Some people believe that developing a strong brand is less important to B2B companies than it is to B2C companies, who must work to gain the trust of individual consumers. But, the truth is, branding is as important to B2B success as it is in any business.
Some of the misconceptions about B2B branding include:
1. B2B buyers are rational decision makers and are unaffected by emotional factors such as branding.
2. B2B products and services are too intricate to be summarized to a single tagline.
3. Money is the only driving force behind B2B decision-making.
4. A relationship with the sales representative of B2B organization is more crucial than any branding.
Some things are constant in business: loyalty, emotional connections, and trust are key components that build relationships (and eventually sales), no matter what industry you’re in. B2B buyers are human beings, and humans are driven by their emotions—it’s these emotions that can impact the decision-making process. An effective brand works on an emotional level and triggers the right kind of emotional response in the customer.
It’s not about B2B or B2C—it’s about using the right strategy to connect at a personal level with customers and gain their trust, no matter what you’re selling. Here are some of the reasons why branding matters for your B2B business:1. Good branding forms a strong emotional connection
Customers today have more choices than ever before. They can often choose from a pool of dozens or more competing brands. If you want your business to be the top choice, you have to go above and beyond to demonstrate your brand’s value.
A good brand should create an emotional relationship with clients, and building brand intimacy is crucial to stand apart from the competition.B2B companies need to ask themselves the following questions:
1. Do my customers feel emotionally complete?
2. Does our brand messaging cultivate an emotional bond between our brand and our customers?
3. If not, what’s preventing us from creating an emotional connection with our customers?
Answering these key questions first will help you identify flaws in your current strategy so you can make necessary changes.2. Branding attracts and retains loyal customers
Some companies assume branding is all about an attractive logo, impressive packaging, a catchy tagline, and a well-designed website. However, branding is so much more than business awareness. The ultimate objective of branding is to increase customers and sales.
A strong brand will not only bring in new clients, but also retain them for a long time. It will also get you inside the door of a customer quickly.3. Branding speeds up the decision-making process
The time it takes to make a decision in organizations can range anywhere from one month to one year, and, according to Gartner, for firms with 100 to 500 employees, an average of seven people are involved in the buying decision. A strong branding message, however, can reduce that time significantly. Effective branding helps customers make faster decisions. If there are dozens of options available, customers will pick the one they already know; if every option is new to customers, they will reach for the one with the best branding.4. Branding secures your position in the market
The right branding strategy will help secure your position in the market and make it difficult for competitors to push you out. Once you have created a name for yourself through branding, customers will think of you first and remain loyal to your brand, even if your competitors try to lure them with similar products and services.
However, to establish such a position in the market, you have to do more than shout out the features or benefits of your service. Instill trust by addressing customers’ needs in a way that no one else can. This can be done by establishing an emotional connection with buyers backed by concrete selling points.5. Branding boosts conversion rate and revenue
Branding agency MBLM’s Brand Intimacy Study 2019, which studied the emotional bonds consumers have with brands, reports the most intimate brands have outperformed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices for 10 years running in both revenue and profit. According to the study, “Disney continues to dominate through its associations with nostalgia and the strong bonds it builds with both men and women and across a variety of age groups.”
From storytelling to emotional messages, your company can create emotional bonds with customers and realize higher returns.6. Branding goes beyond your customers
While a strong brand identity helps a company grow faster than its competitors, a strong brand also cements a company’s relationship with its employees. People want to have faith in their employer and expect the company they work for to have a vibrant purpose. If you want your B2B company to be considered a reliable brand, ensure that your staff is well trained and content with their work. It’s no surprise that competitive firms like Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, and GE continue to invest in employee growth.Building your B2B brand
Buyers will not hesitate to pay a premium for a product or service with a strong brand identity they can relate to. If you want your B2B business to continually outperform the competition, consistently track, measure, and assess the strength of your branding message.