Why go to all of that trouble and expense? You’re busy making the best product and offering the best service that you can. It says so clearly in the words and pictures you use to promote your business. You’ve got real know-how and experience. You use top-class materials. Yours is the most up-to-date approach, guaranteeing the perfect outcome. Anyone with eyes and ears in their head can see that…and yet your would-be customer beats a path to someone else’s door instead of yours. Ah, the customer. To be honest, sometimes you get a little impatient with the customer who’s not so quick on the uptake. If they’d only look more closely and listen more carefully, they’d get it straight off. What’s more, you pride yourself on your plain speaking. You don’t have time to beat about the bush with fancy words, or to set the stage with smoke and mirrors. That’s best left to the chancers up on their soap-boxes, hawking second-rate goods to the gullible and the unwary. So, why bother? Funnily enough, that sounds awfully like the question your customer is asking: “Why should I bother with your product or service when there are so many others for me to choose from?”. “Why cross over to your side of the street when I can get what I want if I stay right where I am?”. Even when they’re unhappy with what’s on offer on their own doorstep, many customers think it’s better to deal with the devil they know than the devil they don’t. One of the great fictions of the marketplace has it that the customer wants more choice. The fact is that most of the time your customers don’t want more choice. The market is awash with competing products and services. Your customer has too much choice; they don’t want anymore. They just want to know that the choice they’re making is the right one… and they want you to help them make it. The customer doesn’t have time to consider your business from every angle. The detail’s often lost on them. Sure, they sometimes makes a show of pacing back and forth and of giving your product more than just the once-over but, a lot of the time, they really couldn’t care less about your experience or the qualifications of your service team or the grade of materials you use. So, why bother branding? Because more and more, customers are making their choice based on brand. Think of your brand as the signpost offering your customers a clear sense of direction. Your brand helps them do their jobs as buyers more effectively (whether they’re buying for themselves or on behalf of a household, a company or a community). It’s their shortcut, the quick shimmy that allows them to sidestep the stuff they don’t need and cut straight to the chase. Now they know what their choices are. The brand may not tell them everything there is to know (or may keep it tucked away in the small print if closer inspection really is required) but it tells your customer all that they need to know in order to make up their minds. Quickly and effectively. What are your thoughts?