A strong B2B Brand is what separates a service provider from a solutions provider. Anyone can provide a service to a client, but a well-crafted brand creates relationships by offering solutions. A business serious about long-term client relationships should take the time to develop and maintain a strong brand. The B2B branding process can be boiled down to five major steps. While there are a slew of tasks and to-dos that make up each step, we will be looking at the major milestones of branding a B2B business.
1. Outline Your Vision and Core Values
The first step in a B2B branding project is outlining your firm’s vision, core values, and mission statement. These are the foundation of a brand and must be definitively outlined before creating logos, taglines, websites, copy, or any type of tangible collateral. The typical process for outlining vision, values, and a mission statement is a creative meeting of the C-level team or decision makers. Since these individuals are guiding the success of the company, they are the best group for determining the fundamental values of the organization.
A mission statement should communicate the vision and values of the organization and how the company adds value. For example, Amazon.com’s mission statement is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” This mission statement shares the company’s vision and communicates the value to its customers.
2. Define Your Target Market/Ideal Client
Next, determine who your target market is and what they “look” like. The simplest way to do this is to create a profile of an ideal client. The profile includes information about sex, occupation, age range, education level, geographical location, income, work environment, and job title. The profile creates a detailed snapshot of whom your company is trying to reach. Be sure to define their pain points and challenges as well, since that will help with your value proposition.
3. Determine Value Proposition
What compels clients to buy your products or services? Determine what unique offering or attribute your company provides that differentiates you from competitors and addresses a pain point or points for your clients. The value proposition focuses on the benefit of your product and service. A great value proposition answers the question, “Why should I be your client?” Stay away from listing features here since a client won’t care about features if your product or service doesn’t fulfill a need.
4. Create Your B2B Brand Narrative
At this point in the B2B branding project, it’s time to create your brand narrative. This is essentially how you tell your “company’s story.” This is not the same as the company history. Storytelling, also referred to as messaging, is how you are going to communicate with your potential clients and educate them about why they need your product or service. By crafting an interesting and engaging brand narrative, you are educating your target market without them thinking they are being sold on a product or service. Your B2B brand narrative runs throughout your marketing strategy and is essential to keeping a consistent brand.
5. Promote Your Brand Internally
The final step in launching your new B2B brand includes getting company wide buy-in. It’s counter-productive to launch a new brand if your internal staff doesn’t understand it or even know about it. Sadly, many companies don’t alert their employees about a new brand or a re-brand until it has launched and been communicated to the market. Every member of your organization is a brand ambassador in one way or another so make sure you share the elements of the brand with them prior to launch. Share the information with excitement to create internal buzz and show employees they have a stake in the company’s success.
Building a B2B Brand involves more than logo creation and a new email template. The branding process is an opportunity to define how your target market sees your company and views your products or services.