I had a really fun conversation this morning with a new contact who works in a division of one of our clients’ companies, but is not using our platform yet. This already sounds a bit confusing, doesn’t it? Well, that was exactly the thrust of our conversation.
If your company owns great brands, you already have a great platform – highly visible to channel partners, consumers and anyone else who matters to you. This particular guy works for just such a long-standing and well-respected brand; in fact I would go so far as to call the brand iconic. That leads me to my point:
Iconic brands have a great deal going for them in the commercial marketplace, but chief among these is recognition. This recognition usually comes, however, in the form of recognition of a single brand – not a series of divisions. There are exceptions of course; the auto industry comes to mind with a company like General Motors historically having recognition for its parent brand but also highly recognizable divisions such as Chevrolet and Buick.
Recognition as a high-quality brand with a long history of being well regarded by consumers makes things easier on the sales floor and helps to shorten the length of time it takes for a sale to be made. The sticky point with a long running brand comes when the company gets so large that the divisions do not function together at the front lines, and this is where my conversation with the guy above comes into play.
Here’s the problem.
Another division in his company has offered a particularly enticing consumer incentive on their product lines and it is creating a few bumps on the sales floor because the same incentives do not apply to his lines. As a consequence of this, what is happening in stores is that some salespeople are having trouble packaging multiple SKUs from his company onto the same invoice with their customers. In some cases, they are even having to move customers to other brands because consumers are confused or annoyed by the sales incentive being offered (or not being offered).
Now, in the case of this guy, we are able to work it out because his company is already using our platform and it is no problem in this case to simply add another division so that they can work together more easily but maintain their separate P&Ls by division.
So while we were able to help relatively easily in this situation, I was inspired to write this post more as a friendly reminder to all marketing and channel marketing professionals to keep your eye on the ball. In this case “the ball” is the public’s perception of your brand as one large functioning entity. When you have a highly recognizable brand, enjoy the power to leverage that in as many ways as possible, but remember how people see you all the way down the line.
Have a great week.
Kevin Martin is a Sales Channel Incentive Specialist at 360incentives.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn right here.