There are many, many great reasons to be proud to be British.
British culture and our rich history is admired around the world, and attracts millions of visitors from overseas every year.
Our language is spoken by an estimated 1.75 billion people worldwide, making it the most popular first or second language of choice in the world, ahead of Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish. It is recognised internationally as the language of business.
Our traditions and our democracy and monarchy are known and respected internationally, and our reputation for fair play and good manners is legendary.
But we are also known around the world as being a very reserved nation. Bank employees working in the City may no longer dress in three-piece suits and bowler hats, but we are still largely known to be a population of people who are shy about our emotions and deeply uncomfortable talking our ourselves.
Unlike many other countries, it is common for us to consider those who are confident and vocal about their skills and talents as boastful or arrogant. And we often cringe when we hear others from different parts of the world proactively promote themselves in glowing terms.
On a personal and individual level, we are generally far more comfortable ‘hiding our own light under a bushel’, keeping our own talents, abilities, and achievements to ourselves, often including in job interviews when we should actively be promoting these skills!
This is the way we as Britons more often than not behave in our daily lives. And for us, it works well and it what we are used to.
But being reserved has a huge negative impact in the world of business.
Sadly most British businesses, including Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), are simply too shy to shout about why customers should buy from them in terms that make a real impact.
Most advertise or promote their services or products online or physically, not based on their core business messages or unique customer benefits, but instead on the belief that what they offer will resonate with prospective buyers.
But this belief is nothing more than a strategy of hope; hope that these prospective buyers will at that exact time feel that what they offer is of use, of value, or of need. Customer loyalty is seldom a factor in this strategy, and price is commonly the key deciding determinant.
This is dangerous for multiple reasons, most notably the fact that as soon as a competitor undercuts their price, they have lost a large percentage of their target market, unless they are prepared to price themselves even cheaper (which starts a downward spiral of pricing which is great for the customer but can be devasting for businesses).
Companies and business owners in many other parts of the world understand that being shy and reluctant to focus on customer value (rather than price) is an unsustainable strategy and the fastest way for a business to collapse. They instead highlight customer benefits and their value offering, often shouting out loudly about these attributes, not burdened by an intrinsic sense of embarrassment.
So this raises the question, are you being too British when it comes to your marketing and how you position and promote your services or products?
For more help or advice, contact Arup Biswas of Absolutely Write – the SME focused Marketing Specialist of the Year. We help businesses everywhere stand out from the competition and generate leads and sales (including in Britain!).