Professionals like you often turn to software, or service agencies they trust to help them find solutions to a wide variety of needs at their company.
These companies, otherwise known as business-to-business (B2B) companies, must have a strong B2B branding strategy in order for you to go through the trouble of purchasing them, using them in your hour of need.
What is a B2B branding strategy?
A B2B branding strategy is a calculated method for presenting your products and services in such a way that your ideal customer can easily tell you’re the perfect fit for them.
Your B2B branding strategy includes your approach to marketing, sales, customer service, and more.
To build a strong B2B brand strategy, you need to think backwards. Start from the viewpoint of those who’ve already chosen to work with you. Why do they work with you, and how did they find you? Companies often go wrong by overlooking real-life customer values and problems. Instead, they focus on what they think
those values are, and assume the right people will find them.
What’s the difference between a B2B and B2C branding strategy?
The pillars of both a B2B branding strategy and a business-to-consumer (B2C) branding strategy are the same—find your customer values and align your products or services to them.
Where they differ are the specific values and problems. A B2B company will usually be saving its customers time or money. A B2C company might be solving any number of problems, from upping someone’s cool factor or helping them relax to improving their physical or mental health, and more.
Take Harley Davidson, for example. Its B2C brand evokes such powerful emotions for people that even some who have never purchased a motorcycle would wear the logo on a t-shirt. In contrast, the values you’ll align yourself with as a B2B company are more practical or transactional.
Or, take Microsoft Office for example. While you might not be running out to buy a Microsoft T-shirt, you also probably won’t have to explain the value it can bring to your company to your finance team or company stakeholders because Microsoft has such a strong B2B brand.
Why is a B2B branding strategy important?
Your B2B branding strategy ultimately guides the structure of your business. You might discover that your product needs new features, your messaging needs to change, or that you need to pivot into an entirely different space.
Without strategic B2B branding, you might spend too long exploring a useless line of business for your company that misses the mark for your customers, or miss strong signals for one that will be much more lucrative.
To build a strong B2B brand strategy, think backwards. Start by asking why your existing customers are working with you.
Tips For Creating A Successful B2B Branding Strategy
Use the following four tips as a guide for developing your B2B branding strategy at a high level.
1. Know your value in your target market.
As a B2B company, you’ll need to align with the values of your customers—executives, mid-level managers, individual contributors, and/or information technology (IT) staff (if you’re selling software).
Each person has different values and problems they’re trying to solve. Become obsessed with mapping these values and problems, and then figuring out how to solve them.
2. Provide a consistent brand experience for each of these personas.
Usually, the financial commitment to a B2B product or service is large, and therefore many people are involved. An executive signs an agreement, purchasing negotiates, mid-level managers discuss budget with finance, and individual contributors need to be trained.
One mistake B2B companies sometimes make is changing their messaging too much across personas. You may need to convince an IT team that your software is secure, and a mid-level manager that the cost is fair. But you shouldn’t be speaking to the former with a ton of technical jargon and the latter with a casual, quippy tone. When you do that, you dilute your brand.
3. Take your brand to the next level with consistent team interactions.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your B2B branding strategy loses significance after the purchase. Every interaction your customers have with you throughout their time using the product either reinforces or dilutes your brand.
This includes interactions with sales representatives, account managers, and customer service staff. If you’re in an office, it’s easy to provide a consistent experience when everyone is using the same conference rooms to speak to clients. In a work-from-home world, this becomes a challenge.
A video conference taking place in a bedroom sends a different message than one taken from a desk, even if the quality of customer care is the same. Anyvoo
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so that your team can provide a consistent experience for your customers no matter where they’re working.
It’s critical to consistently make meaningful connections with customers to build a strong B2B brand.
Whether you’re communicating how you’ll provide value or ensuring a customer that their problems are important to you, your B2B branding strategy should accomplish one thing – provide opportunities for more meaningful connections with the right people.
If you do that, you’ll be presented with so many opportunities to make sure your product reaches the right people at the right time.
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