My post today refers once again to a trusted resource for current marketing information, the Marketing Profs e-newsletter. In a recent edition, Bob Domenz writes a very interesting article about updating B2B brand strategy. In it, he outlines those circumstances that are likely to signal a need for a reconciliation of brand strategy with business strategy.
While the entire article provides valuable insight, I was particularly intrigued by the first section. There, the author lists a number of “Big Change” motivators for a brand re-evaluation. These are when a business is facing one or more of the following:
- merger or acquisition,
- entering a new market,
- a new or aggressive competitor entering your market,
- launching a new innovation or product,
- new leadership or outside investors, or both.
What struck me about these brand strategy Big Change motivators is that they apply equally well to starting or enhancing a sales or channel incentive program. A properly designed incentive program, together with a supporting communication campaign, can dramatically improve chances for success in any of the circumstances on this list.
For example, one of the most successful programs I’ve experienced involved a paper products manufacturer. This producer had developed and launched a very innovative line of dispensers for its commodity products. Following the razor and blade business model (i.e., you need to sell the razor in order to sell the blades), they accurately assessed that motivating company sales people to increase dispenser placements would ultimately lead to increased paper product sales.
Together with the client, we developed a points-based program that awarded sales personnel for dispenser placements, with increased point awards for dispensers that could move the highest paper volume. While the company’s excellent products were the necessary prerequisites (a concept discussed in an earlier post) for what was a highly successful launch, the program helped to focus the attention of the sales team on this key strategic objective.
We know that many businesses face circumstances and challenges like those listed above. We also know that sales and channel sales incentives can focus attention on the desired objectives associated with those circumstances. Let us help you make the connection between challenge and success. Contact us here or call 800.621.9745.