The idea of creating your own company and becoming a recognizable brand in your market niche attracts almost every businessman. It is tempting to have such a competitive advantage, to raise the price of products to customers and appear in the ratings.
It would seem that it is easy – to do online brand promotion in the b2b market, it is enough to repeat the actions of those who are already at the top of popularity. But more often than not, we only perceive the external side, without understanding the internal processes of building a brand for companies and corporations. You can assemble an excellent team of specialists, buy modern equipment, develop the right marketing strategy, launch high-quality advertising without becoming a brand.
There is a certain proportion of consumers for whom the most important thing is the price, not the name. And in this niche other decision-making mechanisms work. However, a low price will not always be the main parameter when concluding a contract, since a competent marketer understands the cost of production and too cheap goods will cause mistrust. When choosing a supplier in B2B, not only the price is important, but also the status of the company, its image.
How does B2B branding begin?
Brand building begins with the main thing – with defining the company’s mission. It is the mission that is the basis of the promotion and development strategy. The mission unites and motivates employees, gives significance and value to the entire project. It is important to create values within the company and broadcast them in your corporate style, and not vice versa – to make expensive logos without a development concept.
It is better to start the movement towards the goal not with a direct sequence of actions, but with decomposition. In this case, the focus on the result, to which the company is striving, remains and all steps are subject to the dominant idea. It is strategy that is of prime value, not just action. This allows you to direct every single step of internet marketing for b2b towards the implementation of the company’s mission, and not towards the simple implementation of individual indicators.
Positioning accuracy will be related to the choice of strategy and mission. It is strategic decisions that should influence marketing, and not vice versa. With high competition in a specific niche, branding will become an undeniable competitive advantage that will increase the cost of goods / services. Confidence, reliability, quality and status are associated with the name of a recognized brand.
Types of branding in B2B
A branding strategy can be based on a company’s image or a product. Both options can be successful and are applied in practice. If you have made the decision to promote your company as a brand, then the focus is on brand recognition. When products / services are promoted, they are the main value, leaving the company in the background. The choice of strategy will be influenced by the business industry, product portfolio and competitor analysis.
For example, if you evaluate consulting companies, their services differ little or even completely coincide. A similar situation will be in jurisprudence or in audit services. In this case, the only way to differentiate yourself from competitors is to create a unique brand of the company and emphasize your status.
In the event that similar products are produced for the same type of target audience, it is better to bet on the benefits of a particular product. This is how medical devices are promoted, as consumers evaluate the specific characteristics of each product.
IMPORTANT: a strategy to promote the brand and products at the same time will not bring results, since it will not allow focusing the attention of customers.
Company branding and its features
After defining the mission and values of the company, you can start developing the corporate style. It is in this sequence that it will be possible to act correctly, and not vice versa. Corporate style does not create a brand, it only forms it visually.
The next step should be accurate market positioning. The Internet offers many recommendations on how to promote a brand. But we again draw attention to the strategy and its significance. Online b2b marketing activities are in second place, as they are subject to the chosen strategy.
Product branding by example
Product promotion is based on different principles. First of all, the line of products is determined, which are arranged by cost. Product names and groups should be linked and combined. The emphasis is on the technical characteristics and properties of the goods that matter to buyers. If the company’s products belong to the same line, then this approach will help customers make a choice.
An example would be Apple with its entire line of recognizable products (iPhone, iPad). This is the task of the marketing department, but the entire strategy must be subordinate to the main goal – brand value. At the same time, you can choose an inexpensive “locomotive product” that is sold at a low price and attracts attention. After the first contact with your client’s purchasing department, you can discuss purchasing more expensive products that are qualitatively different from one another. Sometimes getting a competitive advantage at a price deliberately underestimates the cost of this “promo” product. In the future, at the stage of negotiations, it will be easier to raise the price tag.
Is branding always needed
The mission of the company affects the consciousness and behavior of the staff, because it is not a logo or corporate identity that communicates with clients, but a specific employee. You can write advertising brochures, design them beautifully, but lose clients during negotiations or presentations. Many companies hire psychologists and business coaches to help build a powerful team of individuals. There are no one or two separate actions that decide the fate of a company. In the long term, a systematic approach to promotion, the company’s mission, values and strategy are the components of a successful brand. In this case, the availability of free funds or investments is important.
In which case it makes no sense to start building a brand:
if the company name changes every one to two years,
if the name of the product and the name of the company do not match or do not match each other,
if there is no company mission and exact strategy.
For small and medium businesses, building your own brand can be a challenge. It takes time and financial investment to build a brand. This is a lengthy and costly process that differs from a quick start. However, if you don’t have enough resources for a long-term strategy, you can use other marketing tools that will make a profit. With a small development budget, it is better to start with a selling site, determining the target audience, launching contextual / targeted advertising and processing leads. Competent consultation and help from a marketer will help you optimize costs and get your first sales. A mistake for aspiring entrepreneurs is the high cost of developing brand attributes when there is not yet a solid enough financial base.