It’s Not Enough to Be Noticed
December 15, 2010 by Erin Casey
How do you want to be perceived by your potential customers?
by Lauron Sonnier
In today’s noisy, cluttered marketplace, you need to stand out to get noticed. If you just want to make a scene, you could run naked in the street or punch a customer in the nose. While those antics may land you in the morning headlines, they wouldn’t do much good for your business. Clearly, getting the desired results isn’t just a matter of standing out, but of doing so in a way that serves you.
The first step is getting clear on what you want. How do you want to be perceived? Who is your ideal customer? How do you define success today and tomorrow? Once you know what you want, you must take deliberate action in a constant and consistent manner.
In truth, you already stand out in some way. If I were to ask your friends to share what comes to mind when they think of you, what would they say? What if I asked your spouse, child, or associate? You know they would have an answer! What adjectives would they use to describe you, and would you like their responses?
Now let’s look at your business. If we asked your customers to share what comes to mind when they think of you, what would they say? What if we asked your employees, vendors, associates, or a stranger off the street? Would you get a common answer or varied responses? Would their perception of you be accurate? Would it be complete? Would their impressions further your relationship and make them choose you over someone else?
Of course the hope is that they all have positive things to say. But, even if their comments are complimentary, they may not be business-building. Standing out, from a marketing perspective, means not just making a good impression, but making the right impression.
My friends, for example, may describe me as a “pleasant person.” That’s wonderful. I definitely want to be considered pleasant versus unpleasant. But I want my business prospects to have a more substantial view of me relative to my skills and offerings. Being known as pleasant alone won’t make great things happen in my business. My targets need to readily see me as a marketing expert and an interesting and entertaining speaker. To succeed, I have to consciously and deliberately make everything I do, everything I say, everything that is me, and everything that represents me, work toward demonstrating and creating those impressions. Every action, word, habit, and decision I make must mindfully reinforce the attributes of expert, practical, interesting, and entertaining.
What about you? How does your market need to perceive you to understand the value you offer? What adjectives do you want people to use when they describe you, your company, product, service, materials, office, staff, processes, policies… everything? How do prospects need to perceive you to choose you over the competition?
Make your official attributes list. Then ask, “Am I, and are we as a company, making impressions every day in everything we do to communicate and reinforce these desired attributes? Do our habits and behaviors make people think, feel, and relate the right adjectives about us? If not, what do we need to do differently—and consistently—to get us there?”
To succeed, your business must stand out, but not just in a good way. It must stand out in the right way.
About the Author
Lauron Sonnier is a practical marketing expert, speaker, radio host, and author of Think Like a Marketer: What It Really Takes to Stand Out from the Crowd, the Clutter, and the Competition. She teaches individuals and companies how to stand out, “stir the pot,” and put marketing into action. Learn more at SonnierMarketing.com.