Branding a B2B business

Posted in B2B sales & distribution.

The way you brand and market a B2B company should be different than if you were a company catering to individual consumers. There are certain things that every B2B company should recognise and implement when creating a brand.

It is easy to feel like you need your branding to be hip and cool to catch people’s attention. This may work for companies like Apple, but it is not that important for B2B companies. Whilst buying decisions can never be devoid of emotions, B2B selling is less about emotional triggers and more about communicating worth so that a rational decision can be made by the buyer.

One oft-neglected way to build a brand is to establish yourself as a thought leader, a process that will inspire trust. This can be done through providing useful, innovative content to your clients. This can be in the form of white papers, videos or blog posts of interviews of influential people. Traditional advertising is not the way to go here because B2B is too complex to reduce to a tagline and you are selling to a narrower audience.

When networking (a part of branding since it establishes an outside view of your company), do so digitally as well as in person. Networking on social media necessitates that you rather engage in conversations and not just try to push products. Listen and hear before you start to sell and talk. Also, communicate in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Your brand needs to make a promise to your target market based on something that is critical to their business success. In other words, what does your brand provide to clients or businesses that will make them better in ways such as productivity or profit gain?

One of the most important things to remember is a consistent brand experience. A brand strategy needs to be cross-functional across departments such as finances, sales and not just from the marketing department. An experience in one area should match the experience in another area.

Leverage proof points of your company. Proof points are those areas that you can brag about. If you are involved with media interviews, have mentions in blog posts, get retweets, have good website traffic numbers and so forth, showcase these. It provides proof that you are a leader in your area of expertise.

A good and easy way to brand your B2B business successfully is to simply show your worth through actions and not just words. Simply outperform your competitors in terms of quality and service. Branding is about differentiating yourself from competitors. Your target audience will choose you above others when the buyers can prove they have good quality purchasing abilities to their employer.