In order to rise above the competition, your business-to-business (B2B) company needs a brand identity that helps you engage your target audience, build partnerships, and scale your organization.
The secret to that lies in creating a B2B brand strategy. In this guide, we will show you how to create one that’s guaranteed to boost your B2B marketing campaigns and become a trendsetter in your industry.
What is a B2B Brand Strategy?
Let’s start with the process of branding. It originated from a time when farmers had to mark cattle to indicate ownership and prevent theft. Since then, the term has gone beyond the act of using unique symbols that let buyers know where they are buying from.
Today, branding is all about building unique messaging, identifying value and belief systems, and making improvements to the customer experience. To do all this, you need a blueprint, and this is where a B2B brand strategy comes in.
A B2B brand strategy is your game plan for success. Its main focus is to set your brand apart from other B2B companies in your industry. It defines who you are as a business, identifies the values you stand for, and specifies the product and market you are focusing on.
In addition, a B2B brand strategy also serves as a roadmap for your marketing team to use for different campaigns, from lead generation to LinkedIn marketing. You also need it in case you’re planning to rebrand your business.
Developing a brand strategy is critical to raising brand awareness, reaching out to potential B2B buyers, and enhancing your digital marketing campaigns. To achieve this, you will need to understand four key elements of building a successful game plan.
Key Elements of a B2B Brand Strategy
When it comes to building a brand strategy for your B2B company, you must follow a set of principles. Unlike B2C marketing and brand-building strategies, your B2B game plan should be focused on getting the right message across to B2B buyers and decision-makers.
For this, you need to make sure your B2B brand strategy has the following elements:
Building a strong brand in the B2B sector begins with knowing your place in a vast ocean of organizations. To stand out, you need to let your target audience know that you are the right partner for the job. Differentiation also plays an important part in getting your brand the attention it deserves. In this case, you will need a unique positioning statement and value proposition that separates you from the others.
Another important element is being able to connect with B2B customers at a deeper level. Being customer-centric involves knowing what your audience wants and turning these insights into personas. This allows you to create a brand message that tugs at the heartstrings of your audience.
While brand-building is a creative endeavor, it does involve a certain measure of data-driven research. To know if your brand strategy is working optimally, you need to measure your initiatives across a different set of metrics. From the number of likes a social media post generates to the reviews and testimonials your existing and past customers leave, anything can be quantified to help you measure and optimize your strategy.
Lastly, your strategy should convey a brand message that triggers an emotional response. Apart from developing a unique brand voice, you will also need to create a brand story that resonates with the needs of your market. This will help you narrow down your content marketing strategy to the types of materials that engage your stakeholders and encourage more B2B purchases.
How to Develop a B2B Brand Strategy
Now that we’ve covered the basics of a B2B brand strategy, here’s a simple five-step process to building a successful game plan for your B2B brand.
Step 1: Create an Outline of Your Visions and Values
To set the foundation of your brand strategy, start by identifying your brand’s core values and establishing a mission and vision statement. This is also the part where you craft the overall identity of your brand.
You will need to design a brand logo, come up with a tagline, and write marketing and sales copy that reflects your brand tone. Throughout this process, make sure you get the C-suite leaders and marketing team involved. This may take some time, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
Once you have finished with the foundation of your brand, you need to define who your target audience will be. This is also where you get to create ideal client personas. You can begin by determining the kind of people who are likely to buy your services.
Potential customers in the world of B2B may include resellers, manufacturers, and institutions. From this pool of buyers, you can narrow it to the industry you are in. As you define your audience further, you will be focusing on more detailed information such as gender, age, location, job title, and company size. Knowing all this will help you mold your brand identity so it becomes relevant to the people you are selling to.
Step 3: Define Your Businesses Value Proposition
After you have defined your audience, you will discover pain points along the way. These are the problems that keep your clients up at night. Whether it’s high employee turnover rates or a sinking bottom line, your audience is facing a world of hurt every day.
Keeping this in mind, you can come up with a value proposition that outlines how your brand is going to help them overcome these problems. What benefits will your potential B2B customers get from you? What makes your service different from the others in the industry? By coming up with a value proposition, you can stand out from the crowd, nudge B2B buyers closer to a purchase decision, and help your sales rep generate more B2B sales.
Step 4: Create a Brand Narrative
This is where you show your audience your reason for being. Having a brand narrative conveys your objectives to a curious audience. Take your potential buyers down to memory lane and show them what inspired you to build your company.
Other than that, you also need to educate them about your services without letting them know they are being courted. Getting a professional copywriter as part of your team can make this happen.
Step 5: Promote Your B2B Brand
After you have everything you need in your brand strategy, you should be able to identify the places where your audience can engage your brand. A multi-channel approach is crucial if you want to get as much exposure as possible. Apart from a professional-looking website, you also need to develop a presence on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
You should also be equipped with the right kind of content to distribute across different touchpoints. In addition to infographics, you can also add case studies, testimonials, videos, and slideshows. You can even take your brand awareness efforts to the next level by creating a podcast series.
There’s a lot you can do to market your B2B brand, so look for marketing resources and ideas that will enhance your reach and accelerate the buying process.
Developing a B2B brand strategy can be a heavy lift, especially if you have numerous competitors to worry about. We’re here to help your B2B company thrive. If you have questions about brand development and brand strategy, schedule a call with the pros at HyFyve, and we’ll help you shine brighter than anyone else.