Developing a B2B brand that stands out from the crowd - Be the peacock

25th April 2017

We work with a lot of B2B brands here at the Pod and for many of us, that B2B world is where we cut our marketing ‘teeth’. With so much marketing press focusing on exciting consumer brands, a person might be forgiven for thinking that business brands are – frankly – a bit boring. We couldn’t disagree more!

Creating an innovative, exciting brand that stands out in an often crowded B2B market place couldn’t be more important. Yes, your products or services might be technical and (dare we say it) a little dry, but they serve an important client need. Many companies make the mistake of assuming that their products and services must be described in technical terms, in a bid to impress buyers with their sophistication and complexity. In reality, this detail should be conveyed much later in the buying process.

Your average B2B buyer receives an unprecedented volume of marketing messages from a whole host of organisations every day. In order to win that fraction of mind space amongst your target audience, your brand and organisation really need to stand out, much like a consumer brand that excites and resonates with its audience: the frame of reference might be difference, but the emotional connection remains.

Building a brand that resonates

We all know that a brand is so much more than a logo or colour palette. An impactful brand knows itself, has traits and values and is delivered consistently throughout the organisation, from sales through to service. So how do you achieve that?

We think that the best brands are built from the bottom up, starting with a detailed understanding of the customer. Building a brand that resonates is about first understanding your customers’ world, from the market place to their changing needs, before you consider how your solutions respond to those. Functional benefits matter, from cost reduction to process improvements, but emotional benefits are just as important in the B2B space. Experience is a crucial element of the decision- making process, and clearly articulating the emotional benefits of working with you is just as important!

It’s vital to review competitor activity as well, to make sure that your brand is sufficiently differentiated. We’ve seen so many instances where a group of companies are all grappling for the same position with similar messaging and visuals. A ‘me too’ brand will never achieve cut through - companies must emphasise how their offering is different or better than other players. One of the best ways to do this is to develop a brand personality that connects with your audience. This is portrayed within your tone of voice, visual execution and should be consistent across all your market-facing communications. It tells your public who you are and clearly describes your key proposition to market.

Once your brand is defined, the creative execution can follow. By building the brand from the bottom up, you have all the tools you need to deliver interesting, relevant customer-facing materials that are consistent, ensuring that your brand really packs a punch in the marketplace. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to building a brand that resonates, detailing the process we follow with businesses to bring their brands to life. You can download it here. For a real life example, why not take a look at the work we did with Opus Trust Marketing.