May 18, 2010

Brand Differentiation Starts with Simple Clarity

What do you do?  In very simple terms tell me who you are and what you do.

It’s amazing to hear how few companies can clearly explain what business they are in.  Rather than coming out and simply stating, “I do this …,” they pontificate and use puffy language, benefit statements and other phrases to create a value proposition.

Your customers aren’t buying a value proposition.  They’re buying a product, a service or an answer.

Build Simple Clarity into your position

The power of “Simple Clarity” hit home for me in the development of LEAPJob’s positioning.  LEAPJob is a sales recruiting firm in Toronto, Canada.

For years LEAPJob railed against the term “recruiter.”  Recruiting is a very competitive business, and the industry is riddled with negative connotations.  Recruiters are viewed as bounty hunters, head hunters and opportunists.  I don’t think these terms speak to the value that recruiters bring to their clients, but still it’s the brush their painted with.

To get out from under the cloak of recruiting, LEAPJob tried to position itself as “search consultants” and “talent acquisition specialists.”  The problem was companies don’t search “talent acquisition specialist” in Google to find a recruiter; they type “recruiter” plus a specialization.

When LEAPJob defined itself as a “sales recruiting firm,” their leads shot up.  They quickly achieved top search results in Google, and received far more referrals.  Why?  Their clients got them.  Simple Clarity enabled their market to clearly understand what the firm is, what it does, and when you should call them.

Position yourself so a 5 year old gets it

Here’s the rule of thumb.  Can you explain your business to a 5 year old, and they get it?  If not, you don’t have Simple Clarity.

Answer these questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who do you serve?
  3. Why do your customers choose you?
  4. How do your customers classify you?

Before you work on any other marketing projects, work on Simple Clarity.  Really drill down, and clearly describe who you are and what you do.  Don’t use puffy language or catch phrases.  Simply describe yourself the way your customers would.  This will immediately differentiate your company, and make it far easier to generate leads and close deals.

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