If you’re used to singing Sam and Dave’s classic ‘Soul Man’ in the shower then, depending how dirty you are, you might get to the second verse (sung by Dave incidentally).
“Got what I got, the hard way
And I’ll make better, each and every day”
The ‘it’ that’s missing there is what we need to make better each and every day to attract customers and keep them coming back. But buyers can find products and services samey. There’s a lack of real diversity, so points of differentiation collide as it becomes easier to mimic the competition.
In markets where news travels fast, and barriers to entry are low, the brand is becoming more important in decision making. Brand! This is what your products or services represent. It’s the personality of your business and why a buyer should have pre-purchase faith in your goods and services (or some sort of professional recovery if this falls short).
Away from the top global brands and into the reality for most people, the question is “How does our brand to speak to people to attract and keep business?”
The answer is through the team members you have delivering on the brand’s promise. “We stand for this. This is who we are. We believe in it and this is what you’ll get”.
Phone any business up, or ring the intercom and the first person you speak to will be oozing the brand values. Up for the challenge, engaging with passion, happy to help. Reading this are you feeling happy about your own first responding?
Here’s the thing. Your brand is represented by the commitment your people feel for what they are doing. It doesn’t happen by accident. This is about explaining, engaging (that means talking to people btw). It is about making it meaningful and doing a lot of it. It’s something your people need to feel deep down in their souls.
The aims or plans of businesses can too often be concocted in isolation without involving people throughout the organisation. “Hey folks this is the plan. (It’s very clever by the way). It’s what we’re going to do – oh and did I mention? You’re doing it.”
Now you have a disconnect between what your brand should represent and how it is being delivered. Less ‘Soul Man’ more ‘Hold on I’m Coming’.
OK, sometimes you might find your business stalling. If this is the case perhaps you need to revive the souls of those who are living your brand values. Give them renewed faith. My tip? Start in the shower by singing:
“So honey don’t you fret, ‘cause you ain’t seen nothing yet”