Branding is too often thought of as simply the design that accompanies your business assets like websites and business cards. In reality, it is so much more than that. The core of your brand is defined by the way that your service offering fits into the lives of your clients. The way to establish that fit is to create a client value map that captures the features of your offering and ascribes them to the benefits your client’s experience as a result of engaging your services.

Features and benefits are two sides of the same coin. A good way to think of it is to remember the first iPod that was released. A big feature of the device was that it had a Gigabyte of storage. Back in 2001, a gigabyte was such a new concept that most people weren’t even sure whether to pronounce it with a hard or soft “g.”

It was impossible for the average person to understand exactly what that meant. To help the public understand the benefit of having a gigabyte worth of storage, Apple began to reference the ability to have “1000 songs in your pocket”. While the feature of 1 gigabyte of storage was important to understand, the benefit of 1000 songs in your pocket was easy to grasp and apply to one’s self.

To determine what your brand position is you need to understand your offering’s features and the benefits your prospects and clients are searching for.

For your offering you need to know:

  • Exactly what it consists of.
  • What ways can it create gains for its recipients.
  • What ways it can alleviate pain.

For your clients’ experienced benefits you need to know:

  • Which jobs and responsibilities do they need assistance with.
  • Which pains they experience.
  • Which gains they would like to achieve.

The features of your core offering refer to the technical aspects of your service. What are the specific products and services that you offer? Create a list of all of the aspects of your business that a person might order from you like it was a menu at a restaurant. Which of these services are meant to help alleviate pain? Which are meant to provide gain? Once you have your list mapped out, rearrange it so that the most crucial offerings are at the top of the list.

For the other side of the equation, map out the benefits that your clients want to receive from your services. First, list out the jobs they must take care of in their life. Jobs can include functional jobs pertaining to their professional life, social jobs having to do with family and friend obligations, personal jobs that seek certain emotional outcomes and supporting jobs that have to do with the jobs of others in which they play a role. List out all of these jobs. Which are pains that need alleviating? Which are areas in which they would like to experience gain? Again, reorder your list from most significant to least significant. Hopefully, you will start to see some correlation with your service features.

The next aspect of the map you need to figure out is fit. How do the features of your service offering match up with the benefits your ideal clients are seeking. If there is not a good fit, you have a problem. It means you either need to change your offering or change the types of clients you are pursuing.

By concentrating on finding the fit between your features and expected client benefits you will create a map that will help you locate your brand’s position in the marketplace and give you a starting point for improving your brand and finding the perfect clientele.