How clear are you on WHO your customer is?
Author and former president of The Bloom Agency, Robert H. Bloom, discovered that every enterprise has at least one strategic asset, one existing strength, that can form the foundation for future growth. Bloom calls it Your Inside Advantage. This strength usually lies unrecognized in an activity the business is currently performing or in a concept or an idea that the business already owns. Finding this hidden potential and becoming well known for it will grow the business.
The strategy reflects Bloom's 45 years of experience in growing businesses and brands of every size and type, including famous companies such as Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, T.G.I. Friday's, Zales, Nestlé, and L'Oréal, as well as not-so-famous B2B firms, not-for-profit organizations, and start-ups. Bob helped me create Positioning Systems’ Inside Advantage and together with Bob we’ve helped several customers discover the enormous power of Your Inside Advantage.
Through Bloom’s Growth Discovery Process as outlined in his book The Inside Advantage, he made his strategy available to you and your business to help craft a growth strategy.
Bloom's process is a plain-language path of discovery with only four steps. Whether you are a business leader, a manager, or an entrepreneur, this Growth Discovery Process will enable you to gain a profound insight into the core values of your enterprise. It will guide you to a clear understanding of who your customers are and what your special offerings to those customers should be. Finally, the process will stimulate a host of ideas, what Bloom calls Imaginative Acts, for highlighting your Inside Advantage and making it well known to current and prospective customers. The process is outlined with examples in the book.
Doing what you're good at and doing it better than anyone else creates growth. The Inside Advantage captures that magic moment when customers select your product or service over those of your competitors.
1) Find your CORE customers. Beyond demographics; beyond what you may think of when you think of your customers. It is interesting to look at possibilities for the WHO and consider all of the options, such as defining your core customers based on their value for; being the best braggers for your product, being the biggest customers, being the longest relationship with you, being the least likely to complain, being the most likely to repeat their business, being the most likely to not repeat and why. Then you may want to identify these same customers in your competitor's base. Do a little demographic shifting and look at the next step.
2) Discover and deliver your uncommon offering. Listen to your core customers. They will tell you what you do best and why they buy it from you. You will want to examine this from an external and internal base. Writing down all of the ideas and phases people use to describe your offering and distill it down to a statement of 10 to 15 words.
3) Develop persuasive strategies in written statements for action. Growing your business through refining your communication and thought association for your company and offering. This is a lesson in statements in action to immediately associate your offering with your company.
4) Imaginative acts. Creative public relations or publicity stunts that are tied to your uncommon offering and for the benefit of your core customers. There are some very good examples of what other companies have done most of which you will be familiar with.
The beauty of The Inside Advantage is it’s loaded with numerous examples of customers Bob has worked with. The challenge is being able to refine, edit and put each of the steps, WHO, WHAT, HOW and IMAGINATIVE ACTS into those 10-15 word statements that really provide clarity to your internal staff and external customers and prospects.
I spent countless hours and over three months refining my Inside Advantage with the personal help of Bob Bloom. There’s no way to define the help he provided. He was objective, ruthless, sincere, and always questioning every word and description. When I thought I’d achieved the essence of one of the elements he would ask for more specificity, emotion, more clarity. His experience and knowledge with working with so many small and national brand clients is invaluable.
WHO is your customer? We’ll explore this more next blog offering questions to consider and providing my WHO to help you create yours.
If you're interested in acquiring the expertise of Bob Bloom to discover Your Inside Advantage, send me an email. I'll introduce you to Bob and arrange for a short interview session to help you determine how to get started.