1. Problem (or opportunity) identification:<br />Buyers will make a list from:<br /><ul><li> “Recall” (brands from memory)
“Recognition” (on the search results from Google etc)</li></ul>Whilst your brand is not getting you on the list, it is influencing the chosen approach and therefore increasing your chances of being included - your name is associated with one of the chosen routes.<br />
2. Consideration Set (the long list):<br />Made up of companies:<br /><ul><li> that may have contacted buyers in the past
or they may search online again</li></ul>The “brand actions” are very similar to the first stage except this time brands are associated with a particular competence rather than a problem.<br />
3. Preference Set (the short list):<br />Typically this critical decision is now made online.<br />Your website needs to:<br /><ul><li> Explain the solutions you offer
Clearly position your brand and differentiate you from the competitors. </li></ul>This judgement is made on brand associations over time.<br />So ensure that every interaction is reinforcing the relevant associations and more importantly consistent with a single promise which defines what your brand stands for.<br />
4. Proposal reviews:<br />This is where sales take over, but the influence of the brand is still critical. <br />Success will be heavily influenced by the sales persons’ skill and professionalism. It is also the most important brand interaction of all.<br />The final judgement is, in fact, an emotional one.<br />
5. Supplier choice:<br />This choice is based on how “comfortable” the buyer feels about working with you.<br /> <br />The sales team are an important part of the brand. The strongest brands are those that are consistent with their experiences and messages to establish this feeling of trust and comfort.<br />People buy brands. <br />
6. Repurchase:<br />It is important that over time you build up associations between all your areas of competence not just the one’s buyers currently use, in a way that is:<br /><ul><li> Clear
Consistent </li></ul>It requires careful planning to construct a brand that accommodates all products and services and yet still differentiates you in a way that is appropriate for them all. <br />and requires careful planning <br />
The brand has an impact throughout the buying process <br />:<br />Your brand needs to be:<br />Clearly defined <br />Consistently communicated<br />Lived by every customer facing employee<br /> If not:<br />Your approach may not be considered as often as it should be<br />You wont make it on the long list<br />Your proposal may well be rejected no matter how technically sound it was <br />and you will fail to realise the full potential value that exists within your customer base. <br />
<ul><li> Brands only exist as concepts in people’s minds.
They are unique to everyone and consist of associations with other concepts.
Your brand can be associated with your category and equally your category can be established with your brand.
The strength of the association is relative and the stronger the association the more likely that the association is brought from the subconscious to the conscious. </li></ul> The Brand Associations Box:<br />