In today's environment, many business leaders are looking for a top sales producer. You may be surprised to know that your No. 1 producer is already in your organization. It is your brand strategy.

I've seen it estimated that we get bombarded with close to 40,000 brand messages every day. Just drive up and down Oneida Street in Ashwaubenon several times and you are well on your way.

Your brand strategy is made up of three components: your brand (name), your logo and your positioning statement.

Your brand strategy all starts with your competence, which is the one thing you do better than your competitors in the markets where you compete. Once you have defined your competence, you center your entire organization around it, including your brand strategy. Your prospects must know why they should buy from you and what they will get in return. If you are delivering a competency, you need to tell your target markets about it. Lack of brand clarity in the market can be a leading cause of an underperforming sales organization. If one of your salespeople or employees needs to explain your brand strategy it is not working hard enough for you.

With the enormous level of brand clutter in the marketplace, it is essential that your brand strategy clearly and succinctly communicates your competence and its benefits . We call it a "home run" when an organization's brand strategy communicates both your competence and the benefits of your competence. The most effective brand strategy is when your target market sees your brand and there is no question what your company's differentiation is and the benefits your customers receive from it. Home Depot's initial brand strategy is a great example. Their positioning statement of "You can do it, we can help" along with their name and logo clearly communicate what they do and the benefits to their customers. Their brand clarity has been a key part of their incredible success.

An effective brand strategy brings many benefits to your organization:

  • It creates internal (employees) and external (customers) brand clarity.
  • It increases sales because more prospective customers come to you because they understand what you can do for them.
  • It increases the effectiveness of your sales organization because your brand already has pre-qualified the prospective customer. In other words, sales leads are warmed up by your brand.
  • The organization rallies around an effective brand strategy. A great indicator of that is when you see a company where their employees are proudly wearing apparel with the brand strategy on it.
  • A brand strategy that is trademark protected increases the value of your organization.

I would encourage your organization to evaluate the effectiveness of your brand strategy (template at www.smadvisors.com). Does it clearly communicate your differentiation and motivate your target markets to do business with you? Is your brand strategy a top producer for your company? Remember, those who plan, profit.

Steve Van Remortel is president of SM Advisors Inc., a strategic planning and talent management consulting firm. Contact him at stevevr@smadvisors.com or go to www.smadvisors.com or www.stopsellingvanillaicecream.com.

Brand strategy is critical for sales