By Doug Wendt
Why should customers choose your business? That is the most pressing question for any company or organization, but it is especially true for business centers and coworking spaces.
After all, workspace providers are not just selling a product, service or place – they are presenting a brand that must align with the desired image or vision of their clients.
As a result, how you answer this question will largely determine the level of success (or survival) that your business achieves. If your brand strategy and identity is to stand for something, it needs to be in alignment with the answers to this question.
Unfortunately, many business owners answer such a critical question with narratives centered on their own sense of pride and past accomplishment. Statements like “We’ve been doing this the longest”, “We truly care about our clients” or “We do a really great job for our clients” are useful for motivating your team, but not for influencing your customers.
Quite simply, these answers just aren’t good enough – not in a marketplace where there are numerous competitors available to your customers, each just a click (or perhaps a block) away.
Revisiting Your Brand Strategy
What do we mean when we refer to a ‘breakthrough’ brand strategy? Basically it is one that cuts through the pat answers and gets past the mental barriers that are holding your business back.
It examines your customers, your competitors and your company closely, and identifies opportunities for you to achieve breakout sales success.
Developing your breakthrough brand strategy means taking everything you think you know about your brand and re-evaluating it from the outside in.
For workspace providers, key components in this process include:
- Examining the brand attributes and attitudes important to your customers.
- Determining how they view workspace across their own business. For example, do they view it as an extension of their brand? As a recruitment tool for talent? As a collection of resources and personnel who allow them to run their business more efficiently?
- Identifying ways in which your business can bring a set of resources to bear for a specific client type or ‘buyer persona’. For example, law firms looking for legal deposition locations have very different needs from tech startups seeking the right ‘vibe’ to support rapid expansion.
- Evaluating different combinations of products and services to determine your best approach to market. For example, some office center operators have built dedicated phone answering teams and have found profitable opportunities by selling answering services to non-tenant companies. Others whose centers have a high proportion of meeting space have become more aggressive about supporting and marketing to conference and offsite meeting planners.
- Understanding, and positioning, your business around your core strengths. Space is just one of your core strengths. Location is another. Your team is yet another. Vendor partnerships can be one more. The more you consider and adapt to these strengths, the stronger your brand can become.
By focusing on your strategy and your sales team, breakthrough brand strategy will ultimately drive your business forward. In short, brand strategy provides a solution to your most pressing sales and marketing challenges.
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What can Breakthrough Brand Strategy do for your business? Companies who gain the most from breakthrough brand strategy often face one or more of these challenges:
- Lack of focus or clarity in sales efforts
- Inconsistent results from lead generation
- Marketing decisions driven by trial-and-error
- Salespeople freelance or don’t share best practices
- Differing opinions about what target markets to pursue
- Lots of marketing activities with unclear results
- Marketing communications don’t convey a clear or consistent message
What all of these challenges share in common is their ability to disrupt or destroy your growth plans. In short, if these problems aren’t adequately addressed, the future success or survival of your business can be jeopardized. To address these issues, you need to think about the four layers of your business: The market, the business, your focus, and your impact (revenue and growth).
Four Key Questions
Your brand strategy must be centered around four key questions, each of which addresses one layer in the strategy of your business:
- 1. What is my target market?
- 2. Is my business capable of competing in this target market?
- 3. How can I focus my team on serving this target market?
- 4. What must I do now to see revenue impact from my strategy?
With each question you answer you will begin to develop a clear vision and brand promise, as well as a dynamic value proposition, competitive differentiators, positioning statement, messaging platform and more. The result is a better, more competitive company.
To learn more about Breakthrough Brand Strategy, please contact Doug Wendt, senior partner at Wendt Partners, via email to [email protected] or by calling 703-982-7709.