If your mind is suddenly channeling The Who, you are in sync with me. I think this is the most important question I ask my clients.
Getting to the root of “how do you provide value?”, and knowing WHO your company is at the core, provides a useful platform for the whole business that makes everything easier.
When you understand and acknowledge the core purpose all of the decisions become easier, and therefore faster, because less time is spent pondering ideas, projects, or offerings that are not in your wheelhouse.
I saw a great example of this yesterday. In the photo above, is there any question that they sell ice cream? Even though it’s winter, when I saw this sign I was suddenly in the mood for ice cream. Selling ice cream is a seasonal business here in New England, but I am willing to bet that this store has customers year round. (Unfortunately I did not make time to taste their wares, but am planning a return trip, especially if the weather here stay warm, 47 degrees yesterday!)
And the barber shop next door leaves no unanswered questions either. It’s simplicity is really engaging to me, even though I was not tempted to enter this store (sorry Ray).
Here’s a sign that looks good at first glance: nice color, useful text. Or is it? Unless you know Honeywell’s, you don’t know it’s a bakery until you get close. If their business relies on repeat customers just looking for the golden sign, it’s okay. If they want to draw in passers by, then making the words “bakery & cafe” much larger will accomplish that – easily. (This is an example from a blog post on good design for signs.)
For most companies this question is more challenging, especially if you offer a service, or product combined with a service. However, I KNOW that getting to that core offering will help your company to be more focused and powerful. One way to know this is to ask your customers and listen for the themes in their language.
How are you announcing yourself to the world? Is it the core truth? I’m going to take a look at my website later today! What about you? Please share by commenting below.