Make consumers fall in love with how you are constantly achieving greatness and uniqueness in your industry. This is what Gerry Foster imparts to us in this episode. Branding and marketing in the service arena can be difficult since something intangible is being offered. Gerry shows us how we can differentiate ourselves in this area and increase our service’s desirability.
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Don’t Make People Think
I have a story. Not too long ago, I was in a Target looking for an electric shaver. When I got to the section where electric shavers and razor blades are sold, I found myself feeling a bit lost because I couldn’t decide between the brands that I should choose. I didn’t know if I should go with Norelco or should I go with Braun, should I go with Panasonic, Remington. There were too many choices. When I got to the section for Philips Norelco because I’ve used the Philips Norelco brand in the past and I’ve been pleased with it, I started getting confused even more.
Do I buy the Philips Norelco Series 5100 which is the wet and dry men’s rechargeable electric shaver? That one helps you cut down your shaving time. I couldn’t decide if I should go instead with the Electric Shaver 4100 which allows me to shave wet with gel or foam for extra skin protection. It’s dry for my convenience. I couldn’t decide if I should maybe go with the 4400 Pop-up Trimmer. I started looking at even more and I said, “Look at this one, the 1200.” It says I can get a convenient fast and close shave every time because of the way the blade system is designed. I saw another one that offered precise four-direction flex heads for a closer shave because they’ve got a secret sauce called the comfort cut blade system for a smooth shave.
You get my point. You never have to make people think about whether or not they should do business with you or buy your brand. As soon as they have to think, the more confused they get and the next thing you know, they’ll start looking around the category to see what’s available in terms of options from your competition. You never ever want to make people have to think because then you are going to be susceptible to the lore of any other brand. In the branding world, this is all about having what’s called a strong identity. You’ve heard me talk about this before. For big picture purposes, a lot of brands will forge their identity by their name.
Being Different: Don’t make people think about whether they should or should not do business with you or your brand.
For example, FedEx, Starbucks, Coca-Cola or some brands are known by their logo like the famous Nike Swoosh. It’s a visual trademark. It’s a symbol that clearly identifies that brand. You have a lot of brands that will appeal to what are called the five human senses in terms of their ability to appeal to what people can see, taste, touch, smell or hear. They’ll start utilizing everything from fancy graphics to the use of movement, the right colors and all types of things to make your brand stand out, get noticed and be beloved. What they’re doing is that they’re looking for that single element that is going to allow them to pop off the shelf. I want to zero in on those of you who offer services because that’s where it gets a little bit more challenging.
In the service arena, the person that you are “marketing and selling to” there’s nothing for them to see, taste, touch, smell or hear. You’re offering something intangible. The way that you differentiate yourself is even more important because it’s very rare for a lot of services to claim category leadership by saying they’ve got something that is so different, nobody else will ever outdo them. I do believe in big branding and claiming your space, assuming your throne and all of that. However, in order for you to stay ahead of your competition, if you feel that you have something that is different and better than the rest of the crowd, then make sure that you know what your differentiators are. I’m going to do a whole podcast on service differentiators, how to set yourself apart from the rest of the herd.
For now, realize that it’s not only about setting yourself apart, it’s also about being relevant. It’s also about saying something about what you offer through your skills, talents and abilities, through the services that you offer that is going to resonate with your target audience. People will see that as being important, significant and appropriate. Start thinking about, “Where do I put my emphasis in terms of making sure I’ve got the strongest brand identity in my space?” Remember, big branding is all about you becoming number one in your specialty, the go-to brand in your space. It really is. You must strive for that.
That must be a key intention of yours. When it comes to staking a claim and planting a flag around what you stand for, make sure that you communicate something that is unique and invaluable to your customer so that you have that “stick it” benefit that stays with someone, that allows you to not only stand out, get noticed and be remembered in your space, but it will be something that will drive perceptions the way you want them to come. It’s something that will drive perceptions in the direction you want them to go. Increase desirability for what you have and start shooting you towards that mountain top, shooting you towards that part of the market and that space in the consumer’s heart and mind which makes them fall in love with you at some point. Knowing that nobody can match you because you are constantly looking for ways to be better and different than the rest of the crowd. Until next time. Take care.
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