If you’ve studied or practised marketing you’ll be familiar with the ‘4P’s’ – it’s a concept that provides the foundation of everything a company does – Product, Place, Price, Promotion. In services marketing you can add 3 more – People, Process and Physical Evidence. Now, before you start to read something else or doze off, if you consider where you work, these P’s will be relevant in some form.
Standing out in a crammed market
Today’s marketplace is crammed with businesses that can be accessed with a few keystrokes. No matter what you’re buying all these P’s are present! So how do companies truly differentiate what could be seen as a generic product under a different brand? Are Audi’s really rebadged Volkswagens? Are Seat’s the same as Skoda’s?
The missing ‘P’!
I believe the missing ‘P’ relates to ‘Personality’. No matter what you’re selling people have a perception of how you compare in the market. People from different age groups and demographics will perceive your brand differently, but you can guarantee, if they know you, they’ll have an emotional response to your brand.
‘It’s awful’ ‘It’s really good quality’ ‘I hate it’!
How can people conflict so much on one product, especially when it’s delivered consistently?
Marmite’s a great example of how personality influences the buying decision and brand loyalty. Marmite knows that not everyone likes their product and embraces this to create strong, more loyal customers, who ultimately buy into the brand personality. Going back to my analogy of Volkswagen Audi Group – you can see the personality of the brands coming through in their advertising, social media and promotions.
Audi use the strap line: Vorsprung durch Technik while Skoda currently uses: Changing the way we value life, one story at a time. Of all the car manufacturers VWAG have undoubtedly injected personality and harnessed differentiation in their product and brand ranges.
I’m only a small business!
We’ll all recognise how big brands inject personality into their brand, but how can you add that edge that will make you stand out?
Over the years I’ve come across lots of companies that have tried this and often humour and can lead to a real fail in this area!
You have lots of tools to add some personality (website, social, email) but you do need to be slightly careful when it comes to your brand, it’s all down to what your offer and how you deliver it. Understand these points and you’ll be able to develop a strategy to develop an stronger personality.
One of our long-term clients the Seafood Pub Company currently has 11 restaurants / B&B venues. They ensure that the personality of each venue matches the local area, differentiates itself clearly from other venues and has a sometimes quirky but always professional and high-quality approach to their marketing. There’s no doubt the personality of this business is largely driven by the staff at each venue. Training is crucial, as is an understanding of their target market and expectations of diners.
Give your clients a voice
We’ve been working with Rosettes Direct for almost 15 years. Their personality shines through from their customers. What do I mean by this? Their rosettes and other products go to the most prestigious horse shows in the country and also to businesses, small country fairs and many other events – they are part of a winning award ‘experience’. Their customers post photos with their products, mainly on their social media, and this in turn creates a strong personality online for the business. This, linked to a flamboyant style of leadership, creates a unique brand in a crowded market. They support various charities and have a long history of involvement in the Equestrian sector through the family that own and run the business.
Personality is crucial against competitors
Compare these businesses, who offer unique experiences, to Tiles UK, who import and resell tiles from around the world. In an increasingly competitive market they grow and develop through the fact that they are a family business established over 70 years, they focus on growing their trade business and offer a friendly and approachable service that can’t be matched by some of the ‘big boys’.
Take the next step
So, how can you inject that edge of Personality into your business? I promise you, if you do, you’ll soon see higher levels of engagement, more loyalty and more business as a result. Give it some thought, and time, and it will start to make a very positive impact!
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