I live in a small-ish town in northern NJ. We have a Main Street with a bunch of small shops, most of which don’t work very hard to pull me in.

And sometimes, I have no clue why I should care. The message or the offering aren’t clear, or perhaps the face of the store is just a confusing jumble.

I, and my wallet, keep on walking past.

While your business may not be in a retail zone, you surely have a “storefront” in the minds of customers. They look and they see…what? Something very clear; a message that they could turn or explain to a friend in 15 seconds? Or a jumble?

You may have the best stuff in the world to offer, but if customers don’t see it clearly – if YOU don’t see it clearly – you might find it hard to stay in business.

Own a differentiating quality. Own a market niche. Own a word. Make your real or virtual storefront so clear that any passerby who needs what you have to offer knows exactly where to turn in.

Once upon a time, a General Store could thrive. Those days are over. If your “brand” is foggy, or consists of a general list of everything from A to Z, you lose.

(image credit)