Friday, July 22, 2011

The power of key messaging

In 2000, I joined a small laboratory software company based in Kansas City (revenues of 400 MM). At the time, the company made an ambitious push outside of its specialty area and into the entire hospital enterprise as a whole. They went from selling 3-4 applications to selling over 50!

This company devastated its competition in a few short years without really having a market tested product. By the time I left 6 years later, it had grown to one and a half billion dollars in revenue. 
  1. They invented an entirely new category: they coined the term "integrated" which immediately made all "interfaced" systems look archaic and old.
  2. They trained every single employee to tell the EXACT SAME brand story, namely, the story of "integration". 
For three years the competition did not know how to respond. They didn't know that their own message "interfaced" was toxic and that a competitor's key messaging had poisoned their value proposition. 

But with everything, companies must reassess the market and evolve its messaging. Sticking with it too long can have really bad results. As in this companies' case, a competitor showed up out of nowhere with an entirely new message and "ran the table" on the market, racking up unprecedented growth and revenues. I'll talk about what they did shortly.

No comments:

Post a Comment