Brand Creation for B2B Companies Has Come a Long Way In the Past Decade.
About twelve years ago I was sitting in the office of a client who owned an industrial coatings company.? In lay terms, his company sold paint, albeit very good paint, paint that was used by other companies, not by people in their homes.? He was concerned that his company did not have an identity in his marketplace that separated him from his competition. I tried to explain to him that he was a B2B company that needed ?branding.?? He looked back at me like I?d suggested he invest in mining on the moon.? Creating a brand as a way to sell more paint to his industrial clients was as far out to him as moon rocks.
?He looked back at me like I?d suggested he invest in mining on the moon.?
When you talk about branding to most people images of Coca Cola, Apple, McDonald?s and Tide come to mind.? The concept of associating a level of expectation in design, quality and delivery with a specific brand is understood and accepted.? But in the B2B world it is only relatively recently that marketing a brand to a vertical prospect base that is not consumer-oriented, but instead is business professional oriented, has begun to gain traction. Business managers for years were convinced that the phenomenon of emotional association of a brand to a product?s quality and performance were limited to consumer mentality.? Customer loyalty to them was based on an intellectual examination of facts.
The accepted thought process:
12 years ago:
?Brand Loyalty?? Why, that?s for housewives.? That?s an irrational emotional connection that applies to laundry soap and tennis shoes.? In the realm of industrial marketing, it just doesn?t apply.? Here there is a more ?rational? decision-making process that is based on fact and figures.?
?We want to be positioned and viewed as the industry standard by everyone looking for the solution our products provide.? When engineers think of a solution, we want them to think of us.?
Consequently, brand creation and brand positioning for B2B companies today should be a mission critical requirement of any marketing plan.? Anyone who believes a person becomes an unemotional rational machine just because they are sitting behind a desk will be outflanked by those who understand how to use effective branding in B2B marketing.
First of all, do you even understand what branding is?? Perhaps it would be easier to explain what it is not.? It is not creating an illusion that a product, service or organization is better than it actually is.? In the past ?slick? exaggerations in poorly created advertising of consumer products produced a stereotype image of misinformation being the purpose of branding.? So first of all, in order for branding to be effective it must start with great products or services and an organization that supports the offering by fulfilling the needs of its customers.? Branding then differentiates a company from its competition and facilitates the recognition of the company or its specific products and services.? The brand becomes synonymous with the benefits and value it provides.? The brand becomes a promise of quality or integrity, increasing perceived value and simplifying the buying decision.
In the Information Age, branding for B2B companies has become more important because decision makers are faced with many more options to choose from.? What is important to understand is there is a perfect way to implement branding for B2B companies that only requires a re-focus on what most companies have already been doing for years:? communicating with the right prospects.? That way is online marketing using Inbound Marketing Best Practices.
10 Online Basics You Should Know:
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals and audit your processes ? measure everything
2. Don?t just build a website.? Build a ?Conversion Machine.?
3. Integrate a holistic Inbound Marketing program into your business
4. Have an Inbound Strategic Plan that starts smart with tactics such as online media PPC ramp-up
5. Attract new customers through a strong Content Strategy
6. Nurture visitors to become leads who become prospects who become customers
7. Have a written CTA (Call To Action) map for your conversion website to eliminate ?User Friction?
8. Align Marketing with Sales and Operations
9.? Educate -become a trusted content resource
10.? Delight your customers so much that they return and become your ?Champions?
Want to Learn More?
If you are a B2B company and want to learn more about how you can create a brand asset using Inbound Marketing, set up a preliminary Inbound Assessment Interview, a no obligation discussion about whether all of this can work for you.