Mon, 15 May 2017
Joining us for today’s show is Michael Speranza, a marketing leader who knows how to build brand preference with a strong B2B brand. Today’s topic is Brand Strategy and Planning. On Friday, IPC Systems launched a new brand identity following its acquisition of Etrali Trading Solutions earlier this year. Our guest today shares the use case for the brand strategy that 1400 IPC employees will use to convey a single, compelling story that inspires customers and prospects.
Michael and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Brand Strategy and Planning phase on pages 174 – 179 of the workbook.
Michael is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of B2B brand strategy. As the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Marketing for IPC, Michael has guided the brand strategy of his company through a major acquisition. IPC is a global B2B provider of technology solutions for the financial service markets. IPC provides communication, networking and information governance solutions in the FinTech space. After IPC acquired their top competitor, Michael navigated his company through the brand evolution to help make this M&A investment pay off.
Listen as Michael demonstrates how to create an inspiring brand that tells your strategic story. This show is valuable for every marketing executive with brand stewardship responsibilities, and a must watch episode for anyone acquiring companies as part of their growth strategy.
Why this topic today? Your competitors are making the same claims and promises as you. They are even using the same words. Brands that are built on “who you are” and “what you do” do not result in above average revenue growth. Your brand impacts revenue growth when it gets activated by the sales force and becomes uniquely relevant to your customer and prospects.
This brand strategy use case starts with understanding the 360-degree view of your customers and prospects. This involves understanding where your brand lives and how your audience might engage with your brand. Michael describes the brand audit process that helped inform the new brand strategy with primary research. IPC conducted in-depth interviews with customers, employees, and stakeholders, plus discovery workshops with many constituents to identify key brand attributes of IPC and the acquired company.
Michael states that; “We identified what we thought were the aspiration elements of the brand, and we made sure that we incorporated that cultural component to embody and create a brand that was going to be embraced by not only the joint set of employees but the joint set of customers that we're bringing together.” The brand audit covered all aspects that you would expect: visual identity, brand, logo, content, web, print, advertising as an end to end program that touched every campaign. From start to finish, this process was three months’ duration.
Listen as Michael describes how the B2B brand is lived by the sales force. Michael recognizes how important it is to support the sales force when you relaunch a brand, and how the sales force conveys the brand in every interaction.