When we go into business for ourselves, it’s usually either because we have found a gap in the market, or because we think we can create a product or service as well as, if not better than, someone else. Whether better means faster, cheaper, more convenient or of a higher quality doesn’t really matter. The thing is, we believe we can offer something that others will want to buy, over and above other products that are out there.
To turn this into a marketing message and understand where we are positioned in the market, there are three questions we need to be able to answer
- What problem do we solve for our customers?
- What are the specific benefits if they buy our product or service?
- How are we different to others offering a similar service?
1. What problem do we solve for our customers?
Are you providing affordable accommodation for the family or are you providing a relaxing bolthole away from the stresses and strains of life for a busy couple?
Are you providing good value food to suit a wide range of palates or are you providing a gourmet experience where people can savour fine dining and feel special in elegant surroundings?
Are you providing a convenient place for people to enjoy a quick cup of coffee and piece of cake to keep them going between shops or are you providing a relaxing haven where someone can linger over a hot chocolate whilst they catch up on the weekend papers?
Whichever service you are offering – it will be answering a problem and our service will need to be designed around that problem. This is where the benefits come in.
- How do you know what your customers problems are?
- Because you will have taken the time to get to know your ideal customer by clearly defining them and understanding their hopes, goals and challenges.
- If you haven’t don’t this yet, check out our Masterclasses and Fact sheets on identifying your ideal customer.
What are the benefits to buying your product or service?
We are all very good at describing what we do and what we provide but ultimately our customers are driven to buy based on how our product or service will make them feel. What are the benefits to them?
Taking a couple of the scenarios described in step 1.
A perfect holiday for a family with young children could include some or all of the elements listed below. The benefits are underlined:
- Having an option to organise babysitters during the evenings so that the parents can enjoy some adult time
- Having safe and secure outside space with children’s games and facilities to keep the children happy and occupied
- Having a selection of popular board games, films and maybe even cinema style sweets and treats available so that it feels like a holiday even on a rainy day
- Having a flexible menu with adult and children’s portion sizes to suit even the fussiest of eaters
- Having an all-inclusive price to help with budgeting
- Sending out children’s welcome packs in advance with colouring books and games to help make the journey more harmonious
- Having the option to arrange transfers to/from the station so that the whole family has a stress-free journey.
- Or you may just offer a no-frills home from home for a family. The benefit? Even those with very low disposable income can get away for a break.
And for the busy couple who just want to unwind?
- It’s the guarantee that they aren’t overlooked, there are no lively children running around which gives them total freedom to relax however they want to
- Being able to offer in room massage or spa treatments without them leaving their accommodation – helping them to really unwind
- Offering a concierge service where they can pick the phone up and you will organise anything for them – whether it’s a reservation in a local restaurant with transfers; tickets to a show; or in-house catering –they don’t have to lift a finger
- Delivering daily a la carte hampers with food and beverages of their choice – so there is no need to go out at all if they don’t want to
How do you know what your customers want?
Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask. And carry on asking because wants and needs change over time. Make this a part of your marketing communications. It will really help you stand out from the crowd and build relationships with your ideal customer.
Where does your product or service sit in relation to others?
The simplest way to start, is to put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and assess what you currently offer your customers and what the benefits are to them. The template download below gives you a guide to how to assess every touch point of your service from booking to post experience communication. Feel free to amend the touchpoints to match your specific business – adding in lines where you need to.