Many businesses have noticed the same thing: their complex, if not complicated, operations slow them down and hurt their growth. These organizations often just want to get to the same level as their competitors without reviewing their positioning or brand strategy. This tactic is referred to as “me too” marketing. Operating this way creates confusion in the market. Looking like a follower does not make it possible to differentiate or gain market share. Customers always prefer an original to a copy, which means that a pricing war is the only way to come out ahead with a “me too” strategy.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

When we are asked to make a diagnosis to fix this kind of situation, one of our recommendations is very simple: get back to the very essence of why you’re in business. Simplify each step of your customer approach. Gather together all of the communications meant for your customers. I even include administrative pieces, which are often designed solely for your internal needs.

You must always put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself: “Is what I’m offering them clear? Is it easy to understand? Does it provide my customer with added value? Do yourself a favor: hire a talented graphic designer to make your tools more attractive. You like beautiful things, sleek design, Apple products: every object that distinguishes itself is undoubtedly the work of a true professional, not your nephew or your assistant, who works on instinct or for a lower cost but does not follow the good practices that are needed for this type of revision to succeed.

The consequences of a lack of simplification

Recently, a large company wanted to revise its positioning and all of its communications tools. Its product portfolio was so complicated that even the Vice President had trouble explaining the product categories and their differences to me. Imagine their customers: even the smartest ones would be completely lost. This kind of approach has profound consequences:

  • The Sales Team is unable to sell the entire range of products well.
  • Without the guidance of a representative, customers get discouraged and automatically contact their competitors.
  • On the production side, the multitude of categories reduces the ability to optimize costs.
  • The inventory is gigantic and managing it is very complex.

At the end of the day, you’re left with a cumbersome organization that lacks the ability to react quickly. We suggested that they thoroughly revise their brand architecture. Quite simply, they did not have the determination to complete this kind of exercise and opted only to change their graphic design. This was a cover-up measure that could wind up being costly in the medium-term.

It takes courage to change how you do things and your branding. It’s a recurring challenge that I already covered two years ago in this blog.

The moral of the story? Simplify everything: your products, process, communications, and management. By simply doing that, you will gain a competitive advantage in your market. Your competitors probably haven’t read this blog yet. Take advantage of it!