Strong brand identity builds trust and motivates people to buy your products and services. In B2B organizations, the concept of branding your product management and product marketing teams applies for the same reasons.
If you lead a product management or product marketing team, creating a strong brand identity allows you to define your value to the organization and establishes the criteria by which you want to be held accountable. In other words, you can define your own measuring stick that plays to your team’s strengths. Without it, measurement is highly subjective and inconsistent at best. Sound familiar?
Consider your colleagues in engineering, marketing, services, sales and the executive team to be your target markets.
Why Internal Brand Identity Is Important
When compared to most other roles, there are countless definitions of product management and product marketing, whereas most others are pretty black and white. Sales people get paid to sell. Engineers get paid to design and build products, and so on. Product managers and product marketing managers get paid to…….it depends who you ask.
Five Components for Strong Internal Brand Identity
So how do you establish a strong brand identity for your product management and product marketing teams and do it in a way that’s highly valuable to the organization? Here are five key components.
1. Market & Industry Knowledge
Knowledge of the market dynamics for your product or service category is certainly important but it doesn’t end there. Industry knowledge relative to your target customers is far more important because it’s the single biggest factor in determining your relevance and strategic value to each market segment.
Product management and product marketing teams should be more knowledgeable on the dynamics and trends in retail, banking, telecom, non-profit, etc., and understand how those dynamics are driving target customer strategies in each segment. And not just for the sake of knowledge, but using that knowledge in a manner that’s actionable to drive product, marketing and sales initiatives in ways no one else ever considered.
2. Business Practices Relative to Your Product/Service Category
If your products target call centers, your teams have to be more knowledgeable on best practices for running call centers than all other disciplines. If your products target fundraising activities, your teams have to be the most knowledgeable on fundraising best practices, and so on. Why do you need this knowledge? It’s impossible to build, market and sell high-value solutions without it.
3. Frontline Work Processes
Do you understand in detail, a day in the life of a call center manager or CSR (without regard to your products)? The same goes for fundraising professionals or facilities managers, and so on. More importantly, do you understand the extent to which those frontline activities are connected to strategic initiatives? Once again, product management and product marketing teams need to be more knowledgeable than any other discipline to ensure solutions are targeted to customer activities and job tasks that have the greatest measurable impact.
Those who say it most eloquently and most often are the experts. Formalize the process for communicating and socializing your market intelligence, best practice expertise and process knowledge and do it with relentless consistency. Your stature changes for the better any way you look at it.
Execution is the best way to cash checks your mouth has written. Creating a brand identity for your product management and product marketing teams is all for naught if your actions don’t back your claims. The good news – you’ve defined your brand in a way that plays to your strengths. Follow through!
Brand identity for product management and product marketing teams is no different than brand identity for a company or a product. Define your brand based on your value to the market, or in this case your company. Execute relentlessly and socialize your successes in ways that demonstrate thought-leadership, and the fun part of your job will far outweigh the stresses.
If your product management and product marketing teams could benefit from a stronger internal brand identity, contact us to discuss how our framework and training programs give you the ingredients you need for success.