Sunday, 5 January 2014

Round up of New Year Resolutions for 2013 in Selling Refocus Rethink Reinvent Rename

Originally posted last year but worth another read for 2014

I have spent time this last week reviewing what many salespeople – or at least those brave enough to share on the net - have posted as their resolutions for  2013.
I thought I might share what has come to light from my search. You might care to consider to include some of their approaches and thoughts in putting the final touches to your selling plans for 2013.

 Having enjoyed the Holidays recharging their selling batteries for 2013, they have returned with renewed vigour. Some even had undergone an epiphany having been inspired by some sales reading that had over the holiday which is apt in this season of Epiphany.

I noticed many of their plans parallel the challenges of re-Branding. Their objectives for the new year can be grouped into 4 ‘Re-‘ words : Refocus ,Rethink, Reinvent ,Rename.

Refocus - be a marksman with a rifle not a shot gun

As with re branding, in Sales it’s worth reviewing who is your target audience from time to time.

It can happen that your sales drop because in trying to increase your market share, you lose sight of whom it is you serve best. In casting your net too wide, you may even alienate your core clients.

Refocusing gives you a chance to redeploy your efforts specifically to appeal to those clients who will realistically be most interested in and most likely to buy your offer, rather than wasting time and money on a less effective, too-broad sales plan.

I notice a number of Business Plans for 2013 who wanted to reduce the amount of time spent on unfocused time on social media such as LinkedIn , Facebook, YouTube and blogs J !

 Read this excellent article by Benjamin Cohen

Rethink - as Goethe said "Most things have been thought of before, the trick is to think of them again"

On the other hand the new year can be a good time to reconsider your product offering with fresh eyes. Forget your past success and look ahead to what it will take to seize a newer, broader market.

Ask yourself what will make your product relevant to 2013’s customer. What are the benefits of your offer for 2013?  Does your product promote ecological responsibility recycling? Does it support a healthy, active lifestyle? Can it create greater efficiencies or cost savings in an economy where everyone’s looking for new ways to stretch the money further?

If we are headed for a triple dip recession one may need to freshen up and rethink our offering to avoid being thought of or seen as same old /same old. Notice how in retail how the banks like Barclays , supermarkets like Tesco have undertaken refits.

Fast food chain McDonald’s is a good example of how taking a fresh look at your company’s offerings you can not only keep you relevant but help you thrive in an ever-shifting marketplace.

Established as a burger joint and maligned by the well-hyped documentary “Super-Size Me” as being synonymous with obesity, McDonald’s took a step back and envisioned a restaurant where healthy offerings such as salads, fruit and yogurt could peacefully co-exist with good old-fashioned fast food fare.

My breakfast place mat on Thursday December 20th 2012

This approach reaped immediate rewards, as customers who had left McDonald’s  in pursuit of healthier options discovered that it was safe to return.  Notice their campaigns on recycling and health messages.

Reinvent - just consider how many times 'Brand Beckham' has been reinvented
If you google image soccer star and model David Beckham you realise how skillfully he has reinvented his image over the years e.g . hairstyles, product endorsements, clean shaven  / beard  etc
In the 1970s and 1980s  clothing brand Burberry  went through a period  synonymous with gangwear in the UK. football thugs, chavs and hooligans. Phoney clothes with the signature Burberry check print were sold to the mass market, creating the impression that it was no longer an exclusive brand and undermining its desirability among affluent set.

Burberry struck back, relying heavily on a series of endorsements from young, A-list celebrities like Kate Moss, and Emma Watson to reposition the brand as fresh and appealing.

In addition to advertising heavily in glossies like GQ, Esquire, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, they also used a viral marketing campaign, placing ad banners on top fashion websites.

 You notice that the brand appears at fashion weeks around the world without fail, hosting their own shows to present new lines, which keeps their name constantly in the fashion press.

 In doing so, Burberry has reinvented itself and reclaimed its historic stature as a high-end, aspirational brand

Keep an eye out for the Beckham’s young Romeo who will feature in Burberry Spring and Summer campaigns this year.

Rename - nom de plum,  alias , aka....

A complete change of name can be a risky strategy but one that can also be highly effective when implemented with perfect timing and execution. For example

Backrub 1996 became Google in 1998

Anderson Consulting became Accenture on Jan 1 2001

Network Associates became MacAfee  Inc in 2004

Yves Saint Laurent ( YSL) becomes Saint Laurent Paris in 2013

A great example of how one company changed their fortunes by changing their name is the fast food chain originally known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Founded by Colonel Sanders in 1956, the company made the wide-sweeping decision in 1999 to shorten their name to simply “KFC.”

There are several prevalent theories why this change was undertaken maybe some are urban myths but it all helped to get the brand talked about. Some suggest it was the desire to disassociate themselves from the word “fried” and its unhealthy implications.

Others claim the KFC wanted to remove the word “chicken” in reaction to pressure from government food regulators upset about treatment of livestock.

Still others suggested the company removed the word “Kentucky” because the name was actually trademarked in the USA by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1990, smacking all who wanted to use the name with a hefty licensing fee.

Whatever the real reason for the switch, KFC was reborn and sales shot up.

If your customers are losing their passion for your products and your sales numbers are feeling the squeeze, re branding may prove to be just the jump start you need to revitalise your sales revenues.

A Happy Epiphany season to all readers and hope your new year's resolutions for 2013 come to fruition whether you refocus, rethink, reinvent or rename.

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