I would say, if you cannot answer this question, than most likely, ‘yes’, confusion is killing your sales results.
Brand confusion, does not usually reside in one place, if it is there, it is often at every touch point ie: advertising, communication, service and sales experience.
All these touch points are opportunities to clearly articulate the value your brand brings to your customer’s world.
Hearts and Minds research into the emotional connections of leading brands identifies, time and time again, non customers, do not see your brand value.
Your brand may be teeming with value, but if they cannot see it, they will not buy. The key reason customers cannot see your brand’s value, is, because of brand confusion.
Typically, they don’t know what you do, or they cannot see how you are different. Most importantly your non customers, (and sometimes your customers), cannot link the brand value back to themselves.
When customers and prospects cannot see your value, you are in trouble. Confusing brands fail because they do not pass the “what’s in it for me” test.
Brand confusion has three key root causes:
1. They cannot see you in a nano second
The whole advertising industry is based on creating a nano second grab, that defines your identity, points to your difference and charges it with emotional connection. This is the face of your brand, without it, your brand value is not seen.
2. You have an identity crisis
Your business has not truly embraced the values of the brand. Expectations are set and when the customer encounters your business, it does not walk its talk, customers feel let down.
3. You have not entered the world of your customer
You cannot explain something at a simple level until you enter the world view of the customer. You need to understand how they see the world, the story they tell themselves about it, and how your brand fits within their world view.
If you are feeling the pain of brand confusion in your sales results, it is time for some research and brand planning. If you are new to the process, check out Brand Leadership by David Aacker, a bible for those finding their feet in brand planning.
Hearts and Minds
David Aacker’s web site