The marketing department is typically the brand guardian for B2B firms. They are also the ones with all the cool branded materials and promotional items. However, your firm’s B2B branding doesn’t begin and end with marketing materials. Rather, your firm’s brand should be visible throughout your company to ensure a cohesive experience for both external customers and internal employees.
In this blog post, we take a look at several different, often overlooked, opportunities to expand your firm’s brand outside the marketing department and into the rest of your organization.
This is the number one place where you can create brand consistency outside of marketing—since proposals are typically managed by the sales department. Most B2B firms don’t want to compete on price. Rather, they compete on things like strong relationships, superior products or services, and comprehensive capabilities. For this very reason, it’s essential to have a proposal or cost sheet that is consistent from a design and messaging standpoint with all of your firm’s marketing materials. Don’t let sales manage this on their own, marketing needs to be involved to ensure brand guidelines are followed.
There are a variety of tools out there to help carry your B2B branding into the sales process. Tools like Proposify enable you to easily incorporate your branding elements into the client proposal and create a consistent experience for a prospective customer. The main takeaway here is that if your firm spends the resources to attract prospects with a well-designed website, whitepapers, and glossy brochures, you should also ensure that the first touch points with sales (such as a proposal) are also well-designed and consistent with your B2B brand.
Client Onboarding Materials
After clients sign on the dotted line, they may say, “What’s next?” Whether your firm is well-established or fairly new to the market, it’s essential to have branded client onboarding materials that will continue the brand experience and reassure your new client that they have made the right choice. These can include how-to guides, set-up instructions, or even welcome emails.
Take a look at what a newly signed client receives from your firm and determine whether it matches the look and feel of your B2B branding. Even simple things, like using branded stationery or your logo on onboarding documents will create a consistent look and feel for clients. A polished welcome kit with any helpful materials reinforces your company’s brand and continues to sell your client on their decision. Remember, selling never stops with the signed deal.
Reporting Materials & Use Guides
Everything your client receives from anyone in your company should be consistent with your B2B branding efforts. This includes things like monthly client reports, user guides, email exchanges, and invoices. Everything that you provide to the client should carry your firm’s brand on it, even if it is only your logo and brand colors. These things don’t need to be overly designed or have graphical elements, they simply need to have a consistent logo and color scheme.
Your brand is not only conveyed through collateral and written materials but also through any verbal communication your team has with the client. Make sure that your team is using the same terminology, conveying the same philosophy, and being an overall accurate reflection of your brand. Employee orientations and regular internal culture forums will ensure that your staff’s verbal communications internally and externally are a strong reflection of your firm’s brand.
It’s a Living Process
Ideally, every touch point with a client should be consistent with your brand, but this can be near impossible to achieve. Be sure to schedule regular reviews of all the content and materials your clients receive to ensure brand consistency at all levels. While you want to encourage your staff to innovate and refine processes and procedures, you don’t want this to come at the cost of your firm’s brand experience. Continuous evaluations enable you to bring all new touch points and materials into the brand fold to create a cohesive brand.