Mindshare - MasterMind ideas from the strategists at Treacy Marketing Group

(Brand) Story Problems: A Pop Quiz from TMG

How closely have you been paying attention to the marketing transformations that surround us? Keyboards ready!

  1. The CEO of a Midwest manufacturing company is struggling with shrinking margins. Company leaders are well respected in the industry and currently spearheading research that has attracted much attention among supply-chain experts. However, price-based sales strategies have mired the business in a commodity market. If there was a way to shift perception from short-term inventory supplier to long-term solutions provider, by what percentage might revenues increase?
  2. The president of a successful family-owned business is considering retirement. Before he can develop an exit strategy, robust revenue goals must be achieved. He has identified three untapped new markets and developed a sales strategy. If all his employees were able to succinctly communicate the company’s unique value points to prospects, by what percentage might his business grow?
  3. The Executive Director of a national non-profit has just learned that a primary funder has significantly reduced corporate giving for the next fiscal year. This unexpected crisis has put increased stress on existing marketing plans that have delivered poor results. Goals to increase membership and donations have not been met. Brand awareness is low, although thought leadership enjoys a robust reputation. If the Director could pinpoint what needs to change, by what percentage might membership and donations increase?

Story problems aren’t for everyone. Coaxing an equation for success out of these scenarios is futile. What is revealed though is the overarching connection between brand story and revenue. If our CEO wants to shift perception, the corporate narrative must first be altered so that it reflects a long-term solutions provider. A team of employee advocates at the family-owned business who are able to engage their networks in conversation (digital and otherwise) that supports the sales team has the potential to exponentially increase lead generation. It is safe to assume that a direct mail campaign will not develop the relationships necessary to meet the non-profit’s membership and donation goals. However, marrying the thought leadership with new technologies will provide the compelling content their markets are seeking. As a brand-aligned outreach strategy it represents an important first step in the right direction.

Only our protagonists can identify the percentages we’re seeking in these vignettes. The real leaders these fictional counterparts mirror are engaged in high stakes situations that truly are pass or fail.