Brand strategies are built around a lot of different criteria, and building a brand identity for B2B, or business-to-business commerce, differs greatly from building a brand identity for individual consumer-type sales (B2C). At How to Build a Brand, we identify end users and their needs before setting out to develop brand strategies.
Brand Strategies for Your B2B Brand
If your ideal client isn’t a person, but rather an entity, then your brand is a B2B. There are special considerations that any branding agency should give to brand strategies when they’re built for this type of business.
Here’s what makes B2B brand identities, and the brand strategies that drive them, special:
- End users are generally subjected to budget restraints that come from a higher authority; therefore cost is usually a factor. This doesn’t mean that your brand should strive to be the cheapest; it does mean that your brand should strive to offer the best perceived value.
- Your brand identity is important to business customers during initial contact (it will work to get initial attention, the click, the share…), but in the end, businesses will make decisions based on proof of what you have done for others businesses, as well as for them. They will analyse how your brand increased (or failed to increase) productivity and profitability.
- In expansion of the previous point, decisions made by entities are far less emotional than those made by individuals. People in charge of making decisions can’t get caught up in an emotional sale – they have to make decisions that make sense on paper, when presented to the board. Offer evidence. Show statistics. Outline concrete benefits. These are the types of things that buyers can share…and that denote good corporate decisions.
- The target market is small and focused in an industry niche. This means that your branded language should also be focussed and specifically relevant to that niche.
- Copy is usually more advanced, speaking directly to a market that understands jargon and industry-specific language. Participate in this way, and you’ll let potential clients know that you’re “in the know.”
- All contact with end users should be made with the intent to build personal, long-lasting relationships, since the sales process is generally multi-layered and can be lengthy. In other words, be cautious about exhausting your human contacts with perfunctory procedure. This touches on the concept of personal branding, and involves sharing personal (but not confidential) information as well as involving clients in relationship-building activities (golf, lunch, retreats, etc.).
- Effort should be invested in educating and building consciousness within client organisations because buying decisions are made with rationale and deliberation. The more educated the people within these businesses are, the more rational the decision to choose your brand will seem.
B2B sales are usually less plentiful, more drawn-out, and more relationship-driven than B2C (business-to-customer) sales. In large part, your brand identity is you (and your relationship with corporate players). You build trust by nurturing leads and professional relationships, delivering quality, and focussing on the experiences that you create.
Developing brand strategies can be difficult unless brand builders are clear about what type of end users they’re dealing with. That’s why How to Build a Brand has established a wealth of branding advice for creating brand strategies and managing your brand.
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