As business owners, we know that differentiation is one of the key attributes that win and keep business. Unfortunately, many business look at their differentiators from a product feature standpoint; which means they are missing a hugh component to true brand differentiation.
Remember, a brand is a perception. We all have a brand; good, bad or indifferent. So when we think about the perception that our brand brings to the minds of our customers (and employees), we must consider all the actions and behaviors that accompany our product or service.
Great brands see themselves as holistic in how they operate. Living their core values and brand style through every facet of their organization. The branding function doesn’t just live in the Marketing Director’s mind, but rather in every employee. How many of you reading this have been officially oriented into the brand you are working for? I shiver at your answers.
I just finished helping one of our clients reinvent their employee onboarding process. Never before did they have a formalized system that was consistent across all divisions throughout the U.S. Now, they can orient their new recruits into the true meaning of the brand through experiential activities and learning, their new ‘associates’ become aware of the passions, the brand personality, the values and their unique differentiators (how they behave and action their brand).
It really doesn’t take much to think and act differently. A lot less time and effort we currently are spending in advertising our businesses for sure. $30 billion dollars are spent in America by Small Businesses to advertise their wares. It is estimated that at least 40% of that ($12 billion) is wasted due to ill-informed, de-motivated employees not engaged in the brand’s promise. OUCH! It’s l ike throwing your marketing dollars down the drain.
It’s 2018 — do you what makes your brand really different? Please comment and tell us how your brand behaves differently.