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Brand building tips

5 reasons why branding works for B2B21 Nov

Does branding work only for consumer goods? Does my services firm risk to be perceived as too funky if I start branding it? What are the advantages of branding a law firm, a raw materials supplier, or, to that matter, any company which provides services to other companies?

 

These are the questions I often read in emails from people who are, on the one hand, attracted to the benefits of branding, but, on the other hand, hesitate that it’s something relevant to their business-to-business activities. Some of them are concerned that branding can make them appear as unprofessional, over the top, and even too glamorous.

 

Why do such questions arise?

 

One of the reasons why B2B companies hesitate about the benefits of branding is, ironically, due to the vague brand of…branding.  The very concept of branding is often perceived as an activity to do with marketing beer, sneakers or chocolate bars. Here, I have to take a step back and make a reference to my article about the difference between branding and marketing.  To summarize, branding is all about getting your value proposition right – it’s the WHAT of your business strategy. Marketing, on the other hand, is the HOW — it’s all about promoting the WHAT. Marketing tactics “become much more powerful when driven by brand strategy and aligned with business goals.” (see source)

 

And isn’t it of use to a law firm to get its value proposition right? The truth is, any B2B company can reap many rewards from applying the brand strategy framework to its business:

1) Your clear brand positioning will work as a form of shorthand to help you attract clients. Instead of spending hours searching, analyzing, comparing, and making decisions, people will be coming to your firm because they’ve already heard about it, and know in advance how you can help them.

 

2) Your strong brand will create barriers to competitors — this logically follows from point #1.

3) Don’t be afraid of infusing your brand identity with emotional associations. They work not only for consumer brands. The truth about B2B is that many collaboration and partnership decisions between companies are based not only on purely rational criteria. B2B is about forming relationships with people, and that’s when branding can greatly help.

 

4) A strong brand will also allow you to command a price premium. If you are known to be an expert in your field, people would be willing to pay you the fee commensurate with your experience, and your brand.

5) Finally, a strong brand will create opportunities for growth. When you want to introduce a new product or service, a strong brand will serve you well. Even if you are a small company with clear brand positioning that you’ve made known to your target audience, you will find it easier to expand your services portfolio.

 

Your strong brand will help you build trust — the essential ingredient of all good business transactions. If you are in B2B, go for smart branding — you deserve it.

 

Related posts:

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  2. 3 psychological reasons why low-income consumers buy status goods

4 Responses to “5 reasons why branding works for B2B”

  1. Jonathan Morgan Reply

    Very interesting article! It reminds me of one I read on Strat-Talking recently.
    http://strat-talking.com/why-branding-works/

  2. Jean-Pierre Simard Reply

    I like your article Olga. Meaningful!
    You are right, the 6th reason you touch is Trust. Very important point builds with the way we deal with our customer. Every day we affect our relationship with our customer (Customer service, logistics, product quality…)
    Finally, above the promise, Branding is how you deliver, how you compete and how you develop and manage your own company.

  3. Michael Reply

    Great article. Branding works for any company, be it in the B2C or B2B for one simple reason: competition. You, as a brand, need to create consumer awareness and preference, otherwise all the business will go to your competitors.

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About Olga

Olga Slavkina is an international brand and marketing strategy expert based in Brussels and managing partner of SCHMOOZY FOX. Originally from Latvia, Olga was educated in the United States, where she was a Fulbright student at The Fletcher School (Tufts University), and Spain. She holds an MBA from IE Business school in Madrid, which holds the No. 1 position in the 2012 Financial Times ranking of European business schools.

Fluent in several European languages, Olga works with companies around the world to help them launch new products and services, reposition existing ones, and make them relevant and meaningful to their customers.

Olga’s expert opinion on branding and marketing has been featured in Financial Times, TechCrunch, Personal Branding Blog and other publications. Olga’s concept of Funky Brands™ has been nominated for the Accenture Innovation Award 2011. Olga tweets as @schmoozyfox.

Get in touch

 

SCHMOOZY FOX is based in Brussels, Belgium and serves customers internationally.

 

Email: olga (at) schmoozyfox (dot) com