Brands put a lot of effort into producing top-of-the-line products and then even more effort into slick branding, marketing and PR. Unfortunately, some of this effort will be wasted if frontline salespeople are receiving inconsistent brand messaging. It’s not always the brands’ fault; many things can distort or dilute it. However, supplying reliable information about your brand and products to retailers is an integral part of the sales process that is often not paid enough attention. Done poorly, it really could be killing your sales.
Let’s look at why brand messaging can be inconsistent, why you should care, and what you can do about it.
How does it happen?
If you want your brand and product messaging to be most effective, you have to understand how it goes wrong. All brands know the main selling points of their products and how they want the brand to come across. The issue? Once the product is in the hands of retailers, brands lose an element of control over the sale. Here’s what happens.
The information that salespeople receive often isn’t good enough. It should be a mix of technical product details, target demographics, tone of voice, and brand positioning. If you only give them technical details, they’ll find it difficult to provide passionate and engaging assistance. Some may pitch your products well, but it will fluctuate store-to-store. If essential pieces of information that could put you ahead of your competitors are being left out, you’re in trouble.
The way in which most brands deliver their training is unreliable too and leads to mixed outcomes. Let’s face it, brand training workshops can be overwhelming. Retail salespeople are presented with a ton of statistics, facts, and jargon in a short session and are expected to remember it. Unfortunately, at least half of the information is forgotten within one hour. That’s not even factoring in people’s drifting attention. Leaving it up to one-off, face-to-face training sessions is a big risk. Continuous training is much more effective.
When you’re gearing up for a product launch, it’s near impossible to have every stockist on the same page at the same time. It’s too expensive to have brand reps at every retailer simultaneously. An alternative is to train in advance so that the right product and brand information can get to every store and everyone can be on the same page before launch.
Why does it matter?
Brands start out with the best intentions but the water gets muddied along the way. Sales representatives don’t pitch your products how you want them to, and as a result, sales don’t meet expectations. You need salespeople to buy into your brand story. Retailers’ success is your success, so it’s in a brand’s best interest to help them sell well. Customers on the fence might not make a purchase if they don’t hear that extra information or enthusiasm that could seal the deal. Unfortunately, the impact is wider-reaching than just lost sales.
In the short term, alongside underwhelming sales figures, you can end up with a growing crowd of unhappy customers. If your product is recommended to the wrong person, it can lead to buyer’s remorse and more returns. That’s why it’s crucial that you’re not just supplying technical information. Retailers need to know exactly who each product is meant for so that people have a good experience and turn into repeat customers.
In the long term, this can have dire consequences for your brand perception. Isn’t it frustrating to think that a customer could have the impression that your brand isn’t reliable when they were actually just sold the wrong product? People talk, and they’re much more likely to post negative reviews and share their negative opinions when they have a bad experience. One unhappy customer could turn into a group of people that steer clear of your brand because they heard something bad from a friend.
How can you solve the problem?
Inconsistent brand messaging can lead to a lot of problems and lost sales. The answer is to ensure that information is valuable, timely, continuous, and delivered to the right people. By arming salespeople with the knowledge they need to advocate for the product on your behalf, you can optimize sell-through and regain some control.
The best way you can be sure that your brand messaging isn’t getting diluted is to embrace digital sales enablement. Online training platforms enable you to roll out new training to retailers as frequently as you want so that every salesperson is on the same page, no matter their location. No information is going to slip through the cracks. The results will be tangible: more happy customers, fewer returns, more sales, and a consistent brand image.
It’s a shame that brands put all the work into crafting great products and marketing only for some of it to be wasted at the final hurdle. With digital training, you can get hands-on with the data, so you can see the direct impact that your updated training is having. Trust us, you’ll quickly discover how valuable it is.
Retailers’ success is your success, so it pays off to help them do the best job possible. To find out how Myagi can help you align your brand messaging, get in touch.