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6 Secrets to Executing your Brand Strategy Through your Indirect Channel

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Indirect channels are an excellent method to expand your reach as an organization, add more sales and services resources, and build your presence in the marketplace. Channel resellers often have strong reputations and brands in their local served markets that position them in the minds of your target customers. One of the challenges that both corporate and channel marketing executives face is how to ensure their brand strategy is appropriately represented to target customers through their indirect channel. Below are the six questions that are on the minds of corporate managers to ensure compliance and enthusiastic support of the company’s brand strategy.

Six Questions that Keep Channel Executives Up at Night (and Strategies to Address):

1) How do we get our channel resellers to understand the brand strategy?
Your brand strategy is usually drafted in end-customer terms. It also needs to be drafted in channel reseller terms. What does it mean to them? How can they use it to differentiate themselves? How can they sell more using the brand strategy?
A channel-focused multi-touch nurture marketing campaign should be developed to educate your resellers on the details and benefits of the brand strategy and how they can grow by leveraging it.
2) How do we get our channel resellers to embrace, internalize and become motivated by our brand strategy?
Your channel resellers are going to focus on what they can sell easily and confidently. They want to focus on their comfort zone. Brand strategy training, role-playing workshops, along with online qualifying and selling tools can help your channel resellers put your brand strategy into action.
3) How do we get our channel resellers to change their behaviors based on your brand strategy?
Both financial and non-financial incentives are excellent methods to motivate channel reseller behaviors to support your brand. Examples include funding sales incentive programs, developing business case illustrations for channel resellers, and other models that demonstrate to the channel reseller how they can profitably grow by supporting your brand strategy.
4) How do we effectively fund demand generation and channel enablement programs that support the brand strategy?
Performance-based funding allows a brand manufacturer to confidently invest in brand campaigns with channel resellers. It is important that these are collaboratively funded and require a commitment to follow-up on opportunities generated and closed-loop reporting on new revenue.
5) How do we measure the direct impact of the brand strategy investment in our channel?
Built-in lead tracking systems are a required element to be able to demonstrate and report on the brand strategy’s contribution to channel reseller revenue.
6) How do we measure the revenue generation of the brand strategy in our channel?
Require validation for continued funding. Contractually require validated matching of marketing funds to sales leads, opportunities, and new revenue generated for a channel reseller to earn additional funds

Your channel resellers will embrace the active execution of your brand strategy if you can prove to them how they’ll be more successful by doing so. This requires that you “channel-ize” your brand strategy by putting it into ready-to-customize templates. “Add logo here,” “insert address here,” and “plug-in pricing here” are excellent ways to package your brand communications so they are more likely to be implemented. There is a big win-win opportunity for both the manufacturer and reseller if the brand strategy is thoughtfully designed to be implemented by the channel.

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