2020 Vision vs. Brand Blindness.

They say “familiarity breeds contempt.” But in marketing, familiarity breeds blindness — brand blindness. You’re simply too close to see your unique position clearly. And you can’t share what you can’t see.

Think about it. You know your company inside and out. Your products. Your services. Your people. Your customers. Your competitors. Your industry.

But knowing it all so well can make it almost impossible to see it with the fresh eyes that building a brand requires. And that can make planning for 2020 and beyond pretty tricky.

This exact scenario played out at a recent Storybrand workshop. Attendees struggled to answer some of the questions that could help them shape a unique position. 

Then something funny happened. When they were paired up with the person next to them, each was able to see the other person’s position much more easily than they could see their own.

If you or your team struggle to pin down the unique ways you help customers on their journey, maybe a little outside perspective can help. And the best place to start may be your customers — especially new ones.

Ask them what problems you solve for them. How you make their lives easier. What you do for them that others didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t. This moves you past products and services to real benefits.

Their answers will shed light on why they chose you — and why others should, too. They’ll give you some clear direction for your marketing messages. And if you’re following the Storybrand path to clarifying your marketing, they’ll fill in a lot of the blanks for you.

There are a couple of bonus benefits, too. You’ll end up with some new testimonials for your website, social media, etc. And your relationships with those customers will probably be even stronger.

Interview those customers one at a time or as a group, whichever makes them more comfortable and relaxed. And consider having an outside party interview them, so your own brand familiarity doesn’t blind you to key insights you could otherwise miss.

As you plan your marketing for the new year, take this opportunity to sidestep your own brand myopia and gain true 2020 vision for your brand.