In my last article I discussed “The Brand Gap,” which describes the difference between what your customers think of you now and what you would like them to think in the future. Closing The Brand Gap is a key to driving your business results:

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Customers will be inspired to act in ways that improve your results if they believe you are clear, compelling and different. I like to think about this in three key categories of beliefs: “I get it,” “I want it,” and “I can’t get it anywhere else.”

  1. “I get it” Your brand is clear to them.
  2. “I want it.” Your brand is compelling to them.
  3. “I can’t get it anywhere else.” They believe that you are different from the competition in important ways.

Do your customers think you are clear, compelling and different? Take the quick assessment below to estimate where you would fall on each of the three key categories:

Let’s discuss each of these three keys to motivating customers.

“I get it”

How well do your customers understand who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them?

My experience, from years of market research related to brand strategy development projects, is that the customers of most companies don’t “get it,” i.e. they don’t really understand those companies. This lack of clarity limits customer behavior; when was the last time you were really motivated by something you didn’t understand?

When a customer says, “I get it,” they understand clearly who you are, what you do and what you can do for them. This customer’s beliefs now have one of the three key elements of a motivating brand impression.

“I want it”

Are you important to your customers? Do they really value what you offer them?

The histories of product innovation and marketing communications are filled with offerings that sounded wonderful to the companies behind them, yet were not meaningful to customers. To act in ways that drive your results, a customer must deeply believe that your offering is compelling and important to them.

When a customer not only says, “I get it,” but also says, “I want it,” her beliefs now include two of the three key elements of a motivating brand impression.

“I can’t get it anywhere else”

Do your customers see you as unique and irreplaceable? Would they be extremely disappointed if, for some reason, they had to buy from your competition?

Your customers may say, “I get it” and “I want it,” but this only leads to earning their business if they don’t think they can get the same things from your competition.

When a customer not only says, “I get it and I want it,” but also says, “I can’t get it anywhere else,” this customer has a complete, motivating brand impression of you that inspires him to act in ways that drive your results.


  • Dan Caramanico
    Apr 10, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    These three keys to motivating customers apply to sales as much as they do to marketing. Salespeople need to focus on the customer in their conversations so that the outcome of the conversation is that the customer Gets it wants it and knows they can’t get it anywhere else. That is a great definition of what I call a compelling reason to buy.

  • Steve Yastrow
    Apr 11, 2014 - 03:46 am

    Dan – so true. You’ve hit on the connection between all three of my books. Whether customers interact with pre-produced marketing communications or spontaneously-created one-on-one sales encounters, you goal is help your customer create clear, compelling, differentiated beliefs about you.


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