The Top 4 Reasons You Should Care About Your Brand When Selling to the Government
Written by Cathy Huff, President & Owner of Fetch
Although there may be many more rules and regulations to how government contracts are awarded, be assured that it isn’t a purely objective process. Why is that? Well, first off, people are involved. Secondly, the people awarding contracts are also leaders of government agencies that are attached to political administrations; administrations that would prefer to pick companies with “safe” brands and reputations to help ensure they don’t land on the front page of the news in any sort of scandal.
“Administrations would prefer to pick companies with “safe” brands and reputations.”
Remember CGI two years ago? If that name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps rephrasing the question will help jog your memory. Remember the contractor that took the blame for the struggles of Healthcare.gov during the first open enrollment for public healthcare? I’m guessing you now remember. The amount of press, issues of delivery, and subsequent removal of this contract from CGI, clearly had an effect on the rest of their public sector business in the United States. Over the next several months, CGI had significant struggles maintaining their state government contracts and pursuits.
Which leads into…
4 important reasons why brand does matter in Government just as much as it does in the private sector:
It goes without saying that whenever you are up against a tough competitor during a bid, it can greatly help if your organization name is a known one in your space. Considering many government contracts are awarded through competitive bid, being a known entity to those awarding the work can help smooth the process to a successful award.
Likewise, having a differentiator from your competitors will help your organization stand out. Just make sure the differentiator is not a negative reputation as that leads into our next two important reasons why brand matters in the public sector.
3. News travels fast.
The public sector has more bureaucracy and tends to be slower to change than the private sector. Because of this, a brand that isn’t managed well and is perceived negatively can stick around an agency for a very long time.
4. Perception is reality.
And as we all know, when the perception is a negative connotation of your brand in the minds of those awarding contracts, then it is definitely a bad reality too.
With a competitive environment and heavily referral-based marketing in Government, it is key to have a strong brand and mission behind everything you do and say in your marketing communications.
About the author
Cathy Huff is the President and Owner of Fetch, a marketing and sales consulting firm that she started in 2013. She started Fetch with a focus on serving and transforming organizations towards desired business development results. Cathy brings 20 years experience in managing teams and helping them adopt change. She has a passion for developing sales and marketing strategies and ensuring they intersect and support one another. She has 10+ years in the government space and politics. Cathy has managed and assisted with political campaigns and previously worked for a think tank out in Washington, DC. A political appointment in Governor Mitch Daniels’ Administration for the State of Indiana Department of Administration brought her back to Indiana. Cathy then worked for a consulting company leading their state & local business development efforts. While there, Cathy led her business development team to 57 state & local contract awards within 1 year, increased their average pipeline from $6 million to $50 million, helped expand their market from one state to many, and significantly expanded their market presence in the healthcare arena through targeted sales and marketing strategies. She still lives in Indianapolis where she’s enjoying the adventure of being an entrepreneur, wife, blogger, and running with two dogs.