Whether you know it or not, your brand is the solution to somebody’s problem.
Somebody out there, right now, has something they need or desire, but they don’t know where to find it. Or they don’t think they can have it. Or they don’t think it is possible. It’s too much, it’s too little, it’s too good, it’s not good enough…
When somebody has a desire or need they cannot fulfill, that person feels it as a problem.
Now, imagine this person is you. I want you to think of a problem you have (this could also be a need or a desire) that could possibly be solved or fulfilled by the right product or service. (For the rest of this blog, we’ll just say product to mean both product and service.)
Now think of the reasons you haven’t been able to find the right product.
If you are like most people, whether you need a new appliance, or life coaching, or socks that last, or premium branding for your business – you will, at some point, search for what you want. But during this search, you have a set of parameters for identifying the right product to buy. So the problem isn’t just that you need socks, for example. There is always more to it. Let’s say it’s that you need socks that are ethically made, keep your feet warm but aren’t too thick for your shoes, and come in fun colors and designs. Whew, now that is a problem that some company out there can solve!
And sometimes the search doesn’t just involve the product itself but also which kinds of companies you want to deal with (ie. customer service quality, local business, black-owned, etc).
In the sock example, you might want to involve yourself with a company that is geared towards your gender, focuses on office workers, and stands for the rights of their warehouse employees by offering a fair wage.
No matter what your parameters, at the end of your search, one of three things always happens:
One: You give up because the search exhausts and overwhelms you.
Nothing seems right for you, so you don’t purchase anything. You tell yourself you’ll look again some time later (who knows when that will be…).
Two: Annoyed with the search, you force yourself to settle on something.
You pick the product or service that seems closest to what you want, but you are unsure because it isn’t clear what is best for you. You are now unsatisfied, but you hope that you get lucky and that the product or service will work for you.
Three: You stop searching because you find the exact right product.
The product, and even the company itself, speaks to you and your needs directly. You feel great about the purchase and already look forward to purchasing from the same company again.
Every business wants their customers to stay in scenario number three. And every customer wants to feel heard and seen that way. The more your customer feels that you are speaking to them and for them, in their language, about what they care about, the easier it is for them to align with you, purchase your product, and become a loyal, long-lasting relationship.
Your bottom line… UP. Your customer’s quality of life… UP. Happiness on all sides… way UP. Win-Win.
So what is the best way to make sure your customer feels heard and seen?
Always. Start. With. The Problem.
You must know which problem your brand solves.
When you know which problem your brand solves, you can find out who has that problem. And when you find out who has that problem, you tailor your entire company to them. Even if you have multiple products or services, there is always one main problem you are solving and one main group for whom you are solving it.
This means your products, your marketing, your logo, your website, even your company’s vision and mission, values and tones are all part of the environment of solution.
In our sock example, the problem was something like a lack of practical ultra-warm socks that are still aesthetically premium. The person with this problem might say to themselves “I just want socks that are comfy, warm and still fit in my dress shoes, but I want them to be fun, not boring!” A company identifying this problem would have a great start on figuring out how to gear their branding and product in order to reach the right people.
Imagine again that you are that person looking for the right product, searching and hoping you’ll find the right item. Now let’s revisit our three scenarios, only this time, ask yourself which one would make you most excited as a consumer, and therefore more likely to purchase?
- You can’t find a product that fits, or a company that represents the product well.
- You find a product that fits, but none of the companies seem to care about you; it seems transactional.
- You find a product that fits, and a company who seems to be speaking to you directly, from their logo and website, to their copy and colors.
Ding ding ding ding ding! Everyone, on all sides of the equation, OF COURSE, wants the final scenario.
Is your company set up to make that a reality? Do you know which problem you solve?