Customer centric USP’s & Attracting Bees

This months challenge takes a customer centric look at defining what makes you different from your competitors. Handy if you aren’t getting the results you would like from your marketing/advertising channels.

Last month we talked about gaining visibility for our organisations, the similarity to the battle for light on the forest floor, and covered some techniques for getting in front of your ideal customers.

Visibility attracts attention.

But attracting attention is rarely the ultimate goal.

So this month, we are talking about converting the goal, “Why choose us?”

So let’s go back to our nature analogy, by hook or by crook we have grown above our surrounding shrubbery, we’ve puffed out our big leaves, soaked in the sunlight, survived and made ourselves seen, but it was never just about being visible was it?

In this metaphor, the end goal was reproduction, and in order to do that we needed to attract a few lovely pollinators. Now, it’s all about sending the right message.

What will sway this lovely Bee from that lovely bluebell over there to my best attempts at a bloom? I must understand that this gorgeous insect may have a preference towards the size, colour, fragrance, and season of flower.

bees needs - a metaphor for defining USPs

So, have you asked your customers what it was they liked about you? Why exactly it was, when they strolled the “sales-process path” through the woods, they settled on your particular offering? Here’s an easy technique to do just that.

For those new to the monthly narrative of these digital challenges, the recurring story here is that fundamentally your business is for others, marketing success will come from you understanding and meeting your customer’s needs, and therefore, others will come.

Knowing the parameters for your customer’s decisions can seem a mystery, but the impact is absolute. Get it wrong and these pollinators won’t give you a second look, let alone tell you where you went wrong.

And if you’re investing your precious resources in gaining visibility, it is an expensive way to find out you don’t actually smell of roses. 

This can often lead to the tool being blamed, “Google Ads was rubbish”, “Email marketing? Nah, tried that, didn’t work.”

Perhaps taking a deeper look, closer to home, might offer an alternative view. What are you showing your newfound audience? A page on your website? Does that page capture their attention/ understand their concerns /offer them a solution? If not then here’s a few tips.

A word of warning, what do most people do when they don’t know their customers? They look over at their competitors and rehash their offering. 

The only problem with this is that you’re already behind them, you don’t know the audience they are appealing to, you don’t know if it works and you may well be making promises you can’t deliver. 

Alternatively, we look at the market leader… “What would Apple do?”

The problem here is that this brand has paid or earned the right to live rent-free in all of our minds, they can spend 10 billion dollars a year on marketing, and have done for most of our lives – so we already know what they stand for when they end up in front of us.

On the flip side, most small businesses join the conversation with a blank slate, and the consumer wants to know what they are all about. Seen in the right light, this is a gift.

As consumers, the main motivations for parting with hard-earned cash are to align ourselves with an aspiration for something different or solve a headache we have.

So if you wish to tell them a story of where they will be if they choose you, here’s some useful questions for a quick session with some post-it notes…

  • What benefit does a customer get from working with you?
  • What positive outcomes do they get?
  • How do you positively impact their mood?
  • How about their perception by others?

Or you could pick up on the problem areas if they don’t work with you or choose a competitor by asking the following…

  • What are the difficulties they will encounter if they don’t work with you?
  • What is the outcome?
  • Are there any risks involved?
  • What negative emotions may they experience?

Running through these kinds of questions will give you all sorts of powerful emotions that move your patter beyond the transaction level of “I have flowers too” and towards: “my flowers…” “smell sweeter”, “are your favourite colour”, “are easier to access” etc…

In other words, this is the “Bee’s needs” of marketing.

Do you know anyone who may be interested in this project?

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