PSA recently held a half day of education co-located at NSCA’s BLC event. The topic? Branding for executives. We launched our marketing consultancy for security and AV systems integrators in 2021 and have had some very interesting takeaways so far about common issues that our clients and prospects are facing.
A clear brand articulation ranks high on that list. You may be wondering why that’s even important and think, perhaps, your brand articulation is just for your marketing team to worry about.
We learn from Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” that an organization’s why must be established before you can determine the how or what is communicated. While leaders may feel they have a clear view of this, it often does not permeate throughout the organization.
Teams work in silos: the sales team develops its own messaging, marketing has its own, customer service, etc. Parts and pieces are accurate, but holistically, it’s not telling the complete story the leadership team would hope for.
Last year, I worked PSA’s booth at ISC West for the first time. Over the course of the event, I worked with various coworkers from all areas of the organization. I heard each team member’s “pitch” to integrators about why they should join PSA.
Every single person had a very different angle about our value proposition. They all were true, they all had some excellent points, but holistically, they were not telling the message I would hope for as the person responsible for branding our organization.
So how do you go about reconciling this? It starts with your strategic plan. Instead of heading to your marketing team and asking them to figure it out, it needs to take place at the executive level as part of your annual strategic planning check-in (though I certainly hope you have marketing representation at this level). A few things must happen first to set the stage:
- SWOT Analysis — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
- Competitive landscape assessment — what’s your position in the marketplace?
- Audience segmentation — focusing specifically on demographics and psychographics (I’ll explain why in a moment)
- Mission, vision and core values
There are obviously other key components of a strategic plan that cannot be missed, but I specifically call these out to help develop your brand position. Once you’ve determined your place in the market and who you are trying to win over, then you can really work on your unique value propositions.
Likewise, clear and concise mission and vision statements, as well as core values, are the north star for your employees to understand how and why they work the way they do.
The reason why it is important to think about psychographics is because we need to understand what makes our client’s tick. What is their motivation or their why. This helps us develop the most compelling content that will speak to their subconscious and make them want to do business with us.
The best marketing ads we see aren’t selling a security camera, they are selling the protection and peace of mind that camera can give you or what the end result of having that product is.
Once you have this figured out, document your brand positioning well; both as part of your strategic plan and to hand over to marketing to make the magic happen. They can segment these messaging angles for three distinct purposes: awareness, consideration and conversion.
Awareness helps potential and existing customers learn more about the products you offer or the problems you can help them solve. Consideration makes them take a deeper look and consider why they need them. Finally, conversion is where the magic happens, and they are convinced to move forward with your services.
So how does this look in reality? Think of the PSA example, when we are back at a tradeshow booth sharing why an integrator wants to be part of PSA — each employee has the mission, vision and core values of PSA in their heads. They know who we are looking for, what they are interested in and we have to offer, and why they want to join us. Now we are speaking in a clear and consistent voice and the message will resonate.