Every successful business, large or small, has to define what stands it apart from the competition.
In other words they should be able to answer: “Why should customers buy from us?”
Addressing the “why us?” question can be one of the hardest and most fundamental marketing challenges a business can face. It can tie-up a business up for days, weeks, months or even years. Many simply abandon the struggle and limp on, undifferentiated and under-performing.
The difficulty often arises because in mature markets – and especially service markets – there is no clear and easily communicable difference or benefit in the headline product/service features, pricing or delivery. If every conceivable combination is covered in a congested ‘me-too’ market, how do you find your own space?
As it happens, at Leader we do believe we have a distinct proposition, in the form of our director-led service delivery. As we’ve highlighted in previous articles, director-led means our clients’ main account handlers and day-to-day contacts remain the director on the account, not the juniors in their team.
We place huge emphasis on this because we think it drives genuine advantage for our customers; it enables excellent client service and outstanding marketing communications programmes.
Beyond product: the value of company culture
But we also think there’s another clear point of difference for Leader, and that’s our internal company culture.
In fact, we believe that for many – if not most – businesses, culture is great place to start looking for and building your own unique point of difference.
So as an example, how does something as apparently nebulous as our company culture contribute real value to our customers?
Well, traditional marketing agency culture is notoriously tough. People juggle huge workloads. They are often highly charged, very competitive environments; quality can be sacrificed at the altar of expediency. Many very competent, capable individuals find it simply overwhelming.
As a result, it’s a bit of an industry in-joke that agency staff are desperate to go ‘in-house’. That’s a step that some manage, while others go freelance. Churn of agency staff is typically very high, which can be unsettling for clients as continuity can be lost and relationships with both client contacts, and sometimes with influencers, have to be rebuilt. It can lead to high client turnover. Agencies that have high overheads ‘chase the money’ so the cycle is repeated.
At Leader, we work hard to be different with our values and our culture.
We are focused on the bottom line, but it’s your bottom line rather than ours.
We are strategic, but we’re also ‘agile’, by which I mean we learn, respond and act fast.
And we are considered. We don’t chase every new fad and fashion, but we’ll be aware of it, we’ll investigate it, and if we think it’s a good idea, we’ll suggest it and help clients integrate it into their own marketing.
Making it work for you
So that’s our company culture, and we think that far from being a ‘soft’ factor, it delivers exactly what our clients need – a stable but energetic environment, able to offer consistent and assured marketing support for long term business success. As a result, clients are often happy to work with us for many years.
Hopefully this helps illustrate the point that if you are struggling to identify your own unique proposition and position in the market, you might do well to look as closely at how you do things as what you do.
You can click here to read more about our brand and proposition services, or contact our team today to discuss how Leader’s company culture can add value to your marketing – and help you build your own culture into your own stronger brand proposition.