Or at least, that’s how it feels to your prospect when you get your messaging wrong. There’s no more important area for sales and marketing to work together on than creating a positive brand, driving awareness of that brand and aligning a compelling message to it.
Here’s a quick test. Take a look at the home page of your website. If it features a history of your company or has a news story about your 10th anniversary, you’re doing it wrong.
Which way up should the pyramid be?
We talked in our blog ‘Your team sound like robots’ about the inverted pyramid technique that helps you to prioritise information. Often brands are the other way up. They start right at the top with the product. Don’t want that product? Then we’ve nothing else to say to you. Turning the pyramid upside down allows the brand to become more engaging. Think about the John Lewis Christmas adverts. They rarely feature any of the products you can buy from the store. Instead, the ads focus on how the organisation wants its brand to be perceived, and this gives it a broader appeal. There are far more people who want to give a thoughtful gift than want to buy a bike.
The thing is, ‘brand awareness’ can sound like a bit of an intangible. Hard sales leads are much easier to see and measure. So many organisations naturally drive their marketing efforts to lead acquisition activity. Of course, generating leads is vital, but it should be viewed within the larger marketing picture, which, to maximise your success, must include defining and communicating your brand. You can think of it as the strong foundation that builds trust, and when you have trust, sales flourish.
Why brand awareness matters
Every decision, including whether to purchase from you, starts with a judgement about your brand, whether conscious or not. The technology industry is a great example of how brand affects perception and sales. That beautiful large display that sits on the office wall will have come out of one of a handful of factories. The company that manufactures a third of the global display production is a name I guarantee you’ll never have heard of. You could buy a display with this name on, but you are likely to shun it for a brand you feel is a ‘quality’ one. The reality is the displays are exactly the same; it is the brand that you are paying more for.
This is borne out by research. A Nielsen study revealed that around 60% of people are more likely to buy products from familiar brands, than from brands they don’t know.
Brand awareness in sales
To align sales messages with your brand, you need to ensure that you introduce your brand in contexts that feel natural. Layer the information in a way that feeds the right amount of information to the prospect at the time they are ready to receive it. By structuring your content in line with the inverted pyramid process, you can drip feed increasingly targeted information to your contact.
By doing this, you can capture your prospect’s attention by selling an idea first, and then introducing specific solutions that align with that idea at a later time. It’s a long game, but one that helps you direct your prospect in the direction you want them to go, without them ever feeling pressured.
The hard truth is, people don’t care about you, and they don’t care about your products. What they do care about is feelings. To be really successful, stop talking about yourself, and start talking about what your audience already cares about.
Have you successfully introduced the concept of brand into your sales process and if so, what results has it brought? We’d love to hear from you.
Published: 26th March 2020.