventually, you’ll develop subsets of personas to support marketing strategy, but that’s another topic.

2. What benefits do your customers value most?

Make a list of the ways your products or services impact those customers and how they help them achieve their goals. How is their life better because of what you do?

3. Why do customers purchase from YOU instead of your competitors?

Customers are driven to do business with you because of some aspect of your relationship and proposition of trust. That trust could be based on cost, responsiveness, reliability, returns policy or a laundry list of valued attributes directly related to how you engage them.

4. Which benefits and drivers make your business truly unique?

If you honestly compare yourselves to your competitors, you’ll likely find that you support many of the same benefits. Some of those should be more unique to you. And, when combined with the aspects that drive them to choose your business, the result is a clearly defined position statement. It’s a simple formula: Customer + Benefits + Drivers = Position Statement.The result becomes the basis for positioning and audience messaging that elaborates on those benefits and drivers. It also becomes the platform for creative expression via taglines and campaigns.Keep in mind that you can work this process with the input of your leadership team, but that’s just the start. It’s important to confirm your platform by talking to your customers and prospects through interviews, discussion groups and/or surveys. Understanding what they truly value and why they choose to work with you is critical.Solid positioning is the beginning of a promise upon which you will build relationships and trust. If you’ve got relationships and trust, you’ve got everything.If you need help communicating better, we’d love to help. Let us know in the comments below!

Communicate better. That’s what we help you do. Because better communication means better business.