April 11, 2017 Ted Bauer

Stop thinking your brand is so unique

 

A lot of men who come to run companies believe deeply in the company. Whether that’s because they can’t have kids themselves and this is what they “created” (psychology!) or whether it’s another reason, they nonetheless think very strongly about this organization. Over time, they often come to think the business model is incredibly unique and complicated, and no one outside of them and their lieutenants could possibly understand it.

Let’s be real: that’s largely BS.

Business models are different, yes. Industries are different, verticals are different, and the employees on your teams will be different. All those things might make you believe your brand is unique.

At the end of the day, though, it isn’t really. You have a product or service and you need to sell it. Everyone is on the same page there, at least on the for-profit side.

What’s unique is how your product fits in the market you’re trying to capture.

Hiring consultants and branding experts and all that? Often unnecessary and it won’t move the needle very far in terms of predictable revenue. A nice logo and a new flow chart? Great. Doesn’t really matter to the end consumer as much as we’ve been trained to think.

Here is what matters:

  • What is the value perceived by the customer of what you do or produce?
  • Why do people need your thing more than their current solution?
  • Will they be able to afford it?
  • How is this going to be articulated to them?
  • What does the relationship look like after the sale is made?

Those things matter. Power branding does not.

And this is now where outsourcing comes in.

If you want to win a new market — say, central Europe — you need a sales team initially (before you’ve really started to grow) that understands the market, the current set-up around your product, lead generation, field sales, go-to-market, and more. You should almost always outsource before you hire full-time, because your outsourcing partner will know the market (assuming you’ve done your research on them). If you hire up a team first, that’s essentially turning revenue into salaries with no guarantee of predictability down the road. An outsourced team gets you to that revenue predictability, and then you can start to build your in-house side.

Here’s the bottom line: it’s not really about how unique and powerful and wonderful your brand is. Ultimately we’re all just selling something — and that “something” is the end value of your solution. What matters is knowing the market and the targets, and presenting your solution in a way that they must act now. And your smartest play towards that is to get an outsourced sales team on board, develop the route-to-market, find the predictable revenue, and then worry about those fancy power branding consultants.  

 

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