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3 Keys to Evaluate Your B2B Brand's Position

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Hi All! This week’s topic is Brand & Positioning. Understanding your brand’s position in the market is important to growth planning. In today’s newsletter, I discuss 3 Keys to Evaluate Your B2B Brand's Position.

What are your thoughts on evaluating the positioning of your B2B brand? Share your ideas on The Buzz Community.

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3 Keys to Evaluate Your B2B Brand's Position

In my consulting life, I see many companies that have failed to understand the position of their brand in the market. Simply put, many B2B brand leaders have failed to do the necessary homework to position their brand, understand the complexity of the market into which they sell, and lack the tools to quantify the impact of their position as it relates to business outcomes.

Positioning is really about putting your brand in a marketplace context. You should have both qualitative and quantitative analyses to understand your brand’s relative position in the market. Let’s explore some key elements of that analysis.

Key #1 - Stakeholder Interviews

Most firms have a sense of interviewing customers for testimonials. But, usually, there is a key missed opportunities in this cadence. Your stakeholders need to include more than just existing / past customers. You should also interview internal leaders, shareholders, board members, partners, industry analysts, and employees. This scope should provide you with a 360-degree view of your market.

The key deliverable for stakeholder interviews - in addition to the interviews themselves - is perception mapping of what the responses are. Also, it is important to have quantifiable and repeated questions across various stakeholder groups. This will provide you the ammunition to do a comparative analysis among the stakeholders (e.g., employee vs. partner perceptions). For example, across all stakeholders, I’ll recommend that clients ask questions that are tied to NPS, competition, brand favorability, and USP awareness / favorability. This framework allows for a solid analysis of the true position of your brand as it is perceived by various constituencies your brand touches.

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Key #2 - Competitive Analysis

Depending on your industry there may be syndicated sources to help measure how your brand is perceived in the marketplace context. Alternatively, you can do your own research to get at these answers. The net is that you want to not only understand how buyers view the competitive set (meaning who are your competitors) but also budget competition in terms of buying your solutions.

This second element is usually overlooked but is an important way to understand the “share of wallet” competition, which may differ from direct competitors. I see this regularly with clients that offer “point solutions” for a particular buyer. Without this homework, revenue leaders are blind to the “budget” competitive set that sales and marketing need to address. For example, an email solution may have adjacent marketing automation, CRM, and CDP technologies that are budget competitors but not direct use case, feature, and functionality competitors.

Key #3 - Connect Positioning to Business Outcomes

Understanding the impact of positioning and the change of positioning to business outcomes (e.g., revenue, pipeline, and win rates) is an analysis that one must accomplish to better understand the financial impact of positioning changes. This is also true at the product marketing level for product USPs. There is always a financial impact to brand positioning and it is important to quantify that impact to accelerate growth.

This is easier said than done. But there are two reports that I always use to quantify this impact. One is competitive sales throughput. Or put simply an analysis of the competition that shows up in the buyer and upsell processes. With enough data, you will see which competitors are hindering your sales efforts. Then you should quantify that in terms of lost revenue for your brand and product. Two is looking at NPS by stakeholder group as it correlates to the overall gross margin for that group. This analysis will help you identify which stakeholder group requires more investment in terms of brand positioning since pricing elasticity is directly related to brand value.

What are your thoughts on evaluating the positioning of your B2B brand? Share your feedback on The Buzz Community.


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