It’s the holiday season and as has been our tradition, we at Gumas would like to share a gift with the Challenger Brand community. This year, we thought it might be worthwhile to help you develop your own gift-giving strategy. Oh yes, gift-giving is a strategy, and like all good Challenger Brands, even selecting a holiday gift for that certain corporate someone requires planning, execution and follow-up.
Proper gift-giving necessitates thoughtful consideration of the recipient. What does that Challenger Brand executive need that’s going to improve their life, have a positive impact on their business and add joy to the enterprise (meaning, bring peace on earth to the staff)? What gifts will be just what the recipient always wanted, bring a knowing and prideful smile to the lucky beneficiary’s face and never be re-gifted? A monogrammed pen? “World’s Greatest Boss” coffee mug? Perhaps a nice reindeer printed tie?
No need to stress any further, we’ve got you covered with Gumas’ Challenger Brand Holiday Gift Guide. Here are our recommendations for wonderfully appropriate gifts for that Challenger Brand colleague in your life:
- CEO – A New Brand Essence: Every CEO needs to understand their company’s Brand Essence. That single word or succinct sentence that conveys the brand’s fundamental nature. The gift of a brand essence will connect emotionally with customers and colleagues while viscerally distinguishing the brand from its competitors.
- COO – A Competitive Analysis: A COO who has a deep understanding of his/her company’s strongest competitors, is more likely to build a business that exploits competitive weaknesses. When developing a business plan for Challenger Brands, understanding your competitors’ approach is an important component of building your own plan. The gift of a Competitive Analysis would include competitive comparisons to:
- General Positioning
- Target Consumer / User
- Brand Strengths
- Brand Weaknesses
- Key Points of Difference
- Corporate Colors
- Social Media Presence
- Search Strength
- PPC Reach
- Ad Spend
- CFO – Increase Brand Value: What CFO wouldn’t want to grow her/his company’s Brand Value. Brand Value is the difference between what it costs to produce a product and what a consumer is willing to pay for it. That delta is the Brand Value. This gift is the four ways to grow your Brand Value:
- Uniqueness – Does your brand look different than the rest of your competitive set? Does your brand stand out on the shelf or online? What does your brand identity say about you?
- Propriety – What can only your company say that no other competitor can, and are you saying it?
- Value – Does your prospect clearly understand the value of your offering? Can your prospect simply answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
- Stop Guessing – You must know what it is that your customer needs to hear from you that will drive them to purchase and integrate that into your brand’s overall positioning.
- CMO – A New Tagline: The perfect gift for a CMO of a company without a tagline, or an inappropriate, outdated, irrelevant one. The new tagline will concisely encapsulate the brand’s essence while establishing value and serve as an internal rallying cry. This new tagline will be true, emotional, stand for something, and will be declarative and proprietary. Like the world’s best taglines, this gift will be original, bold, and use powerful words that rise above their simple definition.
- Director of Sales – A New Trade Show Strategy: Most companies don’t have a Trade show strategy, beyond sitting at a convention table with a jar of candy kisses and a fishbowl to hold business cards. This thoughtful gift provides a three-step approach to Trade Show Marketing that connects with your prospect and drives them to action.
- Step 1 – Pre-Show Strategy – Most Trade Shows allow participants access to the attendee list; ideal for pre-show email blasts and conventional mailers setting your prospect up for what they can expect when visiting your booth.
- Step 2 – In-Show Strategy – Attract an audience for a series of live presentations of your product or service within the confines of your booth. This gift includes a professional presenter to deliver your story in a concise 5-10 minute audio/video package on a regularly scheduled basis. Staff answers questions and conducts follow-up meetings. The presenter also serves as a “shepherd” to attract a crowd prior to each mini-performance. The crowd can be more important than the presentation itself, as everyone will want to know what’s going on over at your booth.
- Step 3 – Post-Show Strategy – This Trade Show Strategy gift keeps on giving after the Show, because this is when the selling begins. The gift includes a follow-up with your attendees via email and phone calls to set-up sales meetings.
- Director of Product Development – Customer Understanding Through New Interview Techniques: Understanding what your customers and prospects need is at the foundation of intelligent product development. This gift is a formal, confidential, one-on-one phone interview technique that your team can use to research your customers. This gift takes into consideration:
- Independent Expertise – Use of a third party expert to conduct the phone interviews as customers are much more willing to share their opinions with strangers than with their partner contacts.
- Conduct Interviews Via Phone – People are not as honest when they are looking right at you, face-to-face. People are more likely to share their true feelings when they feel anonymous; and they feel more anonymous when they’re on the phone.
- Intelligent Questioning – The key to collecting the right information is asking the right questions. Smart, provocative, evocative questions that dig deep into the customer’s psyche to unearth the true, emotional connections between them and you.
- Procurement Manager – A Value Proposition: Who needs to understand value more than your Procurement Manager? Creating an effective Value Proposition requires focusing on the single most valuable benefit to the customer. We define a Value Proposition as the “What’s in it for me?” statement. The new Value Proposition will clearly define the key benefit a prospect enjoys by working with you or purchasing your product. Keep in mind, value lies not in your product or service, but rather, in the solution your product or service provides.
- HR Manager – A Philanthropy Marketing Campaign: Your HR Manager has a soft spot for the community and what better gift is there than a well-conceived community affairs strategy that both feeds your sincere need to give back while allowing your company to receive the rich public relations value that accompanies those efforts. This Philanthropy Marketing program will include some of the following branded tactics:
- The (your brand here) Scholarship Program – Establishment of an annual scholarship fund that recognizes bright and worthy students who demonstrate industry-appropriate skill/interest and can become brand ambassadors for the organization for many years.
- The (your brand here) Grant – A budget is set aside every year to identify a non-profit organization whose mission is aligned with your company’s philosophy.
- The (your brand here) Education Fund – The support of educational organizations in your community through an annual cash contribution supporting industry-appropriate curriculum.
- The (your brand here) Vocational Grant – Committing an annual sum to be provided to an industry-appropriate educational program focusing on a particular trade skill.
Happy Holidays and if you would like some help picking out the perfect gift for that Challenger Brand in your life, please drop us a line at: email@example.com.
Until next time…