Many B2B companies’ leaders are concerned (outwardly or secretly) that their brand is not well-known. Every time a CEO hears, “I didn’t know you guys offered that,” his head of marketing gets a dirty look and starts to sweat. Considering the enormous cost and time associated with building a brand, he is right to sweat. Not knowing is a bigger reason to be worried; this is willful ignorance.
Many other B2B companies, especially technology companies, believe (hope) their brand and products are well known by their target audience, but don’t really know for sure if it’s true or more importantly, if their target audience knows what specific business problems they can solve for them. We call this one “aspirational arrogance” and it is a condition that is quite common among B2B companies and can absolutely prevent growth and success if not treated.
It is also very expensive and time consuming to build brand awareness and preference based on a brand message if that message doesn’t relate to tangible business benefits that you can deliver today. Many companies aspire to be many things, but aspiration is not the same as proven business value. Companies value companies and brands that have proven themselves to be solvers of specific business problems. Companies do not value and prefer companies that talk about what they aspire to be, at the expense of what they actually can do for them today.
This may sound very simplistic, but businesses buy from people they trust and trust is not given easily.
If your brand message is based on factual evidence of previous success solving a specific business problem, regardless of how boring the problem may sound, it has much greater relevance to the businesses that you wish to serve.
This is the antipathy of the consumer brand approach. For a business brand to be well established it is not about clever billboards, print ads, banner ads and social, it is about examples of what you can deliver for the market you serve, to solve their business problem explained by example.
The good news for companies with either of the two above problems is that for businesses selling to other businesses, brand awareness and brand preference are only relevant for the relatively small number specific companies and people that have (or will have), a business problem they must solve. These people and the people and places they go to for advice and information are really the only ones that matter.
The better news is that B2B³ has decades of experience helping B2B brands enhance their brand value and establish preference, at the lowest possible cost. Our business process starts by building a clear understanding of the business problems you solve, exactly who has these business problems, and how they want to solve them. Once these answers are clear, we then use this core content within everything we do regarding your brand. Every time we communicate, we are thinking of the impact that message will have on the brand for that specific target. There are no shortcuts to building a B2B brand, but there are methods we can use to ensure that you aren’t wasting time and money on the wrong audience or messages that won’t resonate with that audience. Slowly but surely every selected touch point in a targeted branding campaign builds additional brand equity with only the target audience. With our experience we know how to effectively measure brand awareness and preference for the appropriate target audiences, identify the gaps, and efficiently address them for you.
Remember - isn’t it really just about getting on the “short list” with the folks that are going to buy? Nobody is better at doing just that than B2B³.
If you would like B2B³ to help you properly position your B2B brand and products for success, please call us today.