May 13, 2012 – How to brand your services to make it easier for customers to buy

Entrepreneurs sometimes make it difficult for customers to buy from them.

Whenever I consult with my clients, I talk about how making it easier for customers to buy from you. I always say that people don’t care about ‘what you do for a living’ (your business) or ‘how you do it’ (the process), they care about what’s in it for them (the benefits or perceived value of your goods/services).

Furthering that notion, I want to share a framework to help organize your products and services that you sell. I personally use this framework and I teach all of my clients the same. The point of this framework is to do three things:

  • Organizes the various offerings in your mind. So, when you speak with clients about their needs and wants (and, at times, budget), you can narrow down the right product/service and offer that to them. Preferably, only one.
  • However, sometimes clients want options — so this framework allows you to demonstrate the scale of your offerings, outlining different benefits and features — and providing the client the freedom to choose the solution that works best for them.
  • Allows you to create different marketing and pricing strategies

I call it “The Good, Better, Best” approach.

Now, remember, this is just a framework. It is not a template that you use like a formula. Rather, it’s a way to ‘frame’ in your mind (and in your customer’s mind how to buy from you). Here are some examples of “Good, Better, Best” approaches that I often share:

1. COMPANY-LEVEL

Example brand: Gap, Inc.

Gap Inc.,  the parent company offers three different brands: Old Navy (Good), Gap (Better) and Banana Republic (Best). Each of the three divisions provide clothing with different features, styles and price points. They communicate to their customers differently, based on the specific needs of the target audiences.

2. PRODUCT-LEVEL

Example brand: Starbucks

Whenever you find yourself asking the Barista for your next cup of Joe, they always ask you: “what size?”. And, despite the fact that they’ve re-trained us with a new naming system to refer to “small, medium and large”, they use the same kind of naming system to refer to their coffee sizes, i.e. Tall (Good), Venti (Better), and Grande (Best)

3. SERVICE-LEVEL

Example brand: ZipCar

Zipcar is a membership-based brand that provides an alternative to the costs and hassles of owning or renting a car. I provide this example to remind you that the ‘Good, Better, Best’ approach is just a framework. It’s not meant to always have your offerings broken down into 3’s. In the case with ZipCar, they have the BASIC plan with four different ‘upgrades’. So, in this case, it becomes: Good, Better, Better+, Better ++, Better +++, and Best (see image above).

CHALLENGE: apply this framework to your offerings and see if it simplifies your life and makes it easier for your customers to buy from you.

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