Most businesses offer a commodity. Whether it’s legal services, design services, coaching, marketing, or landscaping it’s a commodity. There’s often nothing exclusive about what you offer. Lots of other people can offer the same services. So how do you differentiate your business? Or as I like to say, how do you stand out from the crowd? What can you do that sets you apart?
This is where your brand comes into play. How you craft your brand allows you to stand out from the crowd. A well-crafted brand doesn’t just offer products or services. A well-crafted brand offers a feeling, an experience. The product or service is just a vehicle to fulfill the desire, want, need or aspiration of each person they serve.
Consider Apple, which sells computers. They aren’t the only company offering computers so how do they stand out? Apple hasn’t just sold beautifully designed computers. They’ve crafted a brand that changes how people feel about themselves in the presence of their products.
It’s not just the product or service you sell but the experience. If you offer legal services it’s not just the legal counsel you offer but also how people feel while interacting with your company. And most definitely how they feel after having interacted with your company.
Take MOD Pizza as an example. In their vision statement, they state, “This is not a pizza place. This is a people place.” CEO Scott Svenson shared on podcast episode 131 of Brand Builder that even though they are a pizza company it’s not about the pizza. The pizza is the platform for making a difference in people’s lives.
For MOD Pizza it’s about taking care of employees who take care of customers and this takes care of the business. In the end, it’s how people feel. If employees feel cared for they’ll care for the customers. This combination cares for the health of the company. What matters is the experience of the employees and customers.
When BMW talks about driving excitement they’re talking about a feeling, an experience. All the features of the vehicle support the concept of driving excitement. They’re offering a feeling that resonates with their ideal customer.
Volvo focuses on safety and the features that go into their vehicles support the feeling of safety. Their customers are seeking to experience a sense of safety while driving and that’s what they deliver. It’s not just the car it’s the experience and the feelings it generates.
What feelings do people have in the presence of your company? If you aren’t sure it may be beneficial to listen to your past clients and find out what they experienced. Listen to your current clients and ask some questions to help you get a feel for how they’re feeling.
When a brand really works people don’t just buy what is offered they buy into the brand. They buy into the brand because of how it makes them feel.
You may recall your own experience where interacting with a brand made you feel better about yourself. Maybe it was a vehicle, shoes, clothes, an exclusive membership or owning a rare antique. This is what you’re after for your clients.
The point is when you focus on helping people feel better about themselves you’re building a solid business. Deliver an experience that touches the inner want, need, desire or aspiration. Change how they feel about themselves in a good way and it will do wonders for your business.
In your quest to offer a more meaningful experience to your clients here’s another article that explores this topic from another angle.