When It Comes to Your Brand, Know Who You Are Not

When It Comes to Your Brand, Know Who You Are Not
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To know who you are, know who you are NOT.

That’s a lot harder than you might think.

Recently, I had a B2B client contact me about updating their website copy. They worried it didn’t reflect who they are today.

And lead generation was sluggish. They feared they’d been leaving money on the table because the messaging didn’t speak to ALL potential customers.

Now, sometimes this is a valid concern.

Your customers have to recognize their own situation in the problems you claim to solve. They have to be able to imagine themselves using your services or products.

In this case, the more I spoke to the client, the more confused I became.

Why? Because I couldn’t figure out who WASN’T a customer.

I couldn’t figure out who they weren’t willing to sell to or what service they weren’t willing to say they could deliver in order to win the account.

“If I’m confused,” I thought, “customers must be too.” The root of their lead gen problem became clearer.

They didn’t need to make their messaging more inclusive, rather…

They needed to make the messaging more exclusive.

Why? Because exclusivity, or specificity, drives decision making.

The alternative—claiming to be everything to everyone— makes it terribly difficult for people to know what makes you better (for them) than the next company.

Notice I said “for them.”

That’s because every customer cares about one thing…

WIIFM — “What’s in it for me?”

Customers want to make the BEST choice for them—the one that makes their life easier or better. The one they won’t regret later.

RELATED:  How To Brand Your Small Business

How does exclusivity help them do that?

Imagine you own a 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, which carries a wow-inducing 7-figure price tag. Out cruising one Sunday morning, a tree branch falls onto your hood, leaving a hefty dent and scratch.

Now you need to find a great body shop. You have two choices.

  1. A large body shop that works on all cars: vintage, modern, US-made, German, Italian, British, Japanese, Korean, etc.
  2. A body shop that specializes in vintage German cars

Both have great reviews but, let’s face it, we both know which one you’d hire.

Being willing to say no to a 1000 different things—knowing who you are NOT—helps you (and your customers) get clarity on who you really are.

Originally article published here


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