Finding your place in the market is vital if you are going to stand out from the competition and be found by your target audience. This is particularly important if you are in a popular field where lots of people offer similar services.
When I go networking, there will inevitably be other copywriters in the room, along with a number of life coaches, hypnotherapists, and people promoting products to improve our health and well-being. So, how do we position ourselves in the minds of the audience in a way that makes us memorable?
We can learn a lesson from looking at how the confectionery market does it.
Not all chocolate bars are equal
Why do we associate KitKat with having a break or a Mars Bar with giving us the energy to work, rest, and play?
One answer, of course, is because that is how they advertise their products, but the real reason goes a little deeper.
Chocolate bars taste nice (to most people), but they are high in fats and sugars and therefore have little if any, nutritional value. When it comes to promoting them, the manufacturers could have talked about the ingredients or the taste of the products, but instead, they created an association with something more intangible.
Claiming the elevenses slot
We can enjoy a KitKat at any time of day, but Nestle spotted a gap in the market. They chose to make our break time their time. By coming up with the line, “have a break, have a KitKat,” they convinced us that to enjoy a coffee break, we needed to eat their chocolate bar.
Similarly, Mars positioned the Mars bar as a way for us to gain energy and achieve everything that we want to do in a day. They could have promoted the chocolate bar as an occasional treat, or as being ideal for taking on a picnic, or any manner of things. What they opted for was suggesting a Mars bar ‘a day’ was a positive idea. I suspect most doctors and dentists would shudder at the thought of us eating a Mars bar daily!
How can you claim your piece of the action?
Being able to succinctly explain your business proposition isn’t easy, and yet it is something all entrepreneurs need to do regularly.
Your business proposition is the value you give your customers. It is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It is the core of your marketing strategy and the foundation of your brand identity.
But how do you communicate your business proposition in a way that resonates with your target audience and persuades them to act? How do you become associated with something that your customers find irresistible rather than just describing how your chocolate bar tastes?
Here are some pointers to consider.
1. Know your audience.
Before you can communicate anything, anywhere, you always need to know two things. Who are you aiming your message at, and what do you want them to think/do/feel as a result?
What are their needs, wants, pain points, goals, and motivations? How do they make decisions and what influences them? What are their expectations and objections? The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor your message to their interests and preferences.
2. Define your value proposition.
Your value proposition is a concise statement that summarizes the benefits that you provide to your customers, and why they should choose you over your competitors. It should answer the question: What makes you unique and valuable? To craft a strong value proposition, you need to identify your target market, your product or service features, the benefits that you deliver, and your competitive advantage.
How you stand out from your competitors is the hardest bit to crack. If you are a life coach, for example, what can you offer your clients that is different from the other life coach in the room?
Nobody is interested in what you, do or how you do it, what they want to understand is the difference that you can make to their life.
3. Use clear and simple language.
When communicating your business proposition, avoid using jargon, technical terms, or vague words that might confuse or bore your audience. Instead, use clear and simple language that conveys your message in a direct and engaging way. Use concrete examples, stories, or testimonials to illustrate your points and show how you solve real problems for real customers.
4. Focus on benefits, not features.
One of the common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when communicating their business proposition is focusing too much on the features of their product or service, rather than the benefits that they provide to their customers.
Features are the characteristics or attributes of your product or service, such as size, colour, flavour, or price. Benefits are the outcomes or results that your customers get from using your product or service, such as saving time, money, or hassle. Customers are more interested in how you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems than in how your product or service works.
5. Have a clear call to action.
The goal of communicating your business proposition is to persuade your audience to take action. Whether you want them to buy your product or service, sign up for your newsletter, request a demo, or contact you for more information, you need to have a clear and specific call to action that tells them what to do next and how to do it. Make sure your call to action is visible, easy to follow, and aligned with your value proposition.
Communicating your business proposition is an ongoing process that requires constant testing and refinement. It is often useful to go back to basics and examine your brand vision. You can also answer these questions:
- If your business was a bar of chocolate, what would it be?
- Would you be a mass market or a luxury brand?
- Would you be a treat for a special occasion or an impulse buy?
- What part of the market could you claim and make your own?