Often, when companies think about brand strategy and differentiation, they think about the products or services they offer as their point of difference and build their brand promise around them. In other words, they focus on the “what they do” and build their positioning and communications around that notion. “No one offers better quality…” “Ours is the best value…” “We make the most …” In most cases, however, the products or services a company offers are not very different, if at all, from those offered by their competitors. Perhaps even more to the point, as I review testimonials provided to my clients by their customers, most of the testimonials I see speak not to the products or services my clients provide but to the positives about how they provide those products or services. In other words, the customers are commenting on the “how they do” more so than on the “what they do”. Why-because assuming the actual products are at par with the competition, this is what the customer values. Some examples…
“I really appreciate the fact that when I need info I always get a quick response.”
“You guys are very easy to work with”
“…your quick responses show you actually care…”
“Your company is great to work with …”
As you formulate your company’s brand strategy, think about the “how you do” and not only the “what you do”. In my experience, I have found that process; the means by which you service your customers, and/or the means by which you design, develop and deliver your product or service, can be codified, “productized” and branded. In many cases this branding and “productizing” of process can be the most potent and compelling differentiator for a company and can be the optimum brand strategy-both as an external competitive advantage and as an internal unifying concept.
When you think brand strategy, think about productizing and branding your process. Think beyond the what you do and think about the how you do.