In today’s globalized world, the increased rate at which contemporary business practices evolve and expand has encouraged further study of marketing and brand strategy in driving sales success. The brand equity model and its various parts such as brand awareness, brand experience, and brand loyalty require integrated marketing and sales strategies that include both tangible and intangible aspects of brand strategy.
One of the key processes behind creating brand equity is the practice of brand positioning, which can be defined as “the conceptual place you want to own in the target consumer’s mind — the benefits you want them to think of when they think of your brand” (EquiBrand, 2020). While marketing and sales teams are distinct in nature, marketing activities inspire interest in the product. They encourage demand from the target market by tailoring brand positioning on The Four Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) to their customer base.
In adapting to a known customer base, companies can present a product or service in the context of the needs and expectations of the targeted consumers and in contrast with competitors in the market, leaving them with an intended perception of the product or service.
Finding Your Target Market
A brand strategy effort begins with asking the question, “Who is the customer?” An effective way to build this customer profile is through a buyer persona. Developing a buyer persona requires you to define customer demographics (e.g., age, sex, education, HHI) and psychographics (lifestyle, preferences, aspirations, pains).
In identifying who a company’s sales strategies intend to reach, the provided product or service can be directed towards an audience, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship between business and customer. There are many buyer persona templates online to support this essential work.
Attempts to demonstrate the relevance of an idea to a specific buyer persona will fortify the brand and serve as a basis for reflection and improvement. However, markets change, competitors enter, and ideas are always expanding. Approaching the branding process from this angle can allow businesses to innovate ways to serve a dynamic market, though it must remain credible from the customer’s perspective through these efforts.
As knowledge of the customer base grows, the quality of the brand can be evaluated through qualitative measures such as how appealing customers find the brand as well as how often they make unique associations with the brand.
How to Identify the Competitive Environment
After realizing a target market, companies must work towards understanding their potential competitors. The competitive environment of the target market can help a business focus on differentiating its product or service.
Product differentiation highlights the unique value of its product or service and ensures it stands out in the competitive environment. The marketing team holds the responsibility of communicating these features through campaigns and promotions, however, sales teams should be just as adamant about demonstrating the competitive advantage through their conversations as well. This increases the prospect’s likelihood of remembering and choosing your product over another one.
How to Find Strategic Value for Your Sales Team
Your business can choose some or many of the areas to differentiate their product or service, including features, quality, reliability, price, looks, or location. The area of differentiation that your marketing and sales team should prioritize is contingent on the type of strategy your brand is going for.
Emphasizing product differentiation has benefits and consequences. The method may create additional value to your brand, develop brand loyalty, and allow you to compete in different ways. On the flip side, revenue increases are not guaranteed, and the process might strain resources. For these reasons, your marketing and sales teams should differentiate in meaningful ways, rather than trying to differentiate across too many dimensions.
In more ways than one, brand positioning in the market influences the efficacy as well as the long-term sustainability of sales strategies. As much as sales is a methodical science, sales teams should employ thoughtful and creative strategies to better differentiate their brand throughout their conversations and outreach.
In further understanding the target market and a product’s relevance in that market through the lens of brand strategy, businesses can find novel forms of product differentiation and create sustainable strategies for their sales teams.