A special edition from our friends at the Borenstein Group in Washington DC:

Building or maintaining a strong brand should be an important short and long term revenue goal for your company. Especially in a recession. But for many federal contractors, the time, attention (and money) dedicated to this initiative fall short. The reasons for this are many and range for too much emphasis on set-aside status, to a desire to make marketing materials look and sound like other industry players. For example, many small government contractors want their marketing materials to sound like Lockheed Martin or CSC, but of course don’t have the marketing budgets of the big boys.

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”
Often beginning with a Positioning Statement, a core objective of developing a strong brand is to clearly answer the following questions:

  • What is unique about my organization or brand in the context of the industry as a whole?
  • Which of these factors are most important to my clients and prospects?
  • Which of these factors are most difficult for your competitors to imitate?
  • Which of these factors can be most easily understood by my prospects?

There are four key rules of branding. These apply to companies serving both the commercial and federal sectors:

  1. For the brand to be effective, it has to be unique.
  2. For the brand to make an impact and be memorable, it has to be clear and compelling.
  3. For the brand to generate revenue, it has to foster a sense of ownership by my clients, partners and employees.
  4. For the brand to be credible, it must be believable.