What does your business stand for?

By Michael Major June 01, 2014 Industry News

Customers want to know you beyond just the products or services you offer. This is probably the biggest thing to understand when maximising your DNA competitive advantage.

The more the customer knows about you the better. This means being that much more open.

You know the situation: when we meet someone for the first time there is usually a curiosity about who this person is. The more open they are, the deeper the impression they make on us. And so it is with businesses. The more a customer knows about your business the more memorable you are to them. It increases the likelihood of them wanting to do business with you again and again.

When we meet someone, we are unconsciously making assessments about their principles, their values and their beliefs. Do they align with our own? It’s not as if we’re going through a check list – we just know whether we’ve enjoyed their company or not. More importantly, from a business perspective, do we want to return for a repeat experience?



One of the things a business is rarely open about is its beliefs, its principles in terms of what it finds important – what it stands for.

Businesses that are open about this tend to stand out. They’re not bland, they’re not afraid to upset some people. Businesses that try desperately hard not to upset anyone can end up being a highly forgettable JASPER (Just Another Service Provider).

This does require guts of sorts and, for some, all this seems far too risky. Yet the rewards are great. Customers who “know who you are” are far more likely to become loyal customers than ones who know nothing about you. They know what you stand for is something you care about deeply. The chances are they will care as deeply as you do, which means they know you care about them. What’s more, they know you’re a champion for them.

Take some time and think about the businesses you know which champion a cause, whether it be big or small. The list is not that long, is it? Think about the businesses you know but which you have no idea what they stand for (beyond what they’re selling). They tend to be bland, nondescript businesses don’t they? There’s nothing particularly engaging about them except price and convenience. This list is much longer, isn’t it?

Honestly speaking, could your business be thought of in a similar way?



The questions this month for you to consider are not trick questions. They’re quite simple:

  1. What does your business stand for?
  2. What is your business a champion of?
  3. Which customer groups would look up and identify with what your business champions?

The last question is important. You don’t want to be a champion for something that no-one else is interested in (particularly your customers), now do you?

And don’t concern yourself thinking you need astronomical numbers of customers. A group of hugely loyal customers can keep you fed for a lifetime, as long as:

  • You’re not bland.
  • You have the guts to be the perfect match for that group and ignore the rest.
  • They know you care about them more than anybody else.

An example of someone who inspires equally strong passions from both his fans and his detractors is Jeremy Clarkson. He polarises the market. Clarkson fans will “buy” whatever he has to offer. And he doesn’t much care what his detractors think or do.

Clarkson doesn’t just appeal to dedicated motoring fans – he champions them. He stands up for them. He says what they wish they could say. He takes on their enemies. He’s become the person they want to be (if they only dared).

As a result, they’re fiercely loyal. They don’t display the “I can’t be bothered to switch away from you, it’s too much hassle” kind of loyalty that most businesses have. It’s a “follow you to the ends of the earth” kind of loyalty.

Now I’m not suggesting you have to be as extreme as Jeremy Clarkson, but he does set the loyalty benchmark pretty high and this has brought him and his show huge, dazzling success.

Do your customers know enough about you to be as loyal as this?


Michael Major can help you unlock and leverage your inherent competitive advantage. Follow his articles over the next 12 issues, answer his questions and email Michael on connect@7degree.net for feedback. If you send answers from every issue for the next 12 issues you can be one of four people to win a free half day consultation. 

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