Many executives and Product Marketing Managers from B2B software companies that I have consulted for, assume that the company's product marketing strategy is the same as the company's brand strategy, since they believe that it's the products that define the company, but that's an incorrect assumption, which is why it's so important to understand an industry buyer's entire journey in selecting software products for their evaluation. If more company executives spent more time in understanding buyer's and their buying triggers, more executives and marketers would understand that buyer's make their initial product selection, at the beginning of their evaluation research, because of the brand and it's name recognition either heard from a colleague, reputation, trusted analysts, usage of the product at a previous company, or word-of-mouth. Let's use Disney as an example to understand the difference of brand and product.
Disney's mission is to create family-friendly entertainment products and has built years of it's reputation in providing these types of products targeted to families, which has helped in building a trusted brand-name. Whether it's creating a family-friendly destination, such as Disneyland or family-friendly movies to take children to, it's all under the umbrella of the Disney brand. Many customers with families may choose to go to Disneyland over Universal, because they know that they can trust Disney to provide a family-friendly vacation. Disneyland and the movies are the products that have added to the mission of Disney, but it is not what defines Disney, it's only a part of the bigger picture.
By creating a clear company mission, executives and marketers can build products to help support that mission, not the other way around, which is why it's so important to know what your company's mission is, which will build the brand reputation of a company and help buyers to determine what to initially evaluate, when choosing products.
Does your executive and marketing team have a clear company mission? If they don't, maybe it's time that they do. Start with researching your industry's buyers, not your company's customers, but buyers that have not purchased your products to understand why they didn't choose your company and its products, to have real and deep understanding of how your company is perceived in the industry.