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Hitting the sweet spot on every swing

Finding the sweet spot when you are hitting a golf ball can be just has hard as finding the differentiator or unique selling proposition in your company. It makes all the difference to the time, energy and effort you put into running your business, whatever the size.

 

We prefer to call this differentiator your "Brand Promise" — effectively it is what you promise to deliver consistently, but it has some subtle checks and balances. This is a crucial part of the process of discovery and will require you to ask some tough questions and probably make some significant changes to ensure it can be executed.

 

You need to start by defining the "sandbox" in which you'll play over the next three to five years. What are the core geographies you serve, the core products and services you offer and most critically, who is your core customer?

 

The first two are often easier to define. With geographies be careful to make sure this is a territory you can defend and that it is large enough to meet your financial aspirations.

 

With products and services, pick your core offerings. This is often a good exercise to clearly define what you actually offer.

 

In challenging economic times we often start saying "yes" to everything and find we are running lots of diverse products or services that aren't really making money or are distracting you from your core business.

 

Vivid picture

Finally, identify your customers. Go beyond demographics or statistics and try to create a vivid picture of your core customers. Use five to 15 carefully selected words that describe who your ideal customer would be to gain optimum profit.

 

Once you have this clearly defined you need to ask the fundamental question — what do these customers need? Differentiate between their needs and wants, focus on their needs and be cautious of ‘wants'.

 

Look at the list and decide which of the ‘needs' you can meet that other competitors can't? You are looking for what makes you different, through the eyes of your core customers.

 

This is not an easy process and often requires a facilitator to help drive the solutions, but when you discover a clear brand promise it will be like hitting the sweet spot every swing!

 

Brand promise

Defining the brand promise is not enough, you now need to make it a reality every day. This can only be done by finding out the systems, processes and measures that will impact delivery. Getting fanatical about these measures will ensure this becomes a genuine promise that will drive your business growth.

 

- Hazel Jackson, CEO of biz-group; passionate about performance UAE

 

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