The acronyms we use to describe two major marketing categories – B2B/B2G – may seem to have little in common with the third, most familiar category – B2C. But when it comes down to it, Business, Government, and Consumers are all just people. There are real people working strategically with their purchasing power within business and government, but they are not detached individuals running through checklists of what to buy and who to buy from. They may not log their purchases with Black Friday-style excitement, but these decision-makers can be influenced by the more subtle and emotional aspects of marketing. In other words, Branding.
Government contractors also need to purchase the work of other contractors. You have specialized services to sell them, and you are not the only one selling what you do. Buyers have plenty of ways of vetting your privilege to get a proposal in front of them – they have staff doing intel, they read trade publications, research the web, and they have networks of contacts who give them insight on the who, the what, the why, and the where of their niche. Your brand story is essentially the look and feel that encapsulates the entire package of competencies in your proposal. It’s the lingering impression of your company that remains after the tables of numbers and the legalese fades from memory.
Studies show that humans ultimately rely on subconscious feelings when making critically important decisions. According to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman:
“…By only marketing the attributes of your product, you will likely generate lackluster results. And the poor results you receive are due to the fact you are completely missing the subconscious, human element in the decision-making process. Humans are driven by feelings. So, if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company.”
It’s easy (but annoying) to rely on marketing that uses gimmickry, or repetition. It’s much harder to craft the story of who and what your company is, what it stands for, and what future it envisions for itself and those it does business with. But it is an imperative task because stories sell. Stories help differentiate you from a crowded field of prospects with similar capabilities. And by the way, your well-crafted branding story isn’t a manufactured fairy tale or a legend. It’s the truth of what you have done and what you do, carefully integrated into your marketing. Your branding story colors your advertising, your visual identity, your proposals, your hiring. It is a covert art form in itself to intertwine the story of your brand into every public-facing aspect of your company.
What a Good Brand Story Does for You
Your unique brand story helps differentiate you from the crowd of other contractors, helps you lift above your competition if necessary, and intensifies the attention you receive from your targets.
- It Inspires Trust and Confidence – How your company assembled its leadership is a part of your story and it is highly compelling to decision-makers. A story of success lays a groundwork of trust – trust that a company skilled in efficiently handling its own affairs will have no problem taking on any challenging contract.
- It Builds Awareness and Educates – Your brand story testifies that you fulfill the needs of your clients. Explaining how you have solved large issues reinforces your position of leadership by educating your audience as to what these challenges are and have been. Going forward, your audience, equipped with what they have learned from your brand story, is aware that _you are a key player in your space.
- It Declares Your Values – When your company’s very name becomes synonymous with the values you celebrate, your brand story is working. The first thing that comes to mind at any mention of your corporate name, or glimpse of your logo, will be these very values.
- It Shows Thought Leadership – In a hyper-connected world, taking charge of your sector by publishing carefully crafted white papers or online content related to areas of business in which you excel creates the expectation that your firm will regularly be among the finalists competing for contracts in its space. In the minds of the decision-makers, it helps you become a default choice.
AMG Defense Tech Can Help
As experts in Defense Tech marketing, we have worked with many defense contractors over many years to reach their target audiences with their unique brand stories. Whether you want to enhance your credibility, recruit top talent quicker, or position yourself better to win contracts, we can help with your marketing challenges. Let us develop a strategy to differentiate your company.