Branding in B2B: A Neglected Element You Can Turn Into A Weapon
People often think of branding as a symbiotic relationship between art and science. As something envisioned by spiritual hippies and transformed into a marketing weapon by men in suits.
Admittedly, the two worlds collide when it comes to branding. In essence, branding is both a form of art that manages to steal people’s attention and the science of communicating a message in a relatable manner.
However, there is no perfect formula, and businesses sometimes struggle to come up with a solid branding strategy. This is especially evident in the B2B sector, the less glamorous sister of B2C, where branding tends to be neglected more often.
I’ll dive into more detail on the nature of B2B branding later in the article. Let’s take a moment to look into the importance of designing a solid branding strategy first.
The Art of Branding Something Imperfect
Make America Great Again…
As these words echo in your head, you immediately visualize an orange-faced man with an unnaturally bright under-eye area and signature flaxen hair.
Donald Trump is a brand. He is the man who promised to make America great again. He is planning to do so by building a wall to protect his little American dream from the nasty "animals," as he likes to refer to the residents of neighboring Mexico. He´s also planning to make America great again by refusing to use the scientific term behind the recent global pandemic and calling it "Chinese virus" instead.
Trump’s example shows us that something doesn’t have to be perfect for you to build a successful branding strategy around it. You might not have the best product in the industry nor the infinite resources to market it. And you also have fierce competition driven by the very same goal of being the best. But while you’re trying to improve your product in the battle for conversions, you should never forget about branding.
Branding Is Not For B2B They Say
It doesn’t matter if you’re in B2B, B2C, or you’re Donald Trump. Having a solid strategy that will differentiate your brand from the competition is crucial.
B2B and B2C are both about selling something, be it a product or a service. However, branding is often viewed as not as relevant in the B2B sector, where buying decisions are primarily being made based on hard facts.
B2C activities are in their majority transactional, rather than relational, and the buying process is often guided by emotion. The main priority of the buyer in B2B, however, is the welfare of their business. And since the main trigger for any branding strategy is the buyers’ intent, it is essential to understand that branding in B2B requires a slightly different approach. Merely appealing to emotions won’t do.
In B2B, the buying process is primarily guided by logic and reason. The buyer persona is less about traditional aspects such as demographics. In B2B it's more about the roles of people within a company. PlayAttack’s target audience, for instance, is an Affiliate, not just a male in his 30s. This does not, however, mean that branding should not be a priority in the logic-driven B2B sector. The differences between B2B and B2C simply show us that the B2B branding strategy should mainly focus on building relationships with the audience rather than only appealing to their emotions.
I Want It, I Got It! (#not)
It’s simple. There’s no “Mummyyyyy I want it!” when it comes to business transactions in B2B. Your client’s “mummy” is their boss, and believe me, you’ll need more than cute puppy eyes to convince them to make a purchase.
The point is — people don’t always need the stuff they buy. Their buying decisions might be guided by boredom, consumerism, desire, or pure impulse.
That’s not the case with B2B, where you typically have a smaller range of customers your offerings can appeal to. These professionals will only go for it when they need it, and only if they trust your brand. Consequently, in B2B, you should tailor your branding strategy to their needs, focus on adding value to your product and work on building trust. I'll take PlayAttack Affiliates as an example. We are there to help people who act as business units or enterprises earn online by driving traffic to our casino brands. The value, in this case, is the money they receive as a result of this business collaboration. And this value is undeniable.
In B2B, you must focus on establishing your brand as a thought leader to appeal to your professionally-driven target audience. A B2B brand is something that has developed a personality beyond the product. Therefore, you need to make it clear why the buyer should choose your brand from the ocean of alternative possibilities. And no, it’s not just your generous commission plan or the ground-breaking software you’re offering. It’s the effort you put into making your product distinct and recognizable. It’s your videos and the carefully crafted blog posts they might find useful, and your company values shining through each of these elements.
David Ogilvy, who is commonly known as the “Father of Advertising,” once said that a brand is something that remains us when our factory is burned. There is no arguing — branding should be an essential part of your marketing strategy if you want to be remembered. It boosts conversions, builds trust, and can even win you a presidential seat. Worth investing in, don’t you think?
Brand is something what remains us when our factory is burned
Businesses are continuously evolving through their battle for recognition and diversification. They come up with sophisticated methods to convince their buyers, gradually ditch automated messages in favor of a more personalized approach, and focus more on their values.
It’s true — there is no universal formula that can guarantee that your branding strategy is going to succeed. You do, however, have a great chance to elevate your brand when you develop an approach that goes way beyond your product.
* This article was first published at Ayo.news.