Fundamentals of Branding in the Defense, Intelligence, and Civilian Government Markets

As government contractors react to the sweeping government and economic changes, it becomes apparent which companies truly appreciate and understand the value of establishing, maintaining, and growing their brand–not just to position themselves for immediate strategic government contract wins, but for long-term, sustained growth. But perhaps even more obvious are those companies that do not consider branding as a centerpiece for business success in the government marketplace. In today’s environment–increasing contractor oversight, transparency, and instant connectivity with social media–the once small government community has gotten remarkably smaller and even more scrupulous. Navigating these changes may seem daunting at first. But successful companies are sticking to the basics, reinventing their brand, and consistently and effectively feeding their brand across all internal and external channels.

Like a sandwich, your brand is the underlayer and top layer. However you stack it in the middle is your business. CONSUMER Sandwich 1Some companies choose to stack their brand sandwich so tall that it risks toppling over. They do this by identifying multiple brand personalities and injecting them into the marketplace. These ultimately become confusing and ineffective. Rather than strategically addressing the brand centerpiece, they choose to build on top of unfavorable brand equity, which lends to overarching brand instability. So what does this really do? Just one bite of this monster sandwich and you’ll likely appear more portly, and it will slow you down. Your next move would be to reach for the Pepto, if only you could get up out of that chair.

Streamline your brand by building a smart sandwich–two pieces of bread with business in the middle. Then replicate it…over and over and over. In the government market, this brand persona should resonate in all proposal submissions, in HR policies and employee communications, and in executive communications. Externally, this same sandwich should be packaged to go–in press releases, your website, social media, customer presentations, at trade shows, customer meetings, and all other service interactions. Consistency, simplicity, and effectiveness help you achieve brand recognition, and make it digestible for the government marketplace, which is comprised not only of government customers, but also of critical business partners, Congress, and the American taxpayer.

But where is that special sauce? Every sandwich needs that special sauce that really makes a statement when the government marketplace bites into it–that WOW factor that makes people want to tell their friends (through social media and every other means). This is where government contractors can get that special sauce.

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