Authority based businesses are all about building communities around new, different, innovative ways to do “things”. What we’ve come to understand is those “things” are jobs that the people who join the community want to get done. The number one goal for the job? Adding to community member’s personal success. (We go so far as to say that personal success haunts most people.)
While the definition of success may vary to include achievement, affiliation, power or avoiding pain – it still comes down to some form of “want” to “be better”. Deep insights into what your customer wants to be better at opens the door to your unlimited success. In this article we’ll share our insights into “feeding the ghost” (the want to be better at…) that is haunting your customer – the ghost that they may not see but you know is there.
The Problem: Identifying the ghost
Many of the companies that we work with come with deep knowledge in a specific area – and a long list of features and benefits that their knowledge/product delivers (yawn). Some can even define a problem or two that they solve…but there’s a couple of things missing: How does all that features and benefits gobbled-dee-gook help the customer be better (aka achieve success) in their lives? What’s the pathway (code name for process) that gets the customer to their desired success that’s different from any of the other choices they have today? Oh yeah – and let’s not forget the killer questions – Who is it that wants this new pathway to success? And are willing to give up their old habits in order to enjoy more/find new success?
The Process: Setting the Table to Feed The Ghost
The Community Design process turns deep knowledge (expertise) into deep insight – from which category leadership and authority are established. The deep insight comes when the expert/team finds the simple, intuitive connection (the aha! moment) and everyone in the room feels the click. At that moment the participants know we’ve nailed the driving “want” that, when clearly stated, will unleash the magic “I can be better!” moment for the customer. In that magic moment the customer is struck by an epiphany that screams “that’s exactly want I want”. Its at that moment the ghost appears! And they commit to the process that feeds the ghost – the ghost that they may have NEVER seen but now they know is there.
Here’s the steps we work through (and in many cases struggle through – because this is intense!):
- Define the market – we define the job your market wants to accomplish and the types of customer that you can help and want to work with.
- Understand market wants – in order to help your market we have to discover what the market wants so we can appeal to it.
- From/to – as an authority your job is to help customers get “from” one place “to” a better place; and that’s what we uncover.
- Business purpose and vision – we nail down/polish both a vision for your business and yourself in order to commit and motivate action.
- Customer avatar – creating a customer avatar is the most neglected yet most powerful tool in your arsenal – so we craft a customer avatar so that we can understand where to find and how to communicate with the ideal customer.
- Claim your Category – clearly articulating the problem in a way that opens your customers’ eyes to the magic of doing things differently – and creating a space in their mind that you’re number 1.
Sometimes the ghost is just to hard to find
Sometimes the authority/team is simply too ingrained in their point of reference – and simply cannot re-frame their perspective. (For more on that refer to our earlier Blog “Are you the kind of leader that can lead a category leader”.) If that’s the case this approach falls flat.
Another show stopper is if the area of expertise is a commodity with no unique process though which to do the job.
If you’ve dodged these two bullets then you should have an outstanding opportunity to help your customers find what’s haunting them and feed the ghost!
Check out the 30,000 foot overview of the Community Design Process. If your authority-based businesses is all about building a community around a new, different, innovative way to do “things” lets have a conversation and see if we can help you scale and dominate your category!).