Over my last four posts, I took a lighthearted journey around the topic of branding using some little-known Wisconsin anecdotes. It wasn’t just a way to pay homage to growing up in the Dairy State. It is also because I have been spending a lot of time thinking about branding. Sage in North America is undertaking a major transformation by moving from a house of brands approach to a branded house model. In the process, we have decided to stop using such well known products names as Peachtree or Simply Accounting.
Like Joseph Steinwand and his invention of Colby cheese, Sage over its nearly 30 year history has been adding value to its product lines in ways it didn’t always recognize while it was doing it. Our long history of providing subscription support has evolved into programs like Sage Business Care and Sage Advisor which have enriched standard software by enabling insights to help business achieve their ambitions.
But similar to Kleenex, we recognized that we needed to focus, protect and communicate what was important about our offerings, about what made them distinct and relevant. As a result, we have increasingly focused on those items we bring to small and midsized businesses and to make them consistent across our portfolio. We standardized our Sage Business Care offerings. We invested to provide both online and on-premise options. We introduced subscription pricing to enable purchasing flexibility. And, through a common naming architecture, we positioned our solutions under a common commitment.
We had to choose the best path to do that. We decided the branded house approach was essential. Our focus is singular: small and midsized businesses. Our offerings help them automate their business processes in support of their goals. We are bringing consistency across the full range of offerings. The individual product names didn’t say that. A common master brand did, and so a branded house approach makes the most sense for us.
Finally, like Harley-Davidson, we recognized that we have to deliver every day in every way against that brand. We’ve invested in common infrastructure to ensure a common experience. We’ve added new capabilities like Sage Advisor to then improve that experience. And we are engaging with all of our employees and business partners to focus on delivering an extraordinary customer experience.
This week, Sage takes major steps in our branding journey. We introduce a new cloud-based management tool for start-ups called Sage One. We launch the US edition of Sage 50 Accounting, representing the next era of Peachtree. We begin full use of our new names across all of our public facing materials. In the process, we have significantly improved our websites and marketing tools. We inaugurate a new ad campaign using national radio, TV, print and online to help get our message out about Sage today.
We believe strongly that Sage offers small and midsized businesses in the United States and Canada something that is unique and relevant, a set of solutions that proactively empower them to better realize their business ambitions.
Through our focus on creating a clear naming structure that focuses on Sage, on consistently delivering value programs built around business care and providing advice, and by focusing our entire ecosystem on living up to that promise, we are confident that we are writing a great branding story.
Green Bay Packer fans and Wisconsin natives take pride in the cheesehead label. And I take pride in the Sage branding journey.