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10 Questions to Kick Off Refining Your Brand

We use the 10 questions in this worksheet at the start of every branding project. Whether you're building, refreshing or simply refining your brand, these questions set the foundation for the process and help guide the creative to its full potential. Use this worksheet as a tool to inform your internal team, your agency or design firm partner, or to gain a deeper understanding of your brand's landscape.

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Build These 5 Things to Grow Your Business

If you need to attract more leads and close more sales, then you need a sales funnel. A sales funnel is another way of saying marketing plan, and it works regardless of the type or size of your business, or what you sell. This strategy will engage customers, capture their attention, and compel them to buy. Download the Marketing Checklist and get started growing your business today.

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Three critical things to communicate to customers

Three critical things to communicate to customers

Three critical things to communicate to customers

Question #8 When Considering a Brand Refresh

In previous posts in this series, we’ve reviewed the branding or marketing initiative you are considering, the challenges or opportunities you face, and what success looks like to you. We looked at your target audience, what they want, and the problems they face. We identified how your products or services benefit your customer or solve your customer’s problems. And we reviewed your competitors’ brands. The next step is to look at your brand’s positioning.

What is Positioning?

In branding and marketing terms, positioning is essentially defining what you do – and what you don’t do and what differentiates you – what makes you different, unique, and better than your competition. The most effective way to position your company is to describe what you do, and we do this by starting with writing a Brand Statement.

Your brand’s description of what you do
What is the most important thing to say to your customers?

This statement goes by various names, such as the brand promise, value proposition, elevator speech, or one-liner. At Sussner Design Co, we prefer to call this message your Brand Statement – the powerful sentence that tells everybody what you do and the problem you solve. Instead of telling people how your product works, make sure your messaging enlightens your customers about how your product works to solve their problem.

If I asked five different people in your organization what your company does – would they all answer the same way?

To write a compelling brand statement, we recommend using the StoryBrand format:

  1. Start by stating the problem that most of your clients face
  2. Talk about your solution to the problem
  3. Explain the success your customer will experience after you solve their problem.

Are you positioned as the Hero, or are you the Guide?

By starting with your customers’ problem, you position your customer as the Hero. You become the Guide in your customer’s story by talking about helping the customer with what they want and how their lives are made better through you and your services and your products. Being the Guide to your customers is a game-changer for your brand.

Three things that make you unique
What makes you different that your competition?

In this step, you determine the top three things that differentiate you and make your business better than the competition. If your business runs on EOS®, then you’ve already identified these – EOS refers to them as your Three Uniques™. To differentiate is to distinguish and to stand out from the crowd.

What rises to the top that genuinely distinguishes you and sets your business apart when it comes to your company? These descriptions don’t need to be limited to single words but can instead be short phrases or sentences. Consider your people, your process, and your products or services. What experiences, traits, or skills do you have that set your company apart? Do you have certifications, years in business, awards, or specializations that stand out? Is your business Woman or Minority-owned? Can you claim to be the first, the original, the longest-lasting, or the best?

If you get stuck, talk with one of your best customers and ask them what they think stands out about your company. Surveying customers can be an incredibly valuable way to gather insight into how people who know you well perceive you.

Examples of impact resulting from your work
What remarkable successes or results have your customers experienced?

Being able to share real examples of your customers’ notable results is extremely powerful in positioning your brand. While many people, specialists, and vendors are often involved in a customer’s success, you can be proud to be associated with the role you play in your clients’ successes.

If you can speak to ROI (Return on Investment) in your business, you should. If measuring ROI in your business is harder to put numbers to, then talk to ROI as Realizing Outstanding Impact. Please speak to your clients’ successes after working with you, the financial impact they realized, significant wins, achievements, and awards.

Driving new business

Clarifying your brand positioning is crucial to closing new business opportunities and engaging new prospects. Once you’ve hit on the right brand messaging, and you have a brand that looks and sounds different and better and attractive to your consumers, your marketing efforts become more effective.

If you would like to talk about the impact the right messaging, a refreshed brand identity, or a marketing plan can have your business, contact me at derek@sussner.com or 612-339-2886.

Here’s to breaking out of the pack and growing your business,
Derek Sussner
Executive Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide

P.S. If you would like a copy of the Sussner Brand Worksheet, download all 10 questions here for free: http://bit.ly/sdcobrandws