positioning_floor Hello! I hope you are all doing awesome and have enjoyed following along with our latest series, Branding Is Not A Logo. If you haven't been following along, feel free to click 'Biz Tip Tuesday' and scroll through the past posts to get caught up. This is the the third week of our series. So after you complete this step you are halfway through! Whaaa???!! Party!!! Seriously though, I know how much time and dedication it takes to go through all of this, so props to you. This week I wanted to talk about brand positioning and target markets. You have recently gone through and figured out your core values, mission, purpose and vision. This gave you a pretty good idea of the company that you are and want to put out into the world. If you are an existing company, it let you brain dump everything you have been acting out, but never wrote down. This week we are going to talk about target markets, your ideal customer, brand/customer touch points and how to stand out amongst a sea of other companies that do and provide the exact same services and/or products that you provide. I know, that sounds like a lot of work. It is important to know who you are targeting. When I say that I don't mean just WOMEN or MEN. I mean, giving your target a persona, give that target details like age, gender, brands they love, job, marital status, pets, colors, etc. I want you to break down who you want as your customer. The whole purpose for doing this is so that you can be more intentional to who you are selling or speaking to. If our company said that our target was 2 year old boys, yet we were selling products that require heavy instruction and assembly, you can see where the disconnect may lie. That was an extreme example, but you know what I mean. It is also important to evaluate how your ideal customer thinks, what makes them happy, what make them sad? Do they worry about things? Are they in a financial crisis? Another reason it is important for you to identify your target is so you CAN help those people who you ultimately are meant to help. If not you will continue to miss the mark and miss opportunities to share your gift with the world. Once you have your ideal customer, it is just important to focus on how make decisions and interact with your brand. Customer touch points are so important when you run your business. Tracking, analyzing and figuring out where you can be stronger as a company is crucial to retainining and maintaining strong customer relationships. Take the time for you to sit down and figure out all the different customer touch points. A brand’s touch points are how and when you interact with your customers. Another great thing about developing your touch points is that it allows you and your team to visually see when your customer is interacting with your brand and how the brand itself can be more rienforced throughout. It may expose weaknesses that need to be worked on within your company. It also may uncover different areas of the business a customer is interacting with that previously you had not known about. Because we have several types of customers, we decided to break our's into three categories instead of just going at the overall “THIMBLEPRESS® CUSTOMER.” If you do more reading about this with other people, they may only recommend one, but we have three very different customers. We have our direct customers, our wholesalers/retailers, and the customers that purchase our product from one of our wholesalers/retailers. For each one of the three, or your one, you will want to develop a customer journey map before you define your touch points. A customer journey map is basically a day in the life of that customer. As you continue through the customer journey map, put yourself into your customer’s shoes. Think about how they approach each interaction they have with you or a company they are shopping with that sells a similar product. If they are looking for stationery to buy... take me from that beginning process in their head, not just the point when they click your webite or visit their store. Why do they need that stationery? Describe that need. Dig deeper beyond the surface of why they need that stationery. Do they need the stationery so they can write their thank you letters so she wont "hear it" from their already estranged mother-in-law about etiquette and traditions; so she can keep the peace amongst the family? What are the needs you are meeting? What problem do they need solving? Are they stressed out? Take a sheet of paper and begin to journal the story of each customer experience. If you want to make one for each product, go for it, but starting with one is excellent. As you begin the write out your customer journey, you will start to identify key touch points of interaction with your brand. You will begin to see patterns and ways you can improve upon the standard way of doing things. They will give you insight into the brain of your customer. In the worksheets for this week, I have a layout of this process so you can follow along and fill in answers. The final thing I want to talk about is standing out amongst a sea of competitors that already do the same thing as you, well, at least on the surface. This is not a moment for you to go look at all your competitors, cry, and tell yourself you are not good enough. SHUT THAT DOOR, DUDE. This is a moment for you to be a smart business owner and realize that if you don't take a minute to analyze your competitors because you believe you have none, you just may not get to where you want to grow your business. If you know me, you know I am very open and share. The statement I always use is that there is enough business for everyone, and that is beyond true. There are millions upon millions of people in this world capable of buying 1 million different stationery company's products. I view my competition as people to learn from, look up to, and position around. One company can not be everything to everyone. Look, even Apple can't. SHOCKER! There are those dedicated PC users that WILL NEVER switch. The reason I bring all of this up is because look at your competitors, what key features they are providing and ones that you are providing? How can you stand out? I have a competitor analysis sheet in the worksheet to see how you can figure out key buying features to promote that maybe your competitors aren't and help position yourself in a more unique way! There are 7 helpful worksheets with lots of information available for download for free by entering your email below! You will receive an email shortly after with the free worksheets download! You'll have to confirm your subscription, and we PROMISE to only send you stuff about business related worksheets, advice, or helpful things we find. We love to share the knowledge! Thanks! -Kristen
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