Changing brand positioning takes more than just designing a new website and marketing materials. It often requires a culture change across the organization. Certain B2B packaging companies have taken this initiative, offering customers to enter into deeper strategic relationships, but have they identified what changes are required from their company culture?
Often the new brand is initially communicated via the re-launch of the website, which typically states the intent to offer “full supply chain capabilities” and “long term strategic partnerships.” Such statements signal big transformations to customers accustomed to product and price centered negotiations.
Many companies however expect that once the new website and marketing collateral goes live, the way the sales team relates to customers will naturally change. Thus, to fulfill the potential of the new positioning, the following four practices are crucial:
- Have the sales team embrace the new brand.
- Rethink customer relationships.
- Align internal stakeholders on culture change.
- Act fast for fast ROI.
1. Embrace the new brand
Implementing the new brand requires the sales team to embrace and take ownership of the strategic vision, business positioning and how each individual is critical to its success. Habits, resistance to change or corporate inertia may get in the way and need to be addressed and dealt with early on to create a culture of employee ownership. Once the need for change is accepted, work with sales teams can focus on crafting the strategic framework required to implement it into ambitious customer outcomes. This extends to describing the nature of the new relationship as well as establishing key projects and milestones critical to the success of the new business model.
2. Rethink customer relationships
As the company shifts from traditional ‘push’ selling to a more collaborative customer-supplier relationship, a redesign of the selling process and a realignment with customers is critical. Cultural transformation allows key teams to relinquish traditional work practices and invent new collaborative ways of relating to customers. This involves creating new listening competencies and embracing a consultative approach focused customer solutions. .
3. Align internal stakeholders on culture change
Cultural transformation starts at the top and the success of the new brand will require all individuals in the organization to be aligned and fully committed. Constituting a leadership coalition team – comprising the organizations executive team and selected drivers of the implementation – can be a very effective tool. This team will lead the transformation, inspire the organization and ultimately take responsibility for delivering results.
4. Act fast for fast ROI
Time is of the essence in large-scale cultural transformation and ROI is on the radar. Ensuring everybody is committed and energized ahead of the new brand-positioning launch is paramount. It will be rewarding to communicate the new brand to customers on day one. Ultimately you are creating an inspiring new customer-packaging supplier relationship and opening doors for growth strategy and performance!
I welcome your feedback and experiences on the subject.