There’s a lot of technology marketing dollars wasted. There are software and technology companies that spend money on marketing without identifying their ideal client. Other companies hire expensive ad agencies to create ads in newspapers and trade journals to build a brand that doesn’t lead to measurable results. Just being good at what you do won’t bring in clients, you have to create brand awareness. But how you build brand awareness makes all the difference.
In their book, Professional Services Marketing, Mike Schultz and John Doerr, the co-authors and co-Presidents of Wellesley Hills Group explain the three elements of a well-crafted brand message:
These three elements have to be present in your brand message to get a market to message match. If any of these three elements are missing or weak, it can compromise the strength of your value proposition. Let’s take a look at each element.
Two of the questions buyers frequently ask themselves before buying are, “What is the business impact of solving this problem?” and “What is the risk of failing to solve this problem?” The answers to these questions determine how much the buyer sees a need to address the problem. If the buyer doesn’t perceive a high enough impact to the business by not addressing the problem, he won’t seek a solution. Be aware that buyers make decisions based on both logic and emotions. There is an adage that people make decisions based on emotions and justify with logic. It happens in the business world as well.
Like resonance, differentiation is not a difficult concept. It simply means the existence or lack of distinguishing characteristics compared to another thing and the perception of available substitutes. The key word here is perception. Differentiating your company from others providing similar services means highlighting the things you do very well. If you try to position yourself as being completely different from everyone else in your business, clients may wonder what it is you do.
Substantiation is all about backing up your claims. When you say you do something particularly well, how do you share that information and what do you have to back it up? Buyers are looking for a reliable solution to their problem. If you say you’re the best at solving a particular problem but don’t have anything to substantiate that claim, it may cause the prospect to question your credibility.
A strong value proposition is made up of all three elements. If one of these elements is missing or weak, it can compromise your entire value proposition. Buyers are looking for a brand message that appeals to their needs (resonance), stands out of the crowd (differentiation), and backs up the claim (substantiation). Does your brand message match what your clients are looking for?