Friday, June 15, 2012

3 reasons why brands are better than salespeople

We've all heard (or said) this one: "I don't need to advertise. I get plenty of business through my sales team." Fair enough. But are you sure you want to build your company's image on a foundation that's so unpredictable? So ever-changing? So... human?

Don't get us wrong, we love people. Some of our best friends are people. But for a stable, long-lasting corporate identity, we love brands more. Here's why:

Brands are consistent.
To customers, your sales rep is your company. So when customers see a flaw - say, your rep is late for a meeting - they assume your whole company is unreliable. He's poorly dressed? Your company's unprofessional. Even if you do your best to hire great people, it's always a struggle to make sure they're portraying your company's image and values.

Your brand, meanwhile, offers another kind of personality: One you can control. One that represents your values perfectly. One that will never put off a prospect with its bad breath.

Brands won't leave you...
Studies have proven that people will do just about anything to avoid "breaking up" with a long-time sales rep. Yes, that includes switching vendors, and even buying an inferior product.

Brands don't retire, or leave you for another company because it offered five more vacation days. Sales reps, on the other hand, come and go all the time. 

Losing a rep hurts - but hey, it's part of any business, right? You're more worried about losing a customer. Well, since you bring it up...

...and take your customers, too.
So when your rep leaves for a competitor, what will your customers do? Stick with the person they've been friends with for years? Or stick with your company - which they only knew through their friend anyway? Those customers are as good as gone, and your products probably won't have anything to do with it.

Your sales force is an important part of your identity. But it shouldn't be your whole identity. If you want your company to last, a strong brand is more than important. It's vital.