What DON’T you do?
Branding is as much about what you DON’T do, as what you DO do.
(Cue Bart Simpson saying “He said do-do!”) But it’s true. When you’re in business it’s easy to try and be ‘all things to all people” and offer as many services as possible to as large an audience as possible. Makes sense, right? Why limit your target market to a particular niche? Why reduce your services to just your ‘core’ offer?
Well, the answer is easy. There’s a LOT of choice out there, and you need to give your customers a compelling reason to choose YOU over your competition. If your offer is the best fit for their particular need – you are going to be near the top of their list. They are looking for an expert. An expert in the services you provide.
Have you ever watched “Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares”? I bet you have. I could write a whole blog post (stay tuned for that!) on why this show is just as much about branding as it is about cooking, but I’m going to make one single point here. What’s the ONE thing that Gordon Ramsay ALWAYS does on every show? He reduces the menu. He focuses on a small core menu of items that the restaurant can become famous for. It’s tempting to include a huge list of dishes on your menu – to give your menu the widest possible appeal. This doesn’t work. People come to an authentic Italian Restaurant for authentic, Italian dishes.
Think hard about what you can remove from your offer. The more ‘fat’ you cut – the more focused you become. The more focused your brand offer, the better positioned you are to get more of that business that you are really great at. Win/win.
This is a lesson I’ve recently applied to my own business.
I’ve revamped my homepage – simplifying the messaging – and cutting the word count by 50% – and streamlining the number of services. It’s always harder to work on your own stuff than somebody else’s*, but by doing this, it improves the focus of the site.
It’s made me think about the services I offer – and how I communicate them.
So, instead of leading with SIX services, (Logo design, Copywriting, Imagery, Presentations, Promotions and Online) I now offer just THREE.
Brand Strategy. Brand Identity. Brand Communications.
A clearer, more concise offer for my customers.
One that better fits with my strapline of “Branding without bullshit“.
If your organisation can benefit from my no-nonsense approach to branding – an approach delivering clear business benefits – get in touch.
*I can’t over-emphasise the importance of this! Even as a Branding Professional, it’s hard to “see the wood for the trees” sometimes. Getting a third party in to do an audit on your brand (something I’ll discuss in another post), may just be the most valuable thing your company can do right now. It allows you to refocus, and see your brand with fresh eyes. I’m happy to help you through the process – and keep it as streamlined as possible – so you get to the business benefits quickly, and without any bullshit. Drop me a line if you’re interested.