Why a Powerful Brand Strategy is Crucial to Your Lead-to-Revenue Plan
When I published my recent book, The Essential Guide to Building Your Lead-to-Revenue (L2R) Machine™, I chose brand strategy as the first key component of the framework because of its extreme importance to L2R success. Building the rest of your marketing and sales initiatives on top of a weak brand is akin to building a house on a bed of sand. It may work for a while, but will have no chance of sustainable success. We find that clients who focus on the brand early in the process have a much better chance of hitting revenue targets quarter over quarter and year over year. This is why it is so essential to define your brand promise as a guidepost against which you can gauge all of your tactical activities.
Despite the compelling importance of the brand promise in creating a powerful L2R Framework, it is still one of the most misunderstood, unappreciated, and neglected parts of the marketing and sales process. Advertising visionary David Ogilvy was right when he said that “positioning” (his term for creating the brand promise) is the most important decision made in promoting a service or product. Ogilvy was also correct when he said that successful positioning has more impact on the results of a promotion than how ads are created.
Finding the right branding strategy balance is critical. On the “too broad” end, lots of B2B companies, desperate for recognition and revenue, try to be everything to everyone. Prospects just don’t believe when you claim to be an expert in a bunch of areas. On the other end of the spectrum, aiming too narrowly is equally fatal when you find yourself locked into a market with shrinking revenue.
As an example of poor branding, one of my partners worked for a company whose small C-level and business development team had dozens of potential deals cooking, not one of them anywhere near the one-yard line. The company’s core branding changed with every potential new customer and partner. In the excitement of infancy, they were saying “Yes” to anyone who would pay attention to them, rolling out pilot programs whose execution was burning cash and frustrating the staff.
This company would have benefited from a clear and compelling branding message, delivered consistently. Why? Because branding clarity brings strategic clarity. It means less wasted internal motion and a clear, direct line of attraction to the audience you need.
Keep in mind that in addition to articulating the key benefits of your product or service, the brand strategy must be based on the specific attributes, desires and requirements of your target audience. We often use a “persona-based” approach to segmenting our target prospect universe and do online research to make sure that our messaging lines up with what prospects are looking for and talking about.
Ask any sales person or sales manager whether they find it easier to make sales and commissions when working for a company that has a strong brand. Ask any marketing professional whether a strong brand makes it easier for them to shine and be successful. The answer to these questions is obvious, so create the most powerful brand promise possible to support your lead-to-revenue plan.
To read about the other seven components, feel free to download a free copy of The Essential Guide to Building Your Lead-to-Revenue (L2R) Machine™.