Aren’t there normally seven sins? Yes, we know there are typically seven sins but, when it comes to branding, we are only focusing on five. Why? Because we think it’s easier to focus on five and these are the major issues that can really tank a brand and an entire B2B marketing strategy.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the five B2B branding sins commonly committed.
We are the best, no one else matters!
The problem with committing this sin is that you are forgetting about a very, very important part of why your brand exists. The clients. Without your client audience, it doesn’t matter how great you think your brand is. As a San Diego web design and marketing agency, we’ve worked on various B2B branding projects. Thankfully, many of our clients haven’t suffered from Brand Ego. However, it’s a fairly common sin that we see committed by businesses.
We deliver on time. Well, most of the time. Well, only sometimes.
Earlier this month, we shared the wisdom of a very smart person that your brand is your promise – it’s what you say you will deliver. When it comes to B2B branding, breaking your promise is the same as brand deception. Regardless of the reason, not delivering on your brand promise can severely damage your brand’s reputation.
We are so cool. We are so modern. We are so impersonal.
This particular B2B branding sin can also be called authenticity. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype or the high-end image of your brand and forget about making a connection. People, whether consumers or professionals, want to feel a human connection to a brand before they invest their time or resources. Now, this does not mean that you need to be unprofessional or sacrifice your values. It simply means that your B2B brand needs to be accessible and authentic.
We sell VHS tapes and floppy disks.
Brands are continually evolving (this is different from changing outright). Look at companies like Microsoft or Amazon. Over the years, their brands have evolved to stay relevant to their audience. In addition to updating their product lines, they have continually improved their overall brand value propositions to remain relevant to their audiences. As a B2B brand, you need to remain relevant to your core audience of prospects and clients.
Our competition’s brand is better. Let’s copy them.
It’s healthy to have a fair bit of competition in business, to understand your competition, and to keep tabs on them. What is not healthy is Brand Jealousy. If you’ve both done your job when it comes to branding, each firm has a unique brand identity and value proposition. This is what makes your brand different. Never let your jealousy of another B2B brand cause you to change your brand or mimic theirs.
Avoiding the 5 Branding Sins
Now that you know the five sins of branding, how can you avoid them? The number one way to avoid committing these sins in your B2B branding strategy is to keep your client at the center of your strategy. When creating brand and marketing your brand, continue to ask these questions:
- How does this provide value to my client?
- Why would my client care about this?
- What matters to the client?
- If I were a client, would this be important?
You’ll find by asking these questions, that not only can you narrow down your focus, you’ll keep coming back to the same core values (and your brand promise).
Learn more about what you need to know by downloading our free Branding Quick Reference Guide. Or, have fun with our 15 Crazy Branding Statistics Your Need to Know. Think of any other branding sins that drive you nuts? Share them in a comment.