The conventional wisdom concerning the positives of branding business-to-business products is most compelling, as articulated by Hard University Prof. John Quelch. Quelch points out, in B2B Branding: Does it Work in the November 28, 2007, issue of Working Knowledge, the Harvard Business School’s on-line weekly newsletter, that among Interbrand’s 10 most valuable brands include Microsoft,…

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A wise salesperson once mentioned to me that sales is a container function.  It contains the relationship between the customer, partners, and the company in order to facilitate a decision that results in a transaction.  Though far from perfect, sales as a container isn’t a bad analogy.  It also bespeaks of the precarious nature of…

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Wintry Hearth Rejuvenates the Importance of Being True The CEO/MD must be the Brand Cheerleader. The Brand creates a common purpose that bonds the company’s stakeholders. Interbrand’s 10 most valuable brands include Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and GE, all generate more B2B revenues than sales to end users. Sales acts as a container, binding together relationships…

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Try this thought experiment. You are the CMO for a top telco. Your company’s portfolio includes the expected assortment of wireless and wireline data and voice services sold to both businesses and consumers. Despite a brand-building budget of a couple of billion dollars per year, brand favorability is declining. Your CEO is becoming very concerned…

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John Quelch was one of ten marketing experts profiled in the 2007 book, Conversations with Marketing Masters, authored by Laura Mazur and Louella Miles. A professor at Harvard Business School since 1979, he is known worldwide for his research on global marketing, global branding and marketing communications. Prof. Quelch is a non-executive director of WPP…

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When should a C-level executive pursue an add-on vs. a versioning strategy?  What makes one more attractive than the other?  Should every product line include good-better-best versions?  Is add-on pricing a historical legacy or a best-practice approach to managing pricing and product strategy?  Should every executive think in terms of versioning?  Can add-on and versioning…

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In the Internet age, information has become a commodity.  It’s available everywhere for no cost.  The New York Times, which was always available for FREE on-line, used to restrict some of its content, such as the Op-Ed features.  Now, that’s for free as well as long as you are willing to cut through a little…

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The Beauty of Autumn Colors Rises from the Death of Chlorophyll Kill erratic brands. – Global brand builders position the brand in the same position worldwide. Branding ingredients isn’t a ubiquitous godsend, it requires the ingredient to be differentiated and key to the final product, and works best when the final product brand position is…

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Price waterfalls, by definition, deal with price.  While price and value should be intimately related, we know this is not always true.  By explicitly bringing value into the price waterfall, we can not only set prices and discounts more effectively, we can improve price communication and perception.  We do this with a construct we call…

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New ventures would be wise to go slowly with the initial sales effort and carefully manage the “sales learning curve (SLC),” according to two Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty members. Charles Holloway, professor emeritus, and Mark Leslie, lecturer, in a published article in the Harvard Business Review, warn that ramping up sales too quickly…

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