Most traditional marketing sources always say “start with the brand.” That’s good and all, but how do you do that?

Marketing is much more than running an ad in the newspaper or leasing a billboard. It’s understanding who your company is, what you do better than anyone else, who your customers are, and how you are going to tell the world about yourself.

Obviously, if you are reading this blog you have an interest in helping a company create a brand. So, it’s time to determine who your company is. But how do you do that?

There are a few questions that can help.In the late 1990’s, a strategic planning model came about known as the Resource-Based View.It works well with marketing and brand planning and allows you to, fairly simply, determine what’s the greatest strength your company has.It works like this: What tangible and intangible resources do you have; staffing, facilities, products, company awareness, etc. From those items, what are your competitive advantages; customer service, product quality, low price provider, etc.

Now that you’ve gotten this far, from those competitive advantages what is the one thing that is unique to your company? In order to be unique this advantage must be valuable, rare, and not able to be imitated or substituted with anything similar.

This is your unique selling proposition, the one item that should determine your brand, the way you describe yourself, and drive not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy as well.

Now, continue to build your strategy by determining who would buy your product. There are a number of ways to do this; focus groups, surveys, and interviews are all proven methods. But you could also simply ask yourself, “Who would buy this?”

Is it Susan, a mom of three who drives a Volvo, lives in a $200,000 home and only cares about keeping her children safe? Or is it James, a bachelor who loves to play video games and dreams of one day having a Star Wars-themed wedding?

Two people, two totally different customers.

So, now you know who you are and who you are selling to. But how do you reach them? How can you use marketing to convince Susan or James to buy your product?

Stay tuned…

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