Corporate branding helps you deliver your business value message, confirms your marketplace credibility, helps build customer loyalty and reduces entry barriers during the sales cycle for qualified prospects.
But is your brand helping the sales process, or hindering it?
Imagine that you received a phonecall from a salesperson at Apple Inc, who wanted to know whether you would be interested in their value offering. What mental image would you have? As an Apple salesperson, they could be selling laptops, workstations, back-up storage, iPods, cellphones, software, support contracts or even wireless network connectivity. Because Apple is such a successful company with a broad range of products and services, they could be trying to sell you any of these things.
And therein lies the issue: Brand marketing can often hinder a salesperson’s ability to effectively communicate the company’s business value offering.
The very essence of most brand marketing programs is to instil a strong and evocative image into the target market’s mind. However, this also forces prospects to make conclusions about why a salesperson is calling them. If your company is known for one thing – and ONLY one thing – then this isn’t a problem (in fact, it could be an asset).
However, most companies attempt to expand their product or service offerings to grow their business. These new offerings may not closely relate to existing products/services, confusing prospects due to pre-established branding.
So, is the answer to create a generic, all-encompassing brand value message? Usually not. Today, many potential customers prefer to seek out specialists rather than generalists. A wide-ranging brand message isn’t going to help salespeople sell specifically-targeted products or services to a pre-qualified prospect.
Instead, create a number of focussed messages on the specific products or services. Above all, position the message based on the results that your product/service will achieve, rather than what it actually does, and communicate the business value gain from your customer’s perspective.