Tuesday, February 13, 2007

 

Write your customer manifesto!

Some companies write positioning documents. Marketers write sets of bullet points describing their products. Others write complicated creative briefs, or build positioning frameworks.

Those tools all have value, but I find that the most powerful way to build, communicate and create message consistency organization-wide is to write it in terms that your customers would understand.

In other words, write a customer manifesto!

Too many positioning frameworks put messaging into a context and in prose that should never be in front of a customer. It's justified as "core" messaging that ultimately will be honed for its audience.

But what value does that actually have? If you can't write customer-centric messaging into a framework, how do you expect to translate fundamental product value to your customers?

If you take the time to sit down, and write your company, product or brand "manifesto" as if you were speaking to your customers directly, you will end up with a powerful piece that can rally a large organization around a single message, common nomenclature, and a unified vision for what value you provide back to customers.

HouseValues, for example, takes pride in providing its customers with a complete & market-proven system for real estate professionals to grow their business. Thousands of real estate agents have used the system over the past seven years, and have helped hone the system to what it is today.

So, how do you communicate that system to new real estate agents? How do you communicate the key tenets, the "three simple things" that are at the heart of that system?

The manifesto, of course!

Attached here is a copy of the HouseValues Business System manifesto, written with a customer audience in mind. It's a simple two and a half pages - easy and fast for everyone in the organization to read, and get behind.

Could you write a 2-3 page manifesto for your product, business or brand? What would it say? And how would you put it into action?

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