How branding differs in b-to-b communications

Branding isn't just for consumer product companies.

Branding isn't just for consumer product companies. The value of persuasive b-to-b branding can't be underestimated when it comes to establishing credibility, market leadership, and preference.

It's an inexorable connection of the company with the value it provides, helping to prevent commoditization – a significant threat to profitability and market share.

Unlike b-to-consumer branding, b-to-b efforts target decision-makers that are looking to buy products or services for the benefit of a company – not for themselves, friends, or family. The highly knowledgeable professionals we're trying to reach and influence well understand the players and technology advancements. They know what they require better than we do. Hence the challenge makes branding even more important for b-to-b companies.
 
A few tips on how to build and maintain your b-to-b brand:

1. Communicate the business value of products or services beyond the technical details, like customer service and industry leadership. This can be the reason a prospect chooses and current clients continue to choose your company over the competition.

2. Focus on the differentiated value your company brings – why your company is better, faster, or smarter than the competition. Besides establishing industry leadership, differentiation helps to elevate discussions with customers beyond price.

3. Communicate your brand internally. Often, companies forget that communicating a brand internally is as important as communicating it externally. It's the salespeople and customer service that often have the most contact with customers, and much of the brand's authenticity hinges on how well these individuals convey brand messaging.

Good branding is more than just the pretty face of a nice logo and a catchy tagline. It must be strategically planned and smartly implemented to provide the crucial differentiation that can spell the difference between a prospect that stays a prospect, or one that becomes a customer.

Amy Epstein is MD of the Americas for ABI.

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