Here are 14 questions to consider.
Do you know your company’s personality? It’s easy to think that you do this based on the taglines and stories you tell at the office and to customers online and in person. In addition, you proudly display your employees and accomplishments online and feature them in your marketing materials. However, it’s important to remember that what you think about your company may not always align with what your customers perceive. That’s why conducting a company introspection can be a valuable exercise. For example, consider using the following approach as a yearly recap or when new leadership enters an existing company. By reflecting on your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and values, you can ensure that your messaging and branding accurately reflect who you are as a business.
What are the products and services we offer to our customers?
(Attributes refer to a product or service’s specific characteristics or qualities.)
- Benefits (Practical)
Why do customers want to work with us? What is the advantage to them?
(When considering a product or service, it’s essential to determine whether it’s a must-have or a nice-to-have. We must identify the job that this product or service is designed to do and evaluate its importance to our target audience.)
- Values (Emotional)
What does the customer consider most important when doing business with us?
(Is it the friendly staff, clean floors, ambient, short waiting period during a phone call, reliability, trust, or less stress?)
What are the words the customer would use to describe us?
(Ask your customer service or sale representative, or have an online voice tracking system to learn your customers’ interaction with your company. For example, does the customer describe your company as difficult, dishonest, slow, fast, cold, warm, trustworthy, or consistent?)
- Brand Essence
What is your core promise of specific benefits and values?
(Brand essence typically includes the brand’s key characteristics, such as its purpose, values, personality, and tone of voice. It encapsulates what a brand stands for, what it believes in, and what it promises to deliver to its customers.)
What makes us different from our competitors?
(Differentiation aims to create a competitive advantage by offering something that customers perceive as valuable and desirable that other companies cannot easily replicate. Price is not differentiation.)
- Style Attributes
What’s the tone we set and give off? How do you relate to your customers?
(These attributes can include the brand’s logo, color palette, typography, imagery, and other design elements that make up its visual identity. And it could relate to your building, office decor, dress, and employees.)
Are we adaptable and willing to evolve as a business?
(At our company, we analyze customer interactions across touchpoints, technology devices, channels, and social media to determine whether we’re making it easy for our customers to do business with us. If we don’t adapt to our customers’ needs and preferences, we risk falling behind and losing business.)
What are we doing in building trust with our customers through transparency and consistently delivering on our promises?
(For consideration: the call center, marketing collateral, and website should be on the same page — paperwork, unsubscribing, signing up, or cancellation to be easy and with less fraction.)
- Unique Selling Proposition
What do you tell your customers about what makes you different from your competitor?
(A Unique Selling Proposition is the main reason a customer should choose a particular product or service over others in the market. It could be an aspect of the product, such as its quality, design, or functionality, or its benefits, such as convenience, affordability, or environmental sustainability.)
- Core Competencies
What capabilities give you a strategic advantage?
(Core competencies are a company’s unique strengths and capabilities, which give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Core competencies are often deeply ingrained in a company’s culture and strategic direction and are difficult for competitors to replicate.)
- Mission Statement
What is the summary of what we do?
(A company’s mission statement is concise and defines its purpose and reason for being. It outlines what the company does, its customers, and how it creates value for them. A mission statement typically communicates the company’s core values and the principles that guide its operations.)
- Categories of Competition
What categories of businesses could compete with one or more of our strengths? Is it price, service, speed, or quality?
(Categories of competition refer to the different types or levels of competition in a given industry or market. These categories can describe the various ways that companies compete with each other and how differences can influence their success.)
What is our strategy?
(A strategy is a plan of action to achieve a specific goal or objective. It is a roadmap that outlines how an organization will allocate its resources, capabilities, and efforts to achieve its desired outcomes. A well-crafted strategy should give the organization a clear and coherent direction and help it make informed decisions about prioritizing and allocating resources.)
The list may contain various categories, and some words may have overlapping meanings. The goal is to examine each keyword and its intended purpose and discuss its relevance to your organization. By doing so, the aim is to achieve greater consistency in using and understanding these terms among our team members. Through this collaborative process, we can ensure that our team shares a common viewpoint and can effectively communicate and collaborate on projects and initiatives.