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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.

The Tools:

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

The Discipline:

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:

  1. Industry Trends

  2. Target Perceptions & Needs

  3. Competitive Strength & Weaknesses

  4. Company Offering and Drivers of Success

1. Industry Trends

  • What is happening in the market?

  • What are your markets now and in the future?

  • Technological advancements?

  • 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

  • Perceived images

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?

The Result:

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

Success Stories
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