Sales Growth’s 2nd Step: Assess Your Brand
In our last blog, we introduced you to our manufacturer client, Jim, who’d realized that his traditional marketing approach wasn’t yielding sales growth for him anymore. Once he came to that conclusion and approached us, he wanted to know what his next step should be.
What did we suggest?
Well, that’s the second of our 8 Steps to Growing Sales. And it’s the subject we’ll tackle in today’s blog.
Step 2 for Sales Growth: Assess Your Brand and Collateral
In our first discovery session with Jim, we learned that his company had several core strengths:
- It had earned a strong reputation, among its existing customers, for providing high-quality products with applications for automotive, freight transport, aerospace and military hardware.
- His company was a steady, reliable vendor-partner.
- It was making niche parts that were stronger and lighter than its competitors’ offerings.
All those were all excellent support points to build around. Beyond that, though, the brand lacked visibility.
Jim’s company was so far down in search results that, to potential new customers, it might as well not have existed.
His portal website wasn’t intuitively navigable. It wasn’t optimized for B2B sales growth. It was hindering — not supporting — his sales funnel.
His company hadn’t strategically developed or consistently nurtured its social media channels.
Jim’s sales materials looked dated.
His company hadn’t developed a unified brand voice.
Brochures hadn’t been updated to reflect his company’s newer products. None of them were targeted toward specific industries or buyers. His displays needed a refresh.
Another issue: many of Jim’s staffers had been employed with him for a long time. Undoubtedly, their loyalty and experience were strengths. But, because a lot of them had been there so long, many of their business cards were severely mismatched — some had older branding, some newer.
Jim and his sales force had done an excellent job of building personal relationships with their buyers. Many of their contracts were negotiated on a handshake basis, so the company had no spreadsheet for logging and tracking contacts, let alone a modern, functioning CRM.
There was no data; thus, analytics were impossible.
Like many small manufacturers, Jim’s company was housed in a non-descript building; essentially, it was a machine shop.
He was an engineer first, so signage, branding materials and a welcoming environment for holding customer meetings weren’t on the top of his mind. Quality control was. High tolerance specifications were.
Consequently, there was no exterior signage. The paint needed touching up. His conference room was a bit of a mess.
To potential customers, Jim’s brand image and voice were his product.
First impressions count for sales growth just as much as they do in one’s day-to-day life. Customers are people; thus, brands that take a person-centered approach are typically the most successful.
Understandably, Jim had never thought of it that way. He’d always focused most of his energy on making great widgets.
So, we helped him discover that his widgets needed a strong brand to advocate for them. Instead of selling Jim on a single tactic or channel, we assessed his company from a whole-impression point-of-view. Then we showed him which simple, cost-effective changes we could immediately make to boost his sales growth.
Jim appreciated that holistic approach. Finally, he had a marketing partner who was helping him to see his company the way new customers would see his company.
Jim helped us to see who his customers and potential customers were. We helped him see how marketing toward his end-users’ business goals and toward his products’ intended functions could drive his sales strategy.
Here’s how we helped Jim elevate his brand.
After our initial discovery sessions, Jim went to work getting his facility ready to welcome prospective new customers. Signage went up. He painted the conference room. The whole shop got a good sprucing-up.
While he concentrated on refreshing his physical plant, we set right to work refreshing his branding.
We developed buyer personas his sales force could use in their prospecting. We developed a brand voice they could communicate with potential buyers in. Then, we helped with sales scripting. We printed new, on-brand business cards for the whole team.
Because Jim had helped us to understand how and why his company’s products outperformed his competitors’, we were able to re-develop sales materials (brochures, trade show displays, website subpages and more) that stated — in ways his customers would respond to — strong cases for those products.
Then, we helped him build an integrated, data-driven sales funnel. We redeveloped his website. We produced (and continue to help him produce) volumes of relevant, discoverable content.
Next, we helped him develop his company’s social media network. We assisted him in breaking relevant news to influential trade publications.
Sales growth. Lots of it. Cost-effective. Reproducible.
Now, Jim’s revenue stream is flowing again. And we’re still hard at work, developing his business’s next marketing phase.
Curious to find out more about how we could help your business?
We’re not mentioning any of this to toot our own horn. Rather, we’re mentioning it to show you that our view of marketing doesn’t begin or end with a recommendation or two.
We don’t want B63 Line to be one of your resources for marketing fulfillment. We want to be your strategic, whole marketing partners. And, in this blog, we’re going to continue showing how we can boost your sales growth.
So, stay tuned for the next chapter in Jim’s journey. In the meantime, are you ready to learn more?
Then download our free e-book: “Is Your Company Blog Not Working? Here Are 5 Reasons Why That May Be.“