That's the message from Adam Kleinberg, writing for Entrepreneur.com. Kleinberg, CEO of an interactive agency called Traction, writes: "In the mind of the customer, you get to be one thing. ...Your one thing is the unique value that your brand delivers. ... Positioning is the art of sacrifice -- of sacrificing the things you could be to uncover the one thing you should be."
Think about that for a minute, for it really is quite profound. Nowadays, small brands in particular seem to want to be all things to all people. Often, a marketer will load up a brand's marketing message with as much stuff as possible in an effort to look better than the competition or compete more effectively with the big guys.
But the reality is less is more. Consumers are overwhelmed by marketing messsges coming at them through all sorts of media channels. It's asking a lot for them just to pay attention to you, never mind process the difference between your brand and a competitor. If your marketing message isn't startlingly clear -- if your one differentiating brand benefit doesn't jump right out -- if your approach is to bombard the consumer with too much stuff... well, you won't get very far.
Kleinberg suggests a four-point test to focus your brand on its most compelling single benefit:
- You need to "connect with people's hearts and minds" by understanding that your brand has both a rational and emotional side.
- Your message must be believable.
- Your message "needs to be relevant to a group of potential customers."
- Keep it simple. "If it's too complicated, it won't find a home in your prospect's mind."
Bottom line: Keep your focus! Make sure you convey to your target audience the ONE thing your brand does well so your prospects and customers really know what makes you different.
Barry Silverstein is a brand marketing expert. He has written numerous 123 eGuides on branding, product launches, and sales leads, available here.
He also teaches an online course, Big Brand Strategies for Small Brands, to help small brands differentiate their brands using proven "big brand" strategies. For more information, visit www.bigbrandstrategiesforsmallbrands.com.