It is a very well established fact that branding is quintessential to survive, sustain and grow in a B2C market. Both marketers and entrepreneurs would nod their heads in yes to that. However, when it comes to B2B market, branding is perceived with a different attitude. Here, it is sales team that plays the hero and remains at the centre of affairs to strike deal with clients. And it is digestible as well, but only partially. Because while price, quality, service and availability are still the core drivers of demand in B2B market, for decision makers, goodwill of brand is more important than ever. So if you haven’t re-evaluated your approach and tactics to persuade clients, it is the best time act.
Why branding is quintessential for a B2B brand?
Clients care for association with reputed brands.
Have you heard marketers saying, ‘made by Swiss technology’, ‘engineered by German machinery’, ‘Intel inside’? These are all examples of marketers trying to take advantage of a brand’s association with reputed OEMs. This gesture adds to the value of final product. Therefore it matters.
Safe bet for decision makers
When you mess up in selection of a pair of shoes, you can easily get it replaced or even get over with it. But make a mishap in buying machinery and you are gone. Cost of replacement is too high. What’s more, by the time it is realized, the damage is already done. Thus, going for an established brand makes it a safe bet for decision makers.
Long term relationship
When you don’t have a well-built brand, you are merely a supplier to your client. And unless you have strong personal relations with client, you are highly likely to get replaced on the first chance. But when your brand is well-built, you become a solutions provider and have high chances of retention.
Just like in B2C segment, in B2B segment too reputed brands are at an advantage of charging a premium price. This premium arises from trustworthiness of your brand. Whether a client is new or been with you for a long-time, when your brand is well-known, it becomes bankable even blindfolded.
Advent of internet has connected the marketplaces around the world in such a way that it is possible – and feasible too – for local manufacturers to rope in international vendors. So, it is profitable to rev up your branding practice when you are competition at a global scale.
6 critical areas of branding strategy for a B2B entrepreneur?
1. Tell your brand’s story
Most respected brands around the world, whether they are B2C or B2B talk about how they are changing the world. Quality, price and features are inherent part of a good product, but when you are aiming to become a great brand, you need to move your vision towards values that have universal significance.
2. Clearly define your brand’s value proposition
There has to be a specific set of values for which your clients entrust you. It is essential to capitalize on these core values. According to Harvard Business Review, 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.
3. Harmonious and continuous branding
Building a consistent brand image is a rigorous exercise. It means your brand communication has to be coherent and it must have uniform brand voice, imagery and promises across all platforms. In addition, you must make a steady investment in building your brand in order to get noticed and eventually be remembered by your target audience.
4. Right mix of media
Selecting right media is vital to make sure that your return on investment in branding is not compromised and that your message gets across to your target audience precisely. For example, social media advertising works for a B2C brand, but for a B2B brand it isn’t as fruitful. Therefore, go after only after those media which are likely to connect you with decision makers; it could be magazine adverts, direct mailer, online forum ads or anything else – figure out which combination works best for your offerings with the help of a brand consultant.
5. SEO friendly website
A study conducted by Google reveals that 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. This shows how profound impact an SEO friendly website can have on your business. In order to benefit from this trend, content of your website has to contain all the keywords and follow a prescribed structure. It will improve your search engine ranking and consequently will move you up the queue increasing your chances of getting noticed.
6. Select right branding & advertising agency
B2B branding is not the cup of tea for everyone. You need an agency who knows how the B2B communication works. The language, the tone, the minute details & technical aspects make B2B branding very different and difficult. Select any agency who has experience of working with industrial products, logistic companies, B2B service providers etc.
These tactics are proven and tested to gear up B2B brands to achieve rapid growth. And if you need any further assistance, you can shoot your query into our inbox or mail us anytime, we would be delighted to offer any help.