Monday, March 7, 2011

Brand Matters

I'm really excited about the work we're starting to do at HRxAnalysts. Starting with our Psycho-graphic Report on the HR Buyer, we are going to displace assumptions made about HR people/buyers for the last 30 years.  So many vendors are chasing a buyer profile that just isn't real any more.  Probably not surprising to a lot of HR people reading this, based on the marketing they receive on an ongoing basis.  We'll be offering the Executive Summary on this one in the next few weeks.

Next, the panel that we've built to engage in ongoing research about the brands and vendors that are in the space is the first of it's size - and of it's kind.  No other analyst firm is focused on brand, and no other firm is quantifying the buyers, while also quantifying the brands and brand experience of the vendors in the market.

We are looking at the gap between the Vendor's brand promise and messaging, and their brand perception in the market - and true brand experience with their customers.  We've found over the years that this gap has been increasing in most vendor's cases and we are beginning to illuminate this segment by segment.

Why does brand matter?

First, we're not talking about color palettes, logos, or which shiny happy faces or fonts are used on the website.  These are a part of your brand -  a very important part - that a different type of firm helps you with.  We're talking about where the rubber meets the road - an HCM technology or service's brand and messaging, versus perception and experience.  We're taking about the inflection point where buying decisions are made.

It matters a LOT.

It matters to the HR Pro and Buyer because knowing the TRUE value a of a service or product a vendor offers, versus  marketing and sale message can be the difference between the success of a project or a career.  Knowing how a vendor's current customer base rates the brand and compares the process of learning and selecting a product or service to the actual experience and value it provides POST implementation... that is HUGE.

It matters to the Vendors because the other side of this coin: setting, managing, and delivering on brand expectations in the market is the key to long term sustainable growth in a subscription-based market - and whether you're a service or technology, the Human Capital space is a subscription based market for the long view.  This is where revenue gets generated, customers get acquired, and how customers get retained.

I'm excited mostly about how this is all progressing.. but, I'm also excited about the start we're getting here.  In addition to the initial report being on track, we have serious traction in the market with key vendors in the several initial key verticals we are targeting. Our website is on track for launch this month.  Our dance cards are getting full for the ERE Spring show in San Diego.  We're running into good challenges in the business at an earlier stage than I expected - big decisions that we're making that will shape our future - the traction is real and the website isn't even live yet!

Regarding ERE, there is still some room if you want to meet with Johns Sumser and I, but please reach us soon.  Email me at george@hrexaminer.com  and we'll go from there.

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