I’m sure it has happened to you during training. You got that feeling that you are missing the last mile to the market. The brand is great, you’re feeling enchanted but: so what, now?
I’ve done more than 100 brand induction presentations in my career. Whether to new colleagues, distributors, sales teams, or bartenders, it's the same. I remember putting my utmost effort to make them live the brand and making the effect last longer. I am sure it worked for a while. But then I started to become skeptical about its long-term effect on their share of mind.
I started feeling that these documents were too brand-driven. They lacked commercial implications in the market. Where should they sell it (if sales teams)? On which occasion they should recommend it (if bartenders)? I told them a lot about history, provenance, and the liquid but I'm sure it left them with a burning question: So what? What will I do with this amazing brand now?
No wonder so many bar owners are reluctant to advocacy training.
Here’s how to solve the issue and step-change approach.
Make it about them, not about your brand.
If you don’t talk about the commercial aspects, they will sell the brand out what they understand and out of emotions (i.e. hot for a month and then drop it). They won't sell it rationally (i.e. this is the best product for this occasion vs other brands so I'll keep selling it). They will keep your brand in mind until a new brand comes to present itself. The effect has to stay long after you've left the room.
If the brand presentation is:
For distributors' sales teams: explain how the brand plays vs the portfolio they currently sell and then vs their competitors.
For bartenders: explain why they should recommend it for a specific occasion, type of outlet, and need state.
Your brand should fit in as a natural solution at the end of the training, it shouldn't be the main thing you talk about. Wait, What? Yes, here’s how:
#1. Make it short. Make it scalable. Skip those long training.
Nothing wrong with well-arranged training when money and time allow but don't overestimate it. Nobody has time anymore. Bartenders are busy. Owners and Managers don’t want their teams to spend (paid) hours in useless training.
Considering a bar shift, you either need to make 2-3 training or force them to come on their day off when the bar closes. Also, remember the average bar staff churn. You need to keep educating new people at the same bar.
You need to distill the training into a few short sentences they can remember. Something fast you can talk about on a random Tuesday afternoon during off-peak hours. Something you can do often anytime you get 15min of attention from whoever is working there now. Focus.
You need to make it scalable, educating as many people as possible, often. You can't do one training per month that requires money and time to arrange.