Repetition is said to be the Mother of Learning. So, let's remember.
WHO = The Core Customer. Who is most likely to buy your product or service in the quantity needed to achieve optimal profit?
WHAT = The Uncommon Offer. What product or service do you possess and can offer to your ideal customer?
HOW = The Persuasive Strategy. How will you convince the core customer to buy the uncommon offer ahead of all the other offers your competition is promoting?
STRATEGY: The Series of Actions. What creative steps will you take to make your uncommon offer known to your core customer?
In the following, we will synthesize the process we call: The Strategy that brings together WHO+WHAT+HOW.
The magic moment in your business is when customers decide to buy your product or service over your competition's. When defining STRATEGY, avoid positioning yourself head-to-head with the competition. I'm referring to strong brands, especially those that produce at a low cost.
When considering the steps to bring WHO = the core customer, WHAT = your uncommon offer, and HOW = the convincing method together, the steps you have in mind can range from the most elaborate, such as promoting a national event, to the simplest, like personalized communication through email or another means. However, consider that in today's competitive environment, expenses for effective communication through traditional means can be practically prohibitive.
Without a well-thought-out strategy, even if you have the largest marketing budget, you won't make a difference in the market.
The rewards for creative actions to implement the strategy of bringing together the ideal customer and your uncommon offer far outweigh the costs. The creative steps to implement the strategy need to be defined within the business model you've created for HOW.
I'll bore you a bit more with a few rules. I do it because you need to revisit these rules at every step you describe in the process.
Make the uncommon offer known to the core customer first. Don't waste resources trying to become well-known to everyone.
Create creative actions to be well-known for your uncommon offer. Don't undertake actions that make you famous. The customer doesn't buy you; they buy your product or service.
Constantly improve the uncommon offer. A vibrant, intimate, and comprehensive customer experience will help retain current customers and provide new ways to convert other prospects.
Create omnipresent creative actions to reinforce your uncommon offer. These initiatives must be executed frequently, consistently, and uniformly.
Invent some explosive creative actions to dramatize your uncommon offer. These initiatives must be cleverly designed, flawlessly executed, and unique to your company. Don't undertake more explosive creative actions than you can afford or manage efficiently. Consider one or two actions, but no more than four per year.
To show you it's possible, here are a few examples:
TNT Television Channel
Today, there are thousands of mundane TV channels to choose from. Why should a viewer choose a channel with such a mix of programming (basketball, police and thieves, movies, etc.) and an uninspired brand name like TNT? Many channels and, indeed, many companies face similar issues. Many conclude that they can't have an uncommon offer. However, they are mistaken.
TNT found an uncommon, tangible, and emotional offer - "drama." Drama is essentially offered by every TV program: the drama of a basketball competition, the drama of law versus lawlessness. TNT found the optimal solution to become known for drama, consistently communicating "TNT—We Know Drama." Yes, it's a slogan - a good one rooted in the station's strategic framework and celebrated in all of its live promotions, TV page ads, and public relations for advertising agencies, agents, and viewers. The result is this: every business has a competitive advantage within itself. At the same time, there are many ways to own this competitive advantage.
If your business had 388,000 employees, 10 factories, and a $15 billion investment in a foreign country and you wanted your brand to be number one in sales in that country, how would you proceed? Of course, you'd try to gain a reputation for quality, reliability, and value - all essential tangible benefits for customers. But how would you gain the respect and long-term loyalty of customers? How would you win the hearts and minds of other vital audiences, such as current and potential employees, unions, and local, state, and national government officials?
You'd do it by demonstrating your commitment to that country, as Toyota does in the United States.
Wisely, Toyota didn't try to do this with a slogan or an "image-building" advertising campaign in the United States. The company quickly became known for its "commitment to America" (WHAT). It didn't do this with empty words but with actions. The company set a path to gain recognition for this commitment through concrete actions, not promises and inventions. Toyota shows that it is a thoughtful local employer and a charitable corporate citizen by supporting artistic, cultural, civic, and local development initiatives in the communities where it has major operations. It also funds a wide range of national and local cultural, educational, and environmental programs.
By communicating this honest story of care, commitment, and philanthropy discreetly through its website, public relations communications, and corporate announcements, Toyota has gained a reputation as a respected American citizen. This is further evidence that there are many ways to own a competitive advantage.
But let's move on to the process by which you can creatively identify the steps to own your competitive advantage created through WHO, WHAT, HOW.