It’s impossible to win a features race. At least not in a meaningful way over the long-term. Yes, you might have the best product in your category at any given time, and you may be committed to innovation, but a great product is the cost of entry these days and another brand will inevitably copy or improve on what you’ve created.
If you focus solely on features you’re telling your consumer to buy based solely on features. This is a short-term tactic that does not encourage loyalty.
So what do you want to talk about? How do you wrap the feature conversation in something more meaningful?
A great place to start is Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, and book, where he advocates for a focus on ‘why’ you do what you do, rather than what you do or how you do it. To put that another way, why does your company exist? Is there a significant problem you’re helping people solve?
It’s become cliche to mention Simon’s work these days, but it’s referenced frequently because it’s spot on.
I could write about Simon for hours, but that won’t help you. Instead, I suggest you do some *writing. Why does your company exist? How do you really help people? Without re-reading you’re brand’s mission, vision or values, think big and try to expand on the existing narrative. What you write will probably feel altruistic or ‘fluffy’ but that’s an indication that you’re on the right track. Share this with a few members of your tribe – both internally and externally – and see if it rings true for them. Rinse, repeat. Now you have the root of your brand’s positioning.
But what do you do with it? Well, that depends on where you are in the evolution of your business. If you’re an established company it may be a good time to engage an agency. Sharing the work you’ve done with pro marketing team is a great place to start. If you’re a young company without the funds to invest in a marketing partner, or an older company without the buy-in to pivot, it’s time to test out the new direction. Start sharing your why in your conversations about the company, at networking events and during sales calls and pitches. If that works well create a few pieces of content, social media posts, partnerships or owned events that reinforce your new why.
What worked? What didn’t? How can you fine-tune the messaging to get your point across? Don’t be afraid to experiment. Nobody is paying attention to that Facebook post about your latest feature anyway. Unless that feature post is nestled between two meaningful posts about the real problem you’re solving for people. Then there’s a chance someone will take the time to actually care about that new feature.
Do you have a favorite brand that clearly communicates their why?
*If you’re not already journaling about life and business on a regular basis I highly suggest adding that to your daily practice. Powerful stuff. If you want some additional inspiration and guidance in journaling I suggest Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and the companion workbook. I think you’ll be surprised by the impact this can make. If you try it out I’d love to hear about your experience!