Many small to midsize B2B companies don’t consciously think about branding – they think it’s a concept for consumer marketers, not business-to-business marketers.
Branding IS important in B2B. A brand is an expectation that you create and fulfill for your market. For your prospects and customers, it’s the entire experience that they have with your company from the time they first learn about you.
And when you consistently deliver on that expectation, you can shorten your sales cycle, improve customer satisfaction and raise your visibility in the marketplace. (Learn more about B2B branding in this free book.)
If you have a defined brand strategy, there’s another issue to consider: Ensuring that you communicate a brand promise every time you touch your prospects and customers. Consistency is key; without it, you’re diluting your message or even contradicting it.
You can deliver brand consistency in two ways: Visually and personally.
The visual part is obvious. All of your materials should be consistent — same quality, logo, colors, fonts, and messages every time you touch your market.
Your materials include:
Part 2, the “personal element,” is trickier. If your employees interact with prospects and customers, they’re representing your company’s brand in everything they do – for better or for worse.
If you have a defined brand strategy, you know your value proposition, brand promise and brand personality traits. Make sure that everyone in your company understands these traits and practices them. They should embody those traits and deliver on your promises.
If your team doesn’t reflect your brand promise and personality traits every time they touch your market, you’re losing an opportunity to strengthen your competitive position. Consumer marketers such as Disney and Coke require all employees to represent their brand. It’s part of their job requirement.
When done well, your brand will live and breathe within your company. And your market will notice.
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