You can have it good, fast or cheap … pick two, right?

If you want quality and speed, you’ll pay for it.
     If you want it cheap and good, you’ll need to be patient.
          If you want it quick and cheap, you’ll get what you pay for.

We all know this holy trinity of purchase choices.

But, when it comes to branding, there’s a different trinity from, essentially, the same three elements.

You can be known for: Quality Service, Convenience or Price … pick one!

It is simply economically and logically impossible to provide all three. You may think that you provide any two. But people will only truly KNOW YOU for one.

So, what do you hang your brand on? Which of the three baskets gets all your eggs? This is the most vital and most basic question in the brand process.

Ask Yourself 4 Questions:

What are you BEST at?
We all want to have the best service, right? That’s easy, everyone wants to be Disney. But not everyone has the culture for ongoing training. Or the fortitude to remove individuals from positions they are simply not suited for.

To have an authentic brand, you need to be true to yourself. When you soul search, where are your strengths?

What does your competition do?
Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery, it’s the fastest way to disappear to consumers, before you disappear from existence.

Look at those who are hoarding all the market share, you only need to look at the top 50-60% of the market (click here to research bank market share in your market). What does their website say they do? What do their ads say they do? What do they REALLY do? What do your customers think they do? Once you know what consumer needs the competition owns you have two choices: 1) Do something else, or 2) Find a way to do it BETTER.

What does your market WANT?
If you assume that most people vote with their wallet, then you can simply make assumptions based on your competitive analysis. But if you want to be sure, do a quick survey of your customers and potential customers. Don’t simply ask if they want something convenient, cheap or friendly … provide scenarios and ask for feedback. Ask what they like best and worst about you and your competitors. If they were building their own bank or credit union from scratch, where would they start?

What are you willing to do?
“Well, we only have 2 locations and our employees haven’t been trained on anything beside operations in decades. Does that mean we always have to be the cheapest?!?”

Companies can evolve. 

The glass-half-full side of this model is focus. If you know what you are and know it’s not what you want to be, then you only need to determine which ONE of the other choices you want to dedicate resources to.

Will convenience provide a competitive difference? Put money and time into researching high-tech access. Modern consumers are used to shopping in their PJs (or less). And map out your current customers, are there clusters of folks that need cement and smiles but have to travel past competitors to get yours?

My personal opinion is that of Service, Convenience and Price, the most cost-effective and hardest to deliver is Service. Where you may save on budget, you’ll make up for in day-to-day monitoring, measuring and coaching. That’s not to say that Service doesn’t have it’s price, be prepared to pay your team more to get and keep quality individuals and plan on an ongoing training budget.

Once you’ve identified that you will be known for your convenience, service or price, you can start to get more detailed with your messaging.

  • What makes you the most (convenient, friendly or cost-effective)?
  • Benefits: How does this effect a consumers’ decision and life?
  • Why does this make you the best option?
  • How do you do it better than anyone else in the market?

Now you have a brand that is actionable, measurable and differentiating … The branding holy trinity, that provides something your consumers will care about and your staff will embrace. A place to focus your culture and budget. A brand that has impact.

If you find this info fun and helpful, please share it with your colleagues.

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