Over time, the term “secret sauce” has come to mean the thing that you do as a small business owner that’s unique, different, and special. People buy brands for a reason, and unless you give your customers a reason to choose you over other options, you’re in trouble. What’s your secret sauce? Today, we’re going to tackle why it’s important to give people a compelling reason why they should even pay attention to you, let alone do business with you.
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What Is Your Secret Sauce?
What is your secret sauce? I know I’m dating myself when I asked this question, but do some of you remember the old McDonald’s commercial that went, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun?” It was with that iconic brand that this term called secret sauce became this key part of branding and advertising in America. One of the main reasons that it caught on was because what McDonald’s did was that they gave their customers a reason to buy their brand. The term secret sauce over time has come to mean that thing that you do as a small business owner that’s unique, different and special.
That’s very significant because people buy brands for a reason and unless you give your customer a reason to choose you over other options, you’re in trouble. It’s not a corny old school idea that has gone by the wayside. No, not at all. You must determine what you are known for. One of the things that are so crazy is that you’ve got so many people out there who are so hung up on social media, “How do I stand out in social media? How do I get noticed in social media?” They become obsessed with, “Should I post videos on Instagram? Should I do something on YouTube? Maybe I need to get more connected to LinkedIn and Facebook.”
If you don’t give people a compelling reason why they should even pay attention to you, let alone do business with you, then you’re missing the whole point behind this whole thing called branding as a rule. The first advice that I want to give you is to nail down what is your distinct single point of value that is going to literally fuel your brand that can blast your brand into the mind space of the consumer that you’re targeting. Around that single idea, you then are able to put together something that is going to enable you to say, “I offer something that is of such unique value that you will want to purchase my brand.” It’s that simple and yet so many people are not clear on what their secret sauce is. You may be one of them. You may be having some challenges around figuring out what is that something different. What is that something special that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd?
People buy stuff for a lot of reasons. Some people buy products and services out of necessity. Some people will choose a particular product or service because it’s more convenient and people love convenient things. Some people will buy certain “brands” out of loyalty as if it was some obligation, and then you have what is called the psychological motivating reasons why people buy stuff as well. When I’m using the word brand, I’m referring to your product, your service, your company, your nonprofit or even yourself. From a psychological perspective, some people may buy your brand because you are giving them a sense of hope. It could be that there are lots of things that you are able to tap into that people find very compelling because it matters to them. You’ve got people out there who buy all types of things for all types of reasons. It could be to be light, to be appreciated, to feel important, to make more money or save money. They want to make their life easier. They want to make their work easier, they want to feel more secure.
You have got to nail down what is it about your brand that people are going to find very resonating to them so that they will trust your brand over other options. You may need to start painting outside the lines. It may be time for some of you to start nailing down what is that single value that your brand delivers. What can you promise that thing of value that will extend out to your target audience and motivate them to choose you over other choices? You’ve got to start thinking about that. For example, in the consumer products area, it’s been said that Cheer detergent once contained little green cleaning crystals, which make your clothes whiter. Out here in California we have gasoline called Chevron and as you probably know, all gasoline is the same. They differentiate themselves through their attitudes and Chevron says, “We use Techron for higher performance and better gas mileage so you have a happier car.”
Some of you may have known me talk about the Dyson Airblade in their windshield wiper effect which dries both hands in ten seconds and how they claim that because of their “secret sauce” windshield wiper effect, not only can they dry both hands in ten seconds. They further claim that hot air is not used and 83% less energy is consumed. I can’t forget one of my all-time favorites, which is Bounty Paper Towel, which utilizes its proprietary trapping lock technology to absorb twice the amount of liquid. I switched electric razors and I bought the Philips Norelco series 9000 electric razor head because right on the package it said that it will cut hairs up to 30% closer to my skin with this V track precision blades. The shaving heads utilize something called contour detect technology. That’s how people think. We buy brands because of whatever that secret sauce maybe.
The Secret Sauce: You’ve got to nail down what is it about your brand that people find very resonating so that they will trust your brand over other options.
You probably have bought many brands primarily from an emotional reason, but you justified it with logic. Your secret sauce is often the logical part and unless you give people a logical reason to believe that you can deliver what you say your brand can deliver, you in essence, are not giving them permission to believe in you and/or your brand. We buy brands because of whatever we feel we can get from that brand that is some single-minded value proposition that enables that brand to break through all the clutter rise above the noise in this crazy turbulent global internet-based marketplace. Not only stand out, they get remembered because of their uniqueness. I see so many people, especially people who offer services, who put up websites and what’s on the website is a list tied in with a tab on the navigation bar and that tab is typically labeled “Our services.” They list out their services.
If you’re doing that, you are stifling your growth. You are not giving people a reason to do business with you because what they’re looking for is something pivoting around some unique point of distinct value that’s going to get them excited about you and delighted about the possibility that you offer through your brand. If you are offering services, my advice is to discover your process. You never want a potential customer to jump to the conclusion that there is nothing special about you. It’s always better. I’m talking to you service providers out there. You’re branding your services or you’re branding yourself as a personal brand. It’s always better to say that you have a system, a blueprint, an approach, a method, a formula, whatever word you choose, perhaps you put people on a path. Whatever it is, it’s to reflect the steps that you take to get results with your customers.
More than likely, these steps that you take are parts that you use over and over with every customer that you can leverage. If you leverage those parts and distill it down into “your system, your process” now you have the basis of a “signature system” that you can then big brand and monetize various ways including the one-on-one private work that you do with people. As a result of that, your signature process or system will make you shine even brighter because you will further separate yourself from the competition by not sounding like the rest of the crowd who simply love to talk about, brag about and promote their services. What is going to be the crowning jewel of your differentiation? What is that thing that you can offer? Whether you offer services or product that is going to help attract your ideal customer, your avatar, your tribe and at the same time build your credibility and serve your market in a way that nobody else can or will. The moment you are able to do that, you are going to be able to deliver and keep perfecting that thing of value to your ideal customer that will accelerate your growth, expand your sales and enable you to have sustainable success that will make your brand even more successful in the future. It’s time my friend to expand, it’s time to extend the power of your brand. Until next time, take care.
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