Your Branding Message: The Boutique Brand

As I posted last time in the series, I recommend most companies that are trying to move out of the bad quadrant to becoming a Boutique Brand. Once I get people past the problem of not having as broad an audience as possible, they get comfortable with the move. The first thing that I have to go over with folks in this position is how to get out of the low pricing that they have done in the past without upsetting any existing customers. I ask them to do two things. The first thing is to make sure that services are all enumerated on any invoices, even if they are going to be discounted to zero. This makes sure that existing customers understand that they have been getting a discounted price and they have gotten a lot more value than they paid for. In order to make this look more normal, I suggest a "Partner Program". This way existing customers can be defined as Partners and the discounts can be defined. You can use that same Partner Discount if you want in the future if you want. This way these customers see retail price and understand they are getting a good deal. The point of these activities is to get the pricing built to match the value and not discounted to the bottom.

After that, we begin working on how to define their unique value and ideal client. There is generally another round of nervousness when we go back to ideal client. I have to fight the desire to back to a broad definition of ideal customers. But past that, we get into defining their unique value. One of the challenges that I have to remind customers about is that this is about Branding. The message that I drive relentlessly is that your Brand is "Your Brand is your Unique Value Proposition in the eyes of your Ideal Client." The biggest challenge that I find is keeping people focused on the viewpoint of the Client. Many people don't easily reformat their thinking to take a client viewpoint. Once we go around all of this a couple of times, it is time to reformat their Business Plan based on this new methodology.

The change in Business Plan needs to reflect the changes in the number of clients that a Boutique Brand will have and the profit from each of them. This is going to be very different than the plan that would be used for low value transactions. This is especially true of Advertising expenditures. We will talk about the materials around this in the future. But one thing to think about is that now you are talking about a very specialized audience. Do they find their vendors in the same place as the more general audience?

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

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