The start of a new year is a good time to pause and reflect about your organization’s 2016 revenue performance. At least once annually, it’s smart to step back and consider if it’s time to consider repositioning your brand, story and unique selling proposition — especially if sales are off.
Of course, there are multiple reasons impacting sales outcomes, such as competition, pricing, the economy, and even distraction caused by the election. But my observation is that it’s rarely just one thing that contributes to an off year. The reality is that several individual reasons — that when added together — play a cumulative role in affecting your success.
My recommendation? Evaluate this 10-point repositioning checklist that, when combined, embody your position, and can have a direct impact on 2017 sales.
1. Brand Name: Is it easy to pronounce and remember? Does it sound current with the times?
2. Brand Equity: Brand equity, by definition, is the real value of a brand name for an organization’s products or services. Establishing brand equity is essential because brands are known to be strong influencers of critical business outcomes. Does your brand convey value? How long has your brand been around?
3. Tagline: Do you have two or three words that pay off your brand name? If you don’t have a tagline, you should create one. Sometimes, just refreshing your tagline will be enough to breathe new life into your brand.
4. Logo: Is it modern? Are you using colors that bring out the desired emotion of your customer? (Refer to my past column, Stimulating Action with Color, for specific color recommendations).
5. One Word: What is the one word that describes the essence of your product or brand? It’s tough to distill your personality to just one word, but the exercise is helpful.
6. Brand Emotion: Does your brand reflect what you are known for, or would like to be known for? Click here for five steps to shed light on creating a solid branding statement.
7. USP: What is your unique selling proposition? Have you reduced it to a short paragraph that everyone in your organization can refer to when developing new marketing materials? If you need ideas, here are my five proven ways to create a blockbuster unique selling proposition.
8. Your Story: Stories differentiate you from your competitors in today’s culture now more than ever. If you need proof, I recommend reading Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers are Liars (which, by the way, was repositioned with a cover change. The word “Liars” is crossed out and replaced with “Tell Stories.”)
9. Golden Thread: Your story — your position — should have a Golden Thread that weaves throughout your message. What are the two or three words (or a brief concept) that you can continually use to bring your customer back to your core message?
10. Positioning Alignment: Is your positioning aligned with the personality — the persona — of your customer? A persona goes beyond demographic and behavior information. It gets to the intuition and core thinking of the fears, hopes, dreams, and values of an individual. (Much more about personas, and the twelve I’ve observed most in my direct marketing career in my book, Crack the Customer Mind Code available at the DirectMarketingIQ bookstore).
Dive into this checklist with your team, and I can assure you the conversation will be lively, and could produce a new breakthrough for you in 2017.