When evaluating your brand, ask the question, “What does your brand stand for?” It has to stand for something or it stands for nothing. BMW is known for high performance, Mercedes is known for luxury, and Volvo is known for safety. Not to say that any of these car brands don’t offer comparable performance, luxury or safety but each can only be known for one thing to make their brand truly meaningful to consumers. Let’s face it, we’re a finicky bunch and we like things defined and categorized for us to make buying easier. That’s why it’s imperative your brand stands for only ONE thing – one that you can hang your hat on over time. Most business owners are afraid to stand for only one thing – they feel the need to offer up a smorgesboard of things their good at like “we offer great service, and great quality, and excellent support, and better prices, and blah, blah, blah”. Ask the next person, and they’re likely to say the same thing. If you offer the best customer service in your industry and that is what you want to be known for, you better have a unique way of delivering it and following through with it that makes customers rave about you. Otherwise, excellent customer service is a given – it’s a basic expectation of today’s consumers who have a multitude of choices. The same goes for quality. Aligning your brand with your single, strongest core competency that makes you unique, and reinforcing it with a value proposition that makes it hard to ignore, is key to creating effective brand meaning.