SAGE and Yellowood1 July 2013
Helping SAGE structure their product portfolio and develop value propositions relevant to different target audiences.
Home-grown business and accounting software firm Softline had grown massively, but their growth had been fuelled by acquisitions and new product launches that had resulted in a complicated portfolio that confused their clients. And at the time of being bought by global business solutions company SAGE, their products and services went to market under the Pastel, VIP, ERP, and SAGE brands. Softline was concerned that their offerings were not only undifferentiated, but cannibalising business from one another.
Yellowwood was brought in to structure and streamline the portfolio, and develop value propositions for each product brand.
We started by putting customer needs front and centre. We split SAGE’s current and potential customers into tiers according to the size of their business and their needs from a business solutions provider. These customer needs were clustered and mapped against the current portfolio of products offered by SAGE. By creating this matrix it was possible to identify the source of reputation and the source of business for each product group. It also enabled us to see where products were cannibalising on the same needs and how they overlapped in what they offered to the different tiers of SAGE customers.
Yellowwood focused each cluster of products around the key source of reputation and source of business, tidied up and moved products to fall in line with others of the same brand and developed targeted, relevant and compelling value propositions for each of the key brands offered by the business. We developed a consistent and intuitive product tiering system for the Pastel, VIP Payroll, SAGE ERP, Netcash and Alchemex brands.
SAGE now goes to market with focused brands that answer specific needs for specific customer clusters. The portfolio strategy and brand naming system we devised ensure that customers can navigate their way through the SAGE brands quickly and easily to find the solution that best fits their business needs. SAGE can accelerate the growth of their business by eliminating product overlaps, offering the right brands to the right people, and developing marketing that speaks to real customer needs.
Through this project the power of marketing and branding has been brought to life in what was a non-marketing-centric organisation. Group Marketing Officer, Hazel Otte explained that Yellowwood helped SAGE create an awareness of the importance of marketing especially amongst their business MDs. According to Otte, “I believe that we achieved our objectives 100%”