Branding is an exercise in putting a coherent face on a product, service or corporate entity. It makes the nature of the business being done and the philosophy behind it visible and transparent.
And for procurement, branding can be challenging. Procurement’s role is rapidly shifting, becoming integrated with the business goals of the entities they serve as an integral part of how they serve them. So, managing the procurement’s brand within the business demands that the shifting face of the sector serve the project of an effective branding initiative.
Where’s the emotional connection?
An effective brand connects with its market emotionally. On a visceral level, the brand adheres to consumer consciousness, compelling loyalty.
So, where’s the emotional connection for procurement’s brand? That’s largely determined by perception. And if procurement is perceived as a cost-cutting sheriff, counting the post-it notes and pens, then the perception is creating a notably negative emotional setting.
With procurement’s rising prominence as a driver of profitability, innovation and fidelity to ethical corporate missions through the supply chain, comes a re-branding opportunity.
A shift in perception may only be affected by the observer, ultimately. But what procurement professionals need to do to shift that perception is to re-brand procurement’s true value.
That’s achievable through individual and collective engagement, meeting and exceeding expectations, extending innovative and meaningful transformation through data and technology and aligning itself with corporate goals.
Overall these perception-shifting actions is the umbrella of corporate culture. Re-defining the mission of procurement in the light of his guiding framework is the key to the emotional connection a good brand establishes with its market.
A trusted advisor to leadership
While cutting costs is an impressive feat, leadership wants more from procurement now. And procurement is positioning itself to take on the mantle of trusted advisor. And therein lies the brand.
Procurement leaders are now seated at the right hand of senior leadership, advising on corporate planning and budgeting. In this space, they’re empowered to explore and innovate toward less costly and higher quality alternatives, often implicating key suppliers in the realm of development.
Innovation and insight
In working closely with suppliers, procurement professionals can drive the innovation lifecycle, supporting suppliers to not only serve buyers but to collaborate with them toward new horizons.
By collecting and collating supplier data, procurement leaders are creating new insights into markets via predictive analytics. In this area, particularly, there is tremendous opportunity to change the game.
Managing supply chain risk
Supplier instability represents a rupture in the chain. It can arrive suddenly, occasioned by worker unavailability, civic unrest or economic realities. But with close working relationships with suppliers in place, procurement leaders are uniquely placed to manage the risk supplier instability represents.
All these qualities line up to create an entirely new perception of the procurement function and its role in business.
Effective procurement professionals bring these qualities to the table, as trusted procurement advisors – a branded emblem of 21st Century procurement.
Procurement professionals are re-branding the sector to create new opportunities. CenterPoint Group is leading the way. Contact us.