So how do you discover what business you’re really in? Ask any business owner what business they’re in – and you’ll be surprised by how many miss the ‘real’ answer. Most people will tell you what industry they’re in or what product they sell without realising that the answer lies in something much deeper. Understanding the ‘real’ business you’re in and why it matters can help define your brand story, brand values and unique position in the market. So let’s explore a few ways you can start to understand your business better.

Here’s how to discover what business you’re really in:

1. Focus on connections over transactions

With every purchase your customer makes there is usually a transaction that takes place. A lot of businesses concentrate on the transaction and forget about the ‘why’ your customers come to you in the first place. Say you sell shoes. An order comes in, you have systems to check inventory, take the payment, get the order shipped and move onto the next customer. Sure, you’ve fulfilled a transaction. But what have you done along the way to build a connection with that customer so they come back?

2. Allow feelings into it

Your ‘why’ is a huge part of your customers’ decision making process. Let’s go back to the shoes. Your customer may want a certain brand of shoes, but they are not necessarily buying these because they need shoes. They probably have several pairs at home. Your customers are buying because they want to look cool or keep up with the latest fashion. Or maybe they have been influenced by a friend? It’s rarely about the shoes. Or the transaction. There’s a much deeper emotional behavior that takes place. To really connect with your customer, these feelings need to be explored.

3. Understand there’s more than one ‘why’

What attracts and motivates one customer to buy from you will not be the same for every customer. To understand your customers and business better, try this exercise and ask yourself these questions three times:

  • What business are we in?
  • Why does it matter?

Click here for an example of how we did ours.

Try exploring three totally different angles. Really challenge yourself to think deeply about the second question. It matters because… why? This will help you understand what drives your customers and what motivates them to stick around. The big challenge of course is how you use this information to build stronger, lasting connections with your customers. That’s where brand strategy comes in. If you’re curious to know more, book a discovery call to explore how we can help with your brand strategy.