Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Sure-Win Process for
Brand Message Development

A look behind the scenes for how Cincom Systems updated its brand positioning ... try these same steps on your business and you will develop a sharper, clearer and more relevant message for your brand.

First, the marketing department conducted 30 one-hour interviews with prospective customers in the US and in Europe. These interviews were open-ended to maximize the objectivity of input from prospects. Each interview was recorded and transcribed.

Transcriptions were dissected carefully to identify characteristics that the prospects stated as most important, in their own words and from their own perspectives. The various words and phrases identified were then charted in spreadsheets and ranked in importance, based on the frequency that prospects cited each of the words/phrases during the open-ended interviews.

We transformed the unstructured input into a quantifiable analysis.

We aggregated the commonalities among the various leading messages to hone in on a single message that was universally desired by prospects.

This led to the observation that all of the interviewed prospects were struggling with the complexity of their businesses and the complaint that most software companies actually made the complexity worse, rather than simpler.

We focused the message on the concept of simplicity.

A new description of the business –
Cincom provides software that helps you manage the complexity of your business in the five areas where simplification provides the most value -- revenue growth, customer communications, process optimization, business transformation and leveraging existing infrastructure.

A new positioning statement –
Software to simplify your complex world

A new value proposition statement –
Simpler, smarter software to provide you with high value, low cost, rapid return on investment at low risk

A new proof statement –
We have been simplifying business for clients such as (list) for 37 years. The high value is documented in their success stories. Their cost of ownership is often less than half that offered by our competitors. The installation time is faster so ROI is achieved faster. Our experience in the business reduces your risk.

A new tagline –
Simplification through innovation

The simplicity message was then adapted for each of the primary business units. The result is a clear statement of purpose that has strong relevance to customers.

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