Last Updated Oct 11, 2011 7:40 PM EDT
When I work with small- and mid-size companies, I often hear the siren song of the big logo deal.
This is not a discussion I hear on occasion. In one flavor or another I hear this conversation in almost every company I meet. The promise of affiliated greatness for your brand because of someone else's strong brand is very hard to pass up, I know.
I've written and spoken against this practice at length. For the sake of context, I'll just give a quick summary of why this is a dangerous temptation before I outline the Trigger-Map Strategy we teach for companies who want to boost their brand through strategic affiliation.
The dangers of logo-hunting....
- All hat, no cattle - Your industry probably has a lot of companies who are doing business with these big players. Their websites and case studies are full of the logo-player company names. This means that you will go to extreme lengths for something that has little benefit because it is not unique.
- Black hole prospects - If you go after the big companies for their name, you are invariably going to be asked to do more, answer more and spend more for a deal than you are used to. The never-ending requests and meetings can drain the resources necessary for other great opportunities with real scale and potential who are maybe not logo deals.
- What happens when the dog catches the car? - If you land a logo company and your company is not prepared you get to fail in a spectacularly public way.
- Money doesn't care where it came from - The best way to measure your business success is not by the logos, but by the zeros.
So how do you do it? I advocate the Trigger-Map Strategy to provide you the right balance of effort, result, and long-term leverage in your hunting efforts.
The basic idea is dominos -- not playing the game but the setting up of the dominos so that you tip one and that causes a chain reaction. For the Trigger-Map Strategy to work, you must leverage a series of increasingly more credible and sizable companies for whom you are doing larger amounts of work. This will move you closer to the biggest opportunities for your business.