20 June 2016

Why a strong brand matters in B2B markets

by Amanda Smith

The idea of a company’s brand being a key motivator for customers and employees is much talked about in the B2C space, but this has often been overlooked or even dismissed in B2B circles in the past.  However, the landscape is changing, with more and more CEOs from B2B businesses of all sizes seeing the value in investing in their company’s brand and reaping the rewards as a result.

A recent study by Google revealed that most business buyers do not perceive enough meaningful difference between competing brands to be willing to pay a premium for one over the other1. How then, can B2B brands stand out among a sea of similar offerings, and what prompts today’s buyer to make a choice of one partner or provider over another? Your brand is the answer.

Your brand is your company’s face, reputation and identity. It is how you are recognised by your current customers and what creates that all important first impression for new and potential customers too. Crucially in the B2B channel, the way your audience perceives your brand plays a central role in purchasing decisions, so managing consistency across all outlets and channels is essential if you want to stand out and accelerate brand growth. After all, decision makers think long-term, with purchases acting more as partnerships. They want to make decisions that will still hold true as the right choice 10 years from now. To that end, your logo, corporate website, social campaigns, sales communications, media coverage, and even the office culture all contribute to creating your brand. The story you tell is just as important as the way you tell it.

P+D_1

For Print & Display, Ireland’s largest and longest established printers, their brand expression was at odds with the visually impactful world they create for their clients on a daily basis. Some of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Print & Display to ensure that their customers sit up and take notice of them, yet their own identity had been neglected and didn’t represent either the company they had become or the vision they had for themselves. So, we were tasked with repositioning the business and creating an identity that reflects the colourful and vibrant business today and would enable them to capitalise on growth opportunities in the future. To read the full case study click here

Your brand also sets up customer expectations: so it is of paramount importance that you set the right expectations from the outset. For rising e-commerce player Luzern, their identity made them blend in rather than stand out and didn’t communicate either their point of difference or their advanced technical abilities. Our brief was to provide clarity of purpose so they could clearly communciate their USP and compete with the larger, more established players. Our propositon ‘accelerating eCommerce for ambitious brands’ was a statement of intent and mirrored their ambition as a company and the clients they wanted to acquire. This provided the lens through which their refreshed identity was crafted. Aligning their identity and critically, their online experience to the new positioning enabled them to present the company as both an authority and the ones to watch in this space. To see how we helped them bring their propostion to life click here

Luzern_1

Having set those expectations, you then need to deliver on them consistently across every channel at every opportunity. In the absence of significant advertising budgets, your employees are often the face of your brand, so as a company, you need to ensure that they understand what is expected of them and have the tools at their disposal to deliver the optimal brand experience at all times. When we refreshed the 4site brand, employee engagement was a key part of the process from the outset and we used the rebrand as an opportunity to celebrate their world class team; the innovative thinking they brought to their clients’ challenges and the trust and dependability to deliver effective and timely solutions. 4site’s new identity and creative expression has allowed them to broaden the conversations they can have with their target audience and is providing the perfect platform for growth at home and abroad. To find out more click here

4site_646x390

But don’t just take our word for it, research from McKinsey & Company confirms that companies with strong and consistent branding are 20 percent more successful than those that are weak or inconsistent2. So, how does your B2B brand stack up?

At RichardsDee, we have successfully executed brand refresh programmes for many B2B businesses across diverse sectors from IT and Professional Services to Semi-State organisations and we can do the same for you. Get in touch today and see how we can help maximise your brand’s potential.

1 https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/the-changing-face-b2b-marketing.html
2 http://www.forbes.com/sites/mckinsey/2013/06/24/why-b-to-b-branding-matters-more-than-you-think/#1e2b29c49165

Related content