As a B2B company, your product doesn’t make your customers look cool when they wear it or happy when they drink it. You’re not selling jeans or diet soda. So, you might ask yourself, “Why should I care about branding?”
Marketing drives revenue. That’s your truly measurable return on invest (ROI). However, branding is also the only marketing tactic that can impact profit by clearly positioning your product apart from the competition — making your product or service an easier choice.
Simply put, branding is about gut decisions. Customers involved in long decision-making processes will default to psychological shortcuts such as familiarity, authority and likeability. Branding helps because it directs both initial impressions andprovides a long-term framework of recognition and trust. Great branding helps you hack complicated decision-making. Your brand provides the mental associations buyers will use to catalog their understanding of your company.
Before you spend more money on B2B trade shows and advertising, make sure your design and messaging will engage and resonate. Your first impression will be a lasting impression. How people perceive your brand dictates how they feel about your pricing, quality and perceived value. Or as Marty Neumeier famously wrote: “If a brand looks like a duck and swims like a dog, people will distrust it.” You should check your brand for inconsistencies.
The digital transformation in B2B means buyers are increasingly cutting sales reps out of their research process. At the same time, the onslaught of social media means your customers have even less mental space to consider and absorb all of the B2B marketing they see. A strong brand cuts through the clutter. Even as B2B digital marketing proves to be more effective at generating leads, a clear and compelling brand look and messaging increases that effectiveness.
Every touch point you have with prospects and customers adds up to your brand and your reputation. So, set yourself apart. Be clear. Tell your truth. It will transform the impact of your B2B marketing strategies and the effectiveness of your sales team.