Find out if your marketing and your business are saying the same thing to your customers and those around you.

tree perception 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: Foxtongue

Back in mid-November, my friend, David White across at Weboptimiser, asked if I would give my opinion on what I thought was their USP.

My response to that was:

Helping companies get found online in a crowded market place

However, what I thought was really interesting about the question was that he was asking for my perspective and not for a review or a recommendation. He was asking for my opinion on how I perceived him.

In business, we seem to spend a lot of time thinking about our positioning, how we want to position ourselves, what messages that we want to use in our marketing, what we are going to say in a client meeting etc etc without ever really stopping and asking ourselves…… How is this going to be heard? How is it going to be understood? What is it going to mean to the person that is listening? The point for me here is that often it is not necessarily what we say that counts but how it is received and understood that really matters.

I thought that it was such a good idea that I decided to ask my customers and network the same thing.

Why both groups? Well, obviously, it’s important to understand your customers perspective of you and your business. But, asking my network, I thought, would give me a different perspective, particularly from people that I know but have never actually worked with.

So, what happened?

Well, here are some of the responses that I received, in no particular order. They show a variety of responses but have been really helpful in helping me think about what I do, what value I deliver and how I am perceived:

Your consulting gives rise to new thoughts and ideas – only those you consult with can make the necessary changes.

Creative and intelligent thinking that helps business people resolve particularly stubborn problems by thinking more laterally and assisting to put these fresh ideas into action.

Being able to provide an informed solution, view or opinion but from a totally neutral background.

In my opinion your consulting deals best with business relationships and communication in and outside of the organsation.

My opinion is that you like people. I think this is a rare quality and I hardly know anyone else who does. Most people go from mild irritation to dread to don’t care. I think that is perhaps what you teach businesses to do.

Bringing attention to the nuances of personal interactions in a business environment and allowing the positive signs to be identified and built upon. You also help people to realise that a seemingly negative signals can often be a starting point for improved services and relationships.

I think you are good at clarifying and focusing a business. This could be defining a problem or taking a load of rough ideas and helping formulate a cohesive strategy from them. You will make people think about things in a constructive way, without getting bogged down in the excessive or irrelevant detail.

From my experience you put direction into my ideas and gave me other ideas on how to execute and develop myself and the group I manage

I would say that the problem you solve is one of “awareness” – many organisations don’t know how they are perceived by their customers and you help them to become more self aware and then focus their attention on what the customer needs.

helps to improve profitability

focus on common sense marketing

building relationships with customers and employees

What do you think? Would you agree with the above?

To some this kind of exercise may feel a little scary, but I assure you that it’s a great exercise to do and I would encourage everyone to do the same in their business.

Do you know how you are seen? Is it aligned with your branding and marketing?

Is your marketing and business saying the same thing to your customers and those around you?

13 comments On Find out if your marketing and your business are saying the same thing to your customers and those around you.

  • Its amazing what a bing search will reveal sometimes. Literally just found this website by accident basically. Thanks

  • Hello Adrian

    A great practice that all of us can apply to our lives – personal and professional. How we occur to ourselves and how we occur to other people can be remarkably different – we are so embedded in our investment in identity/self-image (‘brand’) that we often cannot see or deny what others can easily see about ourselves. Yet, it requires a brave person to ask for that feedback AND then really listen to it.

    In the corporate domain there is such an investment in the ‘looking good’ – in maintaining the brand image – that all kinds of efforts are made to suppress any reality that intrudes on that carefully manufactured image or delusion. News International is a great example of that. What was the focus of management when the hacking practices came to light: avoiding reputational damage.


    • Hi Maz,
      Great example of News International and avoiding reputational damage. Extends the point that I was making. Thank you for that.

      Best wishes,


  • Interesting exercise Adrian. Looking at the comments you received you are marvellous.

    Now, I don’t dispute that fact, it would be very rude of me to, but I wonder if you are really that marvellous.

    There is a Jeff Bezos quote “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”

    So the really interesting thing would be what do your customers say behind your back?


    • Hi James,
      Thank you. I try. I really do.

      However, the point you make is a valid one and the one thing that I did notice is that the email I did send out (I sent it out as part of my monthly newsletter) was the email that received the greatest response and, at the same time, the greatest number of ‘Unsubscribes’. Interesting.

      At the same time, I received a number of responses that let me know that people did not know me well enough to have an opinion. That told me a lot too.

      You are right that it is important to try and understand what is being said about your/my brand when I am not in the room. However, I am not in control of that. I can only control what I do, how I act, how and what I ask, how I listen, what I say and how I respond in the hope that the conversation when I leave is a positive one.

      What would you say about me when I am not in the room?


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  • Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

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