Going beyond “what we do”
We all have simple labels for our business or profession:
- Marketing Agency
- Insurance Provider
- Business Coach
What these simple labels can’t do is differentiate us from our competition. We need a little more information.
So what is a proposition?
A proposition is a simple statement, no more than two sentences, which illuminates what you do in three terms: Audience, Purpose and Mission.
Or, to put it another way, by saying “Who, Why and How?” in simple, elegant terms you can describe your “what”, whilst also differentiating yourself and opening up further enquiry.
A simple example
The description of Sufu:
An agency specialising in brand messaging and copywriting.
The Sufu proposition:
Sufu helps entrepreneurs and marketers be more persuasive in their messaging and copy by combining brand psychology with behavioural science techniques.
We build strong brand perception, then convert it into lasting brand opinion.
Sentence 1 defines audience “who”, and purpose “why”.
Sentence 2 begins to define mission “how”, but leaves room for the imagination to work and questions to form.
Think about how you might respond to hearing one of these two messages. The “description” is a pure statement, which it’s hard to do much with, other than say “OK, understood”.
The proposition allows you to question me:
“What do you mean by persuasive?”
“What does behavioural science entail?”
“How do you define perception?”
“What’s the difference between perception and opinion?”
And a conversation has begun! That’s what a proposition does, it’s a conversation-starting introduction, rather than one which invites passive acceptance and perhaps no further interaction.
Expressing your full proposition
You’re probably familiar with visual brand identity (logos, fonts, imagery, typography etc). But those assets are just the look of your brand. We help people add the ideas and messages that you need to communicate your proposition fully, by creating content brand guidelines. These typically include:
- The rationale behind your brand proposition including demographic and psychographic audience profiles
- The problems your brand solves and how to reframe any preconceptions and objections
- Competitor differentiation
- Your core proposition
- Brand values, tone of voice and emotional responses
- Straplines and calls to action
- Content themes and language guidelines
This gives you a documented structure to your brand proposition and works alongside your visual identity to allow creatives and marketers to create consistent, compelling brand assets to start shaping positive perceptions of your brand.