The reading level for this article is All Levels

How does the world see you? It may not be the way you see yourself. Either way, it’s time you find out!

Recently I typed my own name into a series of search engines to see how well known I was. Surprise, surprise! I learned in England I am a soccer star with adoring fan clubs and celebrity status, in New Zealand I’m a playwright, author and editor. Stateside I am either a Gastroenterologist in Kalispell, Montana or a gospel singer with 4 CDs to my name in Ohio. Who knew!

My point? We need to know how our customers regard us. Is there market clarity or market confusion? Are customers as clear about who we are and what we can do for them as we are? If not, it’s our responsibility to send a clear and consistent message about who we are and what’s special about us.

Be the Best At What You Do Best
In our quest for customers there’s a tendency to try to be all things to all people. In our desire to be service-oriented when a customer says “jump” we naturally say “how high?” Yet you should operate from a position of strength. Signal to others what it is that you do best. Let it flow off your tongue in your elevator speech, sparkle in your web banner ads and be reinforced throughout your collateral material. Whether it is your product line, company or the services you provide you must tell the world in a consistent fashion what it is that you excel in.

TAG — It’s You!
Does your, or your product or service’s tag line tell a tale that’s embraceable? Many company names leave customers pondering what your core business is. If your name doesn’t say it all, make sure your tag line tells the tale. Focus on the benefits, not the features. Emphasize the results of the work, not the process. The clearer you are on the results that accrue to your customers, the better they’ll be able to determine how best to hire you or buy your products.

It’s Your Defining Moment
If you don’t define yourself and your business effectively your marketplace will do it for you. In terms of positioning, you want to be the focal point. There was once a database company whose brilliant engineering was undermined by weak marketing. Despite superior products, they lacked name recognition. They were resigned to introducing their company name, then having to say: “Have you heard of Oracle? We’re a competitor of theirs.” As you can imagine, they no longer exist. Carve your own niche, stake claim to your own territories and position yourself appropriately. Be known for your strength. When you come from that place of strength, competitors will be left to carve out what’s left. Once you Google yourself successfully you will leave the rest of the Yahoos in the dust!

Craig Harrison founded Expressions of Excellence to help professionals express their sales and service excellence. E-mail Craig at, call him at (510) 547-0664 and visit his website

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This Marketing article was written by Craig Harrison on 3/19/2007

Craig Harrison’s Expressions Of Excellence! ™ helps professionals express their sales and service excellence with style. Contact him at (510) 547-0664, via or through