Being the best solution for specific customers or audiences is a great place to start. But who? And how?
Here’s a proven process…
Step 1. Identify the most valuable customers for your brand
The most valuable customers should not be considered as one group but rather different sub-groups or segments, each with similar needs, attitudes and behaviours. The purpose of this exercise is to help you to understand how your brand can become more valuable to these specific audience groups.
These customer groups create the highest value for your brand. It’s up to you to define the definition of ‘value’ or what being valuable means for your brand. It goes beyond the simple measure of typical transaction value with your business. Criteria like their profitability, lifetime value to your brand, loyalty/commitment to your brand, their willingness to recommend – tend to be more useful criteria on which to focus.
Once you have defined the criteria that’s right for your brand and business model then you can start to enhance your depth of understanding of each group’s needs, attitudes and behaviours.
Step 2. Identify the genuine core competences of the business and brand
Put simply – what your brand does best and is most passionate about. This is the foundation of your brand’s credibility. It’s worth considering just how far that credibility can stretch – i.e. What else could the brand become involved in and provide, based upon its core credibility?
Step 3. Define your brand’s sense of purpose and how this influences the way you do business
Part of sharpening your proposition is about your brand connecting more readily and strongly with these most valuable customer/audience groups. This is as true for Business to Business brands as it is for Business to Consumer brands.
Google research found that Business to Business brands that are successful in establishing a strong connection, create customers who are 13 times more likely to purchase and 30 times more likely to pay a premium. Establishing strong connections with your brand is a valuable exercise.
We buy brands that think like us or how we would like to think or aspire to. So being clear about how your brand thinks is a powerful connection-builder. There are a number of ways to achieve this. Clearly communicating the brand’s sense of purpose and values [ethos – beliefs – attitudes] is an effective starting point. Your sense of purpose is your cause – the reason [beyond making money] the brand started in the first place. So, its purpose can be linked to its role in the market, the reason it exists. It’s not about its proposition, so don’t think that the two are the same. Your brand’s proposition is a logical output of your sense of purpose.
If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s TED TALKS on this – ‘Start with Why?’ – it’s really worth spending the 18 minutes. It’ll make you think differently about how to project your brand and connect to the right audiences.
Step 4. Focus on creating a higher value for experience
‘Blands’ [not Brands!] think and talk about providing value for money. Successful brands create and talk about value for experience. A different perspective, focus and set of outcomes.
Once you’re clear in the sense of purpose, then it’s a logical next step to define how your brand behaves and does business. “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. That’s what gets results” couldn’t be truer.
Don’t think that this is only relevant for service-based businesses. It’s totally relevant for any business. If your brand is all about product, then think again. What experience is your brand delivering through that product? What does it do for the user and what’s the experience of using it? That needs to be more valuable than the competition.
That’s the focus. Be more valuable, deliver a better, more valuable experience and your brand is more likely to be able to command a higher price.
So, the key question to answer is; how can your brand become a more valuable solution to the most valuable customers/audiences to enable it to be increasingly more profitable for your business? The key to unlock this is to deliver a higher value for experience.
Step 5. Use points 1-4 to identify how your brand / business can become more useful and valuable to the most valuable customers
This is where strengthened or completely new propositions can be identified which delight your most valuable customer audiences. This is about focusing on what the brand can do best/better than the alternative solutions [the competition] in ways that are more valuable to them – addressing their needs by providing more valuable experiences.
Step 6. Check your enhanced proposition versus the competition
Get pricing your new brand experience and capture feedback from the right customers. It’s imperative that this enhanced proposition is refined to beat specific competitors that could take business from your brand. Fine-tune your proposition to deliver the highest value for experience for your most valuable customer audiences. Now you’re in a position to determine new prices and prices structures.
Overall, ‘right-pricing’ now becomes an exercise of pricing the different experiences your brand offers at different levels of need, for your most valuable customers and people like them who will be your new customers.
Finally, invite some of your most valuable customers to experience what you have in mind, capture and act upon their feedback. Feedback is a gift, so they may need to be compensated for their time and input. It’s an opportunity to build the relationship your brand has with them.
So, strengthening your brand’s proposition – it’s all about focusing on how it can become a more valuable solution for the most valuable customer groups.
Why not call us for a fresh perspective on your brand’s proposition and how this process might work best for your business?