THE GUIDING QUESTION
How is my brand perceived from customer point of view?
Without working on your brand, you will end up just having a product or a commodity. And without a clear focus on the benefits of your brand for the customer, you may soon not even have a brand to work on. The Customer Value Proposition is therefore the foundation and base for the survival of every company.
CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION
This is not (only) about your product.For companies that are neither brand- nor customer-centric, the fundamental development of a comprehensible brand promise is likely to be a tough challenge. Either their focus is on technology (“we are not a sales company, we are a tech company”), or product expertise (“we have the best products – we always did”). Sure, it’s great that you produce great stuff.But to be really great, this stuff has to produce great value for your customers.
This is not (only) about your purpose. More and more often, the company’s “purpose” is seen as a panacea. Indeed, this can help not only to keep an eye on the next financial year, but also to have a clear user-focused and long-term orientation – one that is shared throughout the company. Indeed, a well-formulated “purpose” can take into consideration all kinds of stakeholders, diverse interest groups and, above all, society and the environment.
The purpose must be aligned with the products and services offered. Let’s face it, not everyone can and should save the world.
Sure, high tech, high quality and high morality are great to have, but, unfortunately, the focus of the purpose approach is sometimes more on the rear-view mirror than on the road ahead. And, unfortunately once again, many of these purposes don’t even touch the business context. How credible is a company’s purpose when it is separated from the company’s business?
Prioritise the Educated Decision-Maker Perspective. The picture changes immediately, when your company’s purpose is linked to the customer’s point of view. The “How” of the product and the “Why” of the company are important, although the Educated Decision-Maker would probably rather prefer the “What”, in the sense of: “What’s in it for me?” The purpose must support the key customer benefits and not replace or override them.
ENHANCED BRAND KEY FOR STRATEGIC BRAND BUILDING
From years of experience and numerous successful projects, we, the Gedankenfabrik, have further developed, simplified and transformed the classic FMCG Brand Key to meet the demands of digitalisation and increased customer expectations, and to make it more usable for operationalisation. The new model of the enhanced brand key helps to answer the most important brand questions in a structured format to facilitate the identification of gaps and brand opportunities. But that should not deny other models that support similar ways of thinking.
DEVELOPMENT OF A REAL EDM VALUE
The customer defines the value. His verdict decides whether the resources that are spent will create value, for him and for the customer. If not, they will destroy value and, in this case, it will not be his value, but yours – the value of your brand; the value of your shareholders. Winning together, or losing alone; this should not be a hard decision to make. There’s only one pill that you have to swallow: You are not important. You may see yourself as the master of the brand; as the hero of quality or as a world-a-better-place-maker. But you can only play those roles if the products, activities and services of your brand generate added value for customers – from their point of view! So, if you have not yet started to find your Unique Value Proposition, you better start right now.
… AND NOW YOUR ANSWER
As with all of our five dimensions, the guiding question at the beginning is easy to ask but needs time and energy to answer. So, take your time to browse through your mind and our magazine, and then return: How does my brand and company look like from the customer’s point of view?