Brands and Brand Equity
In the B2B industry, purchases are based on product performance and its differentiation from the competitors. Making your business stand out as the answer within a crowded industry marketplace is challenging. A marketing report from the Fuqua School of Business said that during the pandemic, 30% of B2B’s surveyed have not changed their marketing budgets, 41% reported an increase and 28% reported cuts. Marketers on the whole reported a 5% increase in budgets during the pandemic, and digital spending is expected to grow by 4% in 2021. The biggest focus for all online businesses right now is visibility. To achieve that goal, digital marketing efforts have been redoubled with the goal of boosting brand awareness.
For any business, the brand is the face that differentiates it from its competitors. Whether the products or services are of higher quality than their competitor’s products or services is less important than how well the brand is known as a name and the reputation it has as a business. Branding is a valuable asset for your business and it needs to be developed and nurtured to make your business successful, even for online B2B companies. Your brand is your voice and your face by which people know you. Making it easy to remember, representative of your values and something that people can easily recall.
For a B2B, developing brand equity is vital. Many B2B providers working in the same industry do not have a unique product. Many B2B providers are offering the same product or service, and to differentiate themselves, they rely on brand equity. Brand equity is the value premium your company generates from a product with a recognizable name when compared with a generic equivalent. To do this, businesses need to make products memorable, easily recognizable and promote them as superior in quality and reliability. For example, your product isn’t just paper, it is Brand Paper, and it is associated with excellence because of your brand promotion.
What Your B2B Brand Needs:
- Brand equity – the B2B market is a more complex purchasing process, because of the number of people involved in the purchase decision process, the length of time from inquiry to purchase, and the internal hurdles involved, such as the compatibility and cost of conversion. That’s why having a known brand that performs as a preferred market leader matters.
- Risk mitigation – because of the volume of most B2B sales, the risks are considered higher for the buyer and the seller. To mitigate that risk, companies tend to purchase from known brands.
- Good reputation – Industrial purchasers consider the product brand and the company brand in the same context. Purchasers are looking for more than an item, they are looking for quality, reliability, relationships and value.
Your B2B Reputation
B2B purchasers are driven by absolute need. People seeking solutions for businesses, often in the tech industry, are not motivated by a need to replace something broken, but to upgrade a system that is out of date. The narrative for why your brand is the first choice among competitors has shifted.
Brand identity is important in the B2B sector. While in the B2C sector, brands (except luxury brands) have lost some popularity as people gravitate towards customer direct shopping online, this shift has not occurred in B2B, where branding is important. Your brand tells your customer who you are, what you stand for and how reliable your business can be.
For your brand to develop a reputation, you need to structure a digital marketing strategy that announces your brand, builds your reputation and reaches your target audience.
Considerations for Brand Optimization
- Build your brand – make your content a go-to resource for your industry by publishing the content that your customers are searching for.
- Website – your site, mobile site and social media needs to have fast load speeds, be AB and quality tested on a regular basis, and provide the information prospective clients need to understand your business, in an easy to read and follow format.
- Alignment – Your brand identity should align with your company’s mission and values. This alignment makes it easier for consumers to understand your brand and products.
- USP – you must tell prospective and secured customers about your unique qualities, be they related to your product, service or brand. Even if your product or service is the same as another company’s, there is something unique about your business, and that is what you must define and sell as part of your brand.
- Sales process – understand your target customer’s purchasing process. Guide prospective clients through the sales cycle with the right support at pain points and the right answers to push people through the process and secure sales.
Your marketing campaign should focus on brand awareness/brand building, or lead generation. Making a clear decision about which area to focus on makes it easier to be successful. In the case of brand development, leads will follow. In the case of lead generation, brand awareness will follow. Your company needs to understand which focus is right for the business type and industry in which you are operating to know which focus is best suited for your goals.
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