How should the identity of your brand’s end user affect your corporate branding strategy? The decisions you’ll make when fashioning and implementing your brand strategy rely heavily on the nature of your business. Is it B2B or B2C? You may be surprised by how much it really does matter.
Corporate Branding Motivators for B2B and B2C
Generally speaking, brands that sell to businesses (B2B) should understand some basic truths about corporate clients. Here are those truths, along with some action points you can take to seize the opportunities they bring:
- Businesses usually make decisions as groups. Opinions are shared, numbers are crunched, deliberations and negotiations are encouraged. Your corporate contact person can share his or her views on your brand, but rarely is that the end of the conversation. For this reason, your contact should be familiar with your corporate branding language…so he or she can be an extension of your brand in the board room and at the water cooler.
- The corporate decision-making process is often a long, drawn-out ordeal. Therefore, it is imperative that your corporate branding strategy keeps you in contact with your corporate clients, throughout this process. Moreover, a blatant respect for, and understanding of, this process can be pivotal to deal-closing.
- Corporate buying decisions are typically less emotional than those of individual consumers; however, they are not wholly logical, devoid of emotion. We have found that corporate decision-makers want to feel assured that risks will be reduced. They want the comfort of knowing that their company’s finances, personnel, legality, and more are secure before moving on to the benefits your brand has to offer.
- Corporate processes are complicated, and the last thing a business wants to do is further complicate procedures. This means that your brand must make only the smallest of waves, while offering superior benefit. Prove that your brand will be minimally disruptive (or even simplify their processes), and you will appeal to corporate clients.
- It would seem, on the surface, that B2B corporate branding should be only marginally personal, without too much individualised attention. This is a misconception – particularly when it comes to modern corporate branding. Personal branding (under the umbrella of your corporate brand) and the communication of your brand’s USP are becoming more and more crucial to B2B success.
Now, let’s talk about the things that motivate individual consumers, and how you can use this information to enhance your B2C branding strategy:
- As compared to corporate end users, individual consumers tend to make more snap decisions. This requires a corporate branding strategy that includes a plan for driving people directly to the places where they can sign up, subscribe, purchase…without hoop-jumping or waiting.
- Consumers tend to look to their neighbours, colleagues, friends, and family to learn about brands, and often make purchasing decisions based on referrals (either direct or indirect). Therefore, one responsibility of a B2C branding strategy is to appeal not only to the individual, but to the target audience.
- Individual consumers are profoundly affected by trends and culture. For this reason, a B2C corporate branding strategy should stay on the cusp of all that’s new and influential – to ride the wave and get noticed in the most relevant circles.
- Consumers are greatly concerned with value. This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily looking for the lowest prices; it means that they’re looking to get the most for their money.
- Individuals make more emotionally charged decisions than corporate clients do. Success in this arena requires that you study the preferences and behaviours of your ideal client to determine what emotions spur them into action. Then work to create those emotions and tie them to your brand.
- Consumers are easily bored. They aren’t as concerned with risk management as corporate clients are. They’re looking for pleasant surprises around every corner. For these reasons, it’s important the B2C brands be open to continual evolution, not only in response to consumer desires, but in an effort to be the first.
B2C brands and B2B brands are two very different animals, with specific corporate branding strategy requirements for success. When you’re ready to talk about how you can tap the potential of your B2C or B2B brand, contact us on +44 (0) 208 123 6776 or at [email protected].