Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Why B2B Branding is Important

BRANDThe internet has reduced the need for face-to-face interaction. Buyers can now search the web to compare prices, specs, benefits and easily base their decisions on the results. Furthermore, most industries continue to experience competitive growth and the ultimate result is a marketplace that has turned into a sea of grey in the eyes of the customer. So how do you standout? Well, for all you skeptical B2B organizations who think branding is simply a B2C practice, read the points below to understand why this may be a game-changer for your business.

Your brand is more than your logo

People often mistake “Branding” as simply the design of their logo. Defining your brand far exceeds this simple visual representation. Your brand communicates to your customers, LOUD and CLEAR, who you are. It is the culture of your company, your reputation, the promise you make to stakeholders and more. Implementing a strong branding strategy, and all the pieces that come together to define it, provides your organization with an identity and unique positioning in the marketplace. It helps you stand out from the competitive crowd. Next time you scour the web to find a new supplier, take a moment to consider why you stayed on certain sites longer than others. Why did only a select few make your shortlist? Chances are a lot of it will have to do with how the brand resonated with you.

Businesses are consumers, too!

For most B2B purchases, choosing the right partner is a high-risk responsibility, and in a saturated marketplace where features are more or less the same, this can be a daunting task. The final purchase decision is more often than not based on the buyer’s emotional response to the brand. The one that instilled the most confidence built through trust, reputation and a clear vision. This is why “you will find that the tender was finally awarded to a competitor that is between 15 per cent and 25 per cent more expensive than you even though your offering was more or less the same.”

Consider this example. Suppose you are a major distributor who processes thousands of orders each day through your call center and (finally) you are looking to automate the process online. Now you need a robust e-commerce platform that integrates with your ERP system. You receive quotes from multiple suppliers with similar specifications. So, keeping in mind that hundreds of thousands of dollars in transactions could potentially be flowing through this system, are you going to choose the lowest price regardless of who that supplier is? Or, are you going to spend a little more to go with a supplier who has a reputable brand? It’s possible that you may choose based on cost, but most of us will choose the brand that provides the safest peace-of-mind solution.

It’s your culture

Ever feel like your sales team communicates something different than your marketing department? If you answered “yes”, then I can assure you that you are likely having brand identity crisis.  As I said before, your brand communicates who you are, which includes an internal culture that needs to be consistent. Suppose your marketers create an advertising campaign that shows a group of well-dressed business personnel and your sales representatives show up to prospect meetings in jeans and a t-shirt, do you think that that business will want to partner with you? I won’t pretend it’s impossible, but the inconsistency tells the client that your culture is all over the map. Business can be lost because you didn’t invest in a clearly articulated brand strategy and have across-the-board buy-in.

My goal here was to outline a few, of the many, reasons that B2B branding is important for your company. If you have any other examples, comments or questions, please share them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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The HTC team works together to fuse elegant design and usable functionality. We are proud of our personal approach, innovative talent and ambitious attitude. But we’re more than just an industry-leading company. We are left-right brainers, trend-spotters, explorers, leaders, strategists and sometimes we’re simply beer connoisseurs. Check out what’s inspiring us today!

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