If you’ve read our previous chapter in this series, then you already know how to dissect your audience, and should already understand their needs. Now that we know what that is, it’s time to take a look at the offer.
If your business already offers a particular set of services or products, then this is the time to assess them. It’s time to see whether they truly add value to bridging your brand or not. If you have yet to decide, then now is a good time to create an offer that’s exciting, enticing and worth buying.
The value proposition and design
You really want to offer something that is unique within your industry. By unique, we don’t necessarily mean that this product or offer does not exist. What we mean is what makes it different to anybody else’s? Let’s take a look at a brand like Coca-Cola that made a brand decision to package their product in a bottle design that no other beverage company has. And let’s face it, Coca-Cola bottles are quite unique. And if you’re a real Coca-Cola fan, you should know that nothing beats drinking it out of a cold glass bottle. So why did Coca-Cola decide to do this?
By using a unique packaging style, they made themselves unique, authentic and can tell the world that this is the original product. They also decided that their brand should have a personality, and that personality is fun! Coffee is what you have at the beginning of the day, therefore Coca-Cola should be what you have at the end of your day. They did this by using a bold colour, a fun and fluid logo shaped after a ribbon (to signify a gift/present you need to unwrap). They also embraced their sound (when a bottle is opened, when the drink is poured, what their fans say) and made this part of their brand personality.
If the price is right
Based on everything that’s included in your offer, from packaging to positioning, it’s now time to attach value to all of this. Never under-value your offering, but also learn to listen to your audience, and more importantly what your competitors are priced at. It’s crucial that you understand what is currently on the market and price accordingly. Coca-Cola will not flinch on their pricing strategy, however, they will always collaborate, offer value-adds and create brand experiences that justify the price by creating a lifestyle.
South African brand, YuppieChef, has created a branded community and due to this have commanded a price point that is often higher than most of their competitors. However, they pour so much effort into creating an amazing experience for their customers. From the wrapping, unboxing, fridge magnet inserts as well as unique handwritten cards for each and every customer. These efforts have allowed them to establish themselves as one of the most unique online shopping brands around. Does your product or brand experience offer something unique for your customer?
But, is it enough?
Once you’ve put together an offer that ticks all the positive boxes, you have to go back and ask yourself the question, “Is this enough?”. More often than not your answer will be “no”. The truth is, it will never be enough. There should always be room for improvement. It is strongly advised that you do two types of evaluations to best understand your offer and whether it is bankable.
A SWOT analysis is one way to assess your offer and in fact your business/brand. You’ll need to look at your Strengths (positive elements that your brand offers, and better than your competitors); Weaknesses (where your brand falls short); Opportunities (changes, trends and influences that are advantageous for your business); and Threats (elements in your industry or environment which may be a risk).
Another great way to map out your offer(s) would be to create a grid and plot your products, services, variations and ranges. This is called a product or category matrix that allows you to map out a specific strategy for your offers. You want to split your offerings and other potential and/or competitive offerings into four columns.
OWN | COMPETE | ACCOMMODATE | AVOID
Your Own column tells you what your brand wants to own in your industry. It could be your signature product, look, or range. Your Compete column is something your brand is willing to compete against. This means your competitors offer something similar within that range or niche. Your Accommodate column should include something that you are willing to accommodate, but not necessarily focus on. Finally, your Avoid column is what you should stay away from. Learn from your competitors as well as your own mistakes, as this will tell you what to avoid.
Every so often you’ll need to reevaluate your offers and brand experience to ensure you’re staying on top of your game and true to your brand. Now that we’ve established how to create unique and exciting offers, we’ll explore how to bridge your offers to your customers to meet their needs in the next chapter.