When selling products to consumers, it’s imperative to develop a strong brand. Even if products are more expensive or of lower quality, consumers consistently buy them from brands they trust.
Often, in B2B Branding, the focus is so much on solutions that the brand can be overlooked. When it comes to B2B sales, branding plays a very important role.
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Branding in B2B: What Is It?
The branding of B2C companies is more transactional, whereas the branding of B2B companies is more relational. B2B branding involves building relationships with customers so they trust your products and services.
In order to increase customer lifetime value (CLV), increase retention, and decrease churn, you need to build long-term relationships.
A B2B Brand’s Importance?
Marketing and sales are dependent on risk mitigation. To be successful in Branding, you must convince buyers that you can solve their problems or improve their organizations with your products or services. If they didn’t take the risk, would they take it? Creating a brand is essential for building trust and establishing your company. B2B buyers are significantly less likely to make mistakes when they trust you’ll deliver what you promise.
Additionally, branding can differentiate you from your competitors. It is important to fully develop your Branding approach if you wish to create high level awareness of your products and associate them with quality in the minds of your customers. As well as being more memorable, a distinctive brand is more appealing. A number of benefits will accrue from your customers being able to immediately recognize you:
- Buyers may visit your website directly instead of visiting Google and seeing all of your competitors.
- Having your name recognized online by Branding buyers will increase your click through rates.
- The more familiar and trustworthy your brand is to your B2B Branding buyers, the more likely they are to engage with your marketing efforts.
Beyond sales, building a strong brand has many benefits. The best talents are attracted to brands with a strong reputation. B2B branding can make a difference in attracting and retaining high-performing employees in today’s challenging hiring environment.
Branding for B2B companies: steps to follow
Developing a Branding is no easy task, so how do you go about it? Getting started can be done by following these five steps.
1. Identify the values that your company holds dear
As part of defining and building your brand, you must define and establish your organization’s values. Consequently, the entire narrative is set in motion.
In order for your company to stand out from the competition, you must determine what sets it apart from others. Whether positioning your products, presenting your company, or operating internally, this core principle needs to permeate everything you do.
Your company culture and how you present yourself will depend on how you define your company values.
2. Understand Your Audience
As soon as your core values are defined, you need to consider the benefits these values provide to your customers. As a starting point, it is important to identify your target audience.
When it comes to B2C sales, you have access to large consumer pools. You may be targeting a much narrower audience if you sell B2B products. To identify the type of customer that will provide the best ROI, Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) or Buyer Personas can be created.
Firmographics and behavior are combined in an ICP. It is important to start with data when developing an ICP. Find out what common traits your best, high-value customers share by reviewing your customer relationship management features. Your best targets will be identified once you identify these trends.
By developing an ICP, you can better align your sales, branding, and marketing efforts with the needs and wants of your customers.
3. Your unique value proposition should be highlighted
There is no shortage of marketing messages and sales pitches telling B2B buyers that their products and services are the best. To get in the door, you need a strong brand, but what sets you apart is your unique value proposition (UVP).
The UVP can also be incorporated into branding and messaging in order to reinforce the value you provide. There is something satisfying about seeing companies whose brands are aligned with their products. As soon as you learn what they do and what their core values are, you’re hooked. Below are two examples of strong B2B brands that achieve this:
- A short link can have a big impact with Bitly
- Video hosting service Vimeo: Professional, quality videos
- Accounting software designed for small businesses: FreshBooks
- CRM powered by Salesforce: The world’s leading CRM
- You can accept credit cards anywhere with Square
Clearly, each expresses the value proposition in a consistent manner. As part of your brand narrative, UVPs can also tell a story. Your UVP can be demonstrated through storytelling.
4. Design assets should be invested in
The process of creating a B2B brand takes more than just a tagline. In order to build trust and make your brand memorable, your design assets play a crucial role. A consistent and cohesive design approach is important for everything from your logo to your color palette to your business cards.
In the minds of your customers, your brand should be instantly recognizable and associated with quality.
People often make decisions based on emotions and then justify their decisions with logic, despite our desire to see ourselves as logical creatures. It is also important to consider emotions when driving sales in the B2B sector.
The emotional connection between a B2B buyer and a brand is much greater than that between a B2C buyer and a brand. You can see much logic in this when you give it some thought. There is relatively little risk associated with most consumer purchases. When you purchase a product at the grocery store and don’t like it, you only lose a few dollars. A B2B transaction, however, often involves a higher dollar amount. Your business is at risk if you buy machinery that doesn’t do the job. You can hurt your bottom line and productivity if you invest in a software platform that doesn’t deliver.
Based on a Google study of 3,000 B2B customers across multiple industries, this is quantified. Brands that sell to consumers have an emotional connection with about 10% to 40% of their customers, while brands that sell to businesses have an emotional connection with more than half of their customers. In B2B, value and solutions are important, but only 14% of customers say they can distinguish significant differences between suppliers.
Design aesthetics appeal directly to a buyer’s emotions and can tip the odds in your favor.
5. Employees can serve as brand ambassadors for your company
In order for your brand to be successful, your employees need to be your ambassadors. Throughout the day, they communicate multiple messages about your brand to potential and existing customers. When your team interacts with prospects and customers, it is important that your B2B brand is clearly defined and reinforced.
Communication and education about your company’s values and solutions are key components of a strong B2B brand strategy. You need to build this messaging into the fabric of everything you do within your organization to be effective. Branding and marketing messages should emphasize your brand promise, such as how easy your product is to use. Your sales team must also reflect it in their customer service and support lines. Having difficulty reaching someone, complex solutions to problems or difficult-to-understand content undermines the message you want to convey.
There is magic when there is alignment across the organization. Your employees understand their role in living your brand, are proud of what they do, and often evangelize for you. The information is powerful. Companies with high alignment grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable than those with low alignment.
Sustainable growth is made possible by B2B brands
Branding your B2B products and services consistently increases their power. Having an established brand makes your marketing more credible when buyers already trust it and know it. According to the Boston Consulting Group, strong brands have a 74% higher return on marketing investment and hold a 46% larger market share than weak brands. As a result, sales teams are more likely to get appointments and close deals with that strong brand.
Building strong B2B brands helps position your company for sustainable growth over the long term.