Why Excellent Quotient: Part I - Explore
From one-person professional practices to startup technology companies, messaging, strategy, and creative solutions can overcome the greatest obstacles and achieve the loftiest goals – just as they do for large corporations.
With the rigor of proper business, branding, and marketing strategy small and growing businesses can attract their ideal clients for long-term success.
The EQ Point-of-View
Truly efficient and effective marketing must be Excellent at every customer touch-point.
In this 5-part series, we explain what it is to #BeExcellent and how we help small and growing business optimize their Excellence Quotient.
Find Your Excellent -- It is imperative to evaluate, strategize, and implement practices that optimize excellence at each stage:
Explore your Brand Values and core offering
Educate the market on your Unique Position, Competitive Difference
Engage the customer using the right tactic in the right media at the right time
Execute the sale with outstanding customer service and delivery
Evolve based on customer needs and the shifting market
EXPLORE Your Brand Values and Core Offering
Often, an early-stage company will look to grow through marketing – a new site, a print campaign, social media, etc. But these are tactics -- the key is strategically identifying attributes that differentiate the business against others – and then communicating them. The start to the Excellence Quotient, therefore, is strategy for brand-level messaging.
Qualitative & Quantitative Research to yield Strategic Imperatives:
Interviews with executives, influencers, and peers
Focus Groups and One-on-one Interviews
Surveys and Questionnaires
Media Analysis: current content available or in-market, as well as on Social Media
Develop the Brand Position. It's a seemingly simple thing -- the textbook positioning statement -- it is simple. It's just not easy!
To (target), (Brand) is the (Category) that (Unique Selling Proposition), so that
target (Customer Benefit), because (Support 1, 2, 3)
Each segment must be carefully examined and defined succinctly and accurately. A brand's position is specific enough to differentiate, but broad enough to encompass current and future offerings.
Investigate the 4 critical drivers for assessing your position:
Target Perceptions & Needs
Competitive Strength & Weaknesses
Company Offering and Drivers of Success
1. Industry Trends
What is happening in the market?
What are your markets now and in the future?
Economic movements and pressures?
2. Target Perceptions and Needs
Who are the targets and influencers – all members of the purchase decision?
Quantify: Measure the available target
Where are they geographically
Segment against the buying/influencing cycle
Qualify: Create a character sketch of the customer
What does the target know/perceive of you now?
What habits do they have?
How do they buy?
Who/what influences their decisions?
3. Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses
Direct: other businesses like yours?
Their Strengths, Weaknesses
The Opportunity for you
InDirect: Alternatives to choosing you
Target habits or current buying criteria
4. Company Strength and Weaknesses, Culture, and Offerings
Who are you?
The company culture, its values, its philosophy?
What's happening with you right now
What are you?
Your products, your services, your customer experience?
Your competitive advantage or "place" in the current market
What is your future plan?
Craft a Message Architecture that speaks to your advantage and the customers' needs. Remember:
Control the image and the experience that reaches your customer
Create or shift perception – it's not enough to just be there, you have to say something.
Guard against “Jack of all Trades, Master of None”
Do the work, find what you offer better than anyone else
– what you can deliver on – and stand for that.
Look for our next installment: EDUCATE
See these theories in practice at www.BrandedByEQ.com/OurWork