• Chris Ward

Do you have a name consumers know and trust?


In my last blog post, I spoke about being a Sunkist—having a name that buyers, members or donors know and trust. I suggested that delivering on your brand promise is an essential part of owning your space. And that every business organization strives to earn the label ‘trusted supplier.’


You don’t have to look too hard to find great examples of trusted suppliers. The next time a coffee break takes you to a Starbucks or a Tim Horton’s have a look at the line of people waiting to place their order. There’s a good chance that many of them return time and time again to the ‘coffee shop’ they know and trust. The same thing goes for so many of the products and services we opt to buy… it’s simply human nature to return to something that has done well for us in the past.


What about your business?

Every business wants to own their space... to carve out a unique place in the hearts and minds of customers, members or donors. Can you imagine a CEO who declares, “We had the opportunity to be the top dog in our business, but we decided to back off on our marketing to make sure our competitors got their fair share!”


So how do you find out whether your business is really a Sunkist? Here’s a place to start. Pick five or so employees and ask each of them five simple questions:

What business are we in?Who are our toughest competitors?What do they do well?What’s our advantage?Why do people buy from us?


If you get roughly the same answers from each employee, congratulations! Believe it or not you are in rarified company. In my experience, it’s highly likely you will get a number of different answers to each of these questions.


Owning your space starts at home

The fact is, owning your space starts at home. It starts with making sure employees:

  • buy into your value proposition,

  • can name your competitors and what they do well/not so well,

  • understand what makes your business, products and services different, and

  • are clear about why customers choose to do business with you.

By the way, these questions are just as appropriate for an association or charity as they are for a business selling products or services. Simply change the language to reflect the sector you’re in.


So try them out… see what your employees know about your business. You might be pleasantly surprised. Or you might find there is work to be done. One thing’s for sure: To be a Sunkist and to have a name that consumers a) know, and b) trust starts with informed employees who are willing and able to contribute.


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