Although there may be many more rules and regulations to how government contracts are awarded, be assured that it isn’t a purely objective process. Why is that? Well, first off, people are involved. Secondly, the people awarding contracts are also leaders of government agencies that are attached to political administrations; administrations that would prefer to pick companies with “safe” brands, and reputations to help ensure they don’t land on the front page of the news in any sort of scandal.
Remember CGI two years ago? If that name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps rephrasing the question will help jog your memory. Remember the contractor that took the blame for the struggles of healthcare.gov during the first open enrollment for public healthcare? I’m guessing you now remember. The amount of press, issues of delivery, and subsequent removing of this contract from CGI, clearly had an affect on the rest of their public sector business in the United States. Over the next several months, CGI had significant struggles with their state government contracts and pursuits.
Which leads into 4 important reasons why brand does matter in the public sector just as much as it does in the private sector:
It goes without saying that whenever you are up against a tough competitor during a bid it can greatly help if your organization name is a known one in your space. Considering many government contracts are awarded through competitive bid, being a known entity to those awarding the work can help smooth the process to a successful award.
Likewise, having a differentiator from your competitors will help your organization stand out. Just make sure the differentiator is not a negative reputation as that leads into our next two important reasons why brand matters in the public sector.
3. News travels fast.
The public sector has more bureaucracy and tends to be slower to change than the private sector. Because of this, a brand that isn’t managed well and is received negatively can stick around an agency for a very long time.
4. Perception is reality and reality can suck.
And as we all know, perception is reality, which can be a bad thing if your brand has a negative connotation in the minds of those awarding contracts and working with your organization.