Hint: Your answer doesn’t really matter. Because the fact is, you are not the best source for the differentiating truth about your brand. Your customers are.
Want the truth? Ask for it.
Engage your customers. Talk with them. Chances are, you’ll be amazed by what you learn. People are more than happy to talk about what you’re doing right, as well as what you’re doing wrong. And believe us, once they get going they don’t hold back. The good, the bad, the ugly… it all comes out.
Sometimes, the truth does hurt.
Discovering the truth about your brand can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable process. But it’s absolutely essential if you really want to know what you need to improve, change, discard, keep, enhance, and communicate about yourself. The truth may surprise you, and that surprise just might unlock a cool/fascinating/awesome/inspiring story that actually differentiates your brand… which is particularly important if you’re a player in a commodity industry. A widget is a widget, but the widget maker with the best story wins.
Approach the process with an open mind and a realistic attitude, and you’ll end up with a wealth of useful insights and important information. Once you find the truth, embrace it. Celebrate it. Leverage it. Or, start working to change it.
*By they way, if you answer the title question with “our people set us apart,” “our prices are lower,” “our service is better,” or “we’re truly passionate about what we do,” it’s definitely time to dig for a deeper and far more meaningful and interesting truth.
John Beaupré, senior copywriter, has been writing advertising and marketing copy for more than 20 years and he’s still not done.