As a business owner, you have a decision to make every day: Expand your offerings or focus them. Certainly, we’re all familiar with this decision as we’re building our brand strategies; however, this should be something we think about every day, with every request for quote, with every materialising consumer trend…with every local and global occurrence, including Brexit.
Why? Because your brand does not exist in a vacuum. Because everything that goes on around your ideal client affects her perception of reality–and that perception of reality will be applied to her perception of your brand.
Think about that:
Every time a consumer changes her mind about something, the potential exists that her choice will affect how she views your brand.
And if that choice is widespread among your target audience (which it usually is), well then you’ve got some work to do…and fast.
What Brexit Means for your Brand Strategy Focus
Up until now, you’ve probably been focussed on building your brand as a local or regional one. You didn’t have the option to operate on a global stage, and so you chose your target audience from the pool you had access to (and the one that was easily reachable due to open borders within the EU). And because that pool was smaller than a global one, you may have felt the need to expand your brand’s offerings to appeal to more people within that target audience.
This is not only changing…the logic has been turned on its head.
Because you now have the unique opportunity to become a globally-serving company, that wide range of services you’ve been offering will not only be unappealing to those consumers attracted to a focussed expert, the system will be unsustainable as your client list grows. You are more likely to be able to perform your favourite task [well] for 100 clients than to perform five tasks [four of which you may not enjoy] for those same 100 clients.
Now is the time, in post-Brexit Britain, to put your stake in the ground; to grasp this opportunity to choose the one thing you will be known for and to build your brand strategy around that one thing.
Not only should this one thing be the thing you’re most passionate about, it should be the thing that you do best, the thing that people have already been pleased with, and the thing that you can most effectively perform, market and establish expert status in.
Until now, you’ve been too comfortable. You’ve avoided saying NO to potential clients who were not ideal because you could feasibly offer a secondary service and keep them marginally happy. You have likely become too diversified to be known as an expert in one area, and have created a 57-variety type of small business that is known by name more than brand.
Now imagine taking this to the global market. Can you see how you will potentially drown in a sea of competition? And how difficult it will be to answer questions like “What do you do?” when there are 50 other companies waiting who already know the answer to that question?
You may struggle with the idea of giving up those tasks and clients that no longer benefit a more focussed brand strategy. The first one will be the hardest, and after that, you’ll wish to operate no other way. Here’s how to start:
- Choose the one thing you want to offer. What’s the one thing you look forward to every day? What makes your heart smile and what would you like to do above all else? This should be your focus from this point forward. If you have trouble choosing between a few different offerings, then look for a creative way to combine them into one unique package deal that you can replicate across all contracts. Remember: the global market is no place for wide-range, customisable services.
- Expand beyond the co.uk extension. If your website’s URL is geographically specific, I suggest obtaining either a globally generic one or all of the ones that apply to the regions you intend to target. Irrespective of the Brexit referendum, people outside Britain may still be hesitant to click on these extensions.
- Eat, breathe and sleep your new brand focus. For many of you, this will be a return to what your brand started out doing. For others, it will be something you discovered that you love to do along the way. No matter what it is, start speaking and writing about only that. Give the most attention to questions and comments surrounding that area of expertise. Refer others to affiliates or kindly comment on your brand’s new focus.
- Do your research. Britain has its own culture, and when you’ve worked under the umbrella of the EU for years, you’ve likely gotten comfortable with those cultures contained within that network. But what about the rest of the world? Do your brand colours mean the same thing in all countries? (The answer is “probably not.”) How do your brand name and strapline translate in foreign languages? What other brands (competitors) are serving your ideal customers in those countries…and how can you offer something different to them?
- Take advantage of Brexit. Right now, most of Britain is side-tracked with news of political leaders resigning and facing a coup, the pound dropping to a 31-year low, the possibility of Scotland and North Ireland following Brexit suit, talk about a re-vote…and even Brexit being the fulfilment of an apocalyptic prophecy. While your competitors are caught up in this argument, you can be building your new, more-focussed global brand.
The world is watching Britain. Will you move your brand into their lines of sight? Or will it remain hidden behind political and economic arguments? The competition is distracted. Now is the time to decide if you will lead or lose…and then pounce.
Want to learn more about how you can take full advantage of the post-Brexit opportunities afforded to businesses? Join the #BrandBritain movement. Start by joining the Brand Britain group on Facebook, use #BrandBritain to join conversations on social media, and then commit to spit-shining your brand…getting it focussed and ready for a bigger, global stage.