We spent months, years, even decades acquiring the education, certification, and knowledge that we need in order to be good at what we do and sometimes just minutes making decisions about how we tell the world about it.
How much time did you put into designing your business card or brochure? Did you make sure that when you created a web site that it is interactive and serves the customers that you want to attract in a way that peaks their curiosity and gets them to stay longer? Do you consistently create a memorable image through your logo, your colors, your uniform, your greeting on the telephone? Do you have a brand? Do you know what you want your brand to be? How closely are your current brand and the one that you wish you had matching?
Ask your customers, they’ll tell you. Whatever they say about you in the locker room, on facebook, and in the bar with their friends on a Saturday night, is really your brand. Take some time to find that out. Talk to your customers, interact with them daily, get their feedback, or have someone else conduct a survey for you. Then if you don’t like the results, change what you’re doing!
Start small. Do you promote your features or the benefits to potential customers? With that question in mind, walk through every part of your business and day. Take a good look at your business cards; lots of alphabet soup behind your name, your location and phone number, your awards? Or does it say something about the philosophy of your business and the way you do business? Does it reflect the goals of your clients and the reasons they seek out businesses such as yours in the first place. Do your promotion materials answer the question for a potential prospect- “what’s in it for me?”
Look at the fliers advertising your group fitness or training classes. Read the social media announcements you’re placing out there as if you are the customer, not just when you fire them out there. Read your advertising copy and take a second look at your television commercial. Are you speaking in your own language or in customer-speak?
It’s hard to think like the customer when you’re so saturated in fitness knowledge. Don’t try to rely entirely on your instincts. Ask a few of your customers, or a few non-customers, and reward them with a month free or complimentary upgrades to a service in exchange for their candid and honest remarks. Take whatever they say if you are willing to ask. The hardest stuff to hear is often the stuff that will carry the biggest impact if you do something about it.
1. Choose one area of your business promotion to examine.
2. Start with the simple matching of your “ideal” brand image with the real image that you have.
3. Look at ways to change what you’re doing to close the gap and get closer to the brand you want.