The biggest question small businesses face when advertising their brands is what to say to the public. How can I show the world how great my product is without them actually experiencing it? This can be a daunting question to answer even for someone with a lot of business experience. If you think about it, there could literally be millions of ways to hook someone into your brand, to make them see the value in your product.
So, you own a local burger joint. You want to advertise, but you don’t just want to throw out a cheesy logo and a bunch of coupons in a local publication. You want people to see what is different about your establishment. After all, that’s why they’ll come to you before getting a fast food meal, right? It could be your hours, your proximity to the highway, or your modest prices. Those aren’t things you can brag about, though, they’re just part of maintaining your business. But what if you make your burgers by hand? That’s a start. You use organic beef from a local farmer? Even better. This is something people could learn to recognize as part of your brand.
It’s easy to find ten things people like about your business. The hard part is picking one. People will most likely tell you a lot of reasons they buy your products, and all of those reasons are important, but you can’t be known for all of those things. What you’re looking for is a value proposition, which I wrote about in my first blog post called Who Is Your Brand?
A value proposition is a concise explanation of the most important reason people need your solution. In this value proposition your unique passion must be implied, the deeper convictions that make your brand what it is. Some people find it easier to identify this as the answer to the customer’s question, “What’s in it for me?” The goal is to focus not on your business, your accomplishments, or your new product, but on the problem your customer faces and how you can help them.
Having to choose one benefit of what your brand provides tends to leave you with a handful of other key points you think the public deserves to know. You don’t have to forget about those. In fact, those points can help you create a proposition of value that is better and more energizing to the consumer than any one of them would have been on their own. To truly determine the value you provide for your customer, you need to see things from their perspective, which is a bird’s eye view. When they experience your brand they do so in a wholistic way, so that every aspect of your brand is a part of the solution you claim to have for them.
Your value proposition should hint at an overarching theme, passion, or set of values that your brand stands for. Under that umbrella, all the other parts of what makes your brand great should be able to fit appropriately, so that anything a consumer hears, reads, or experiences about your brand reinforces the perception you are trying to create of it.