B2B Branding: New Year, New Direction

To kick off 2013 we’ve created a 5-part series to kick start fresh thinking around a subject matter we feel warrants attention: Business to Business Branding.  B2B branding often takes a backseat to B2C branding but we’re here to tell you it’s equally important for any seriously competitive branding and/or marketing organization. At tpg our B2B methodology is based on a blueprint we’ve designed entitled “The 5 R’s of B2B Branding” that’s all about:

1)     Re-envisioning

2)     Refining

3)     Resonating

4)     Re-energizing

5)     Reevaluating

In this blog we begin with Part 1 of our 5-part series with the first of the “5 R’s”, Re-envisioning.  Specifically, re-envisioning your strategic direction.  While many marketing and branding professionals toss around the term ‘Re-invention’ these days, the tpg watchword is ‘Re-envision’. Not as dramatic yet much more effective minus the heavy lifting involved with a total makeover of your B2B strategies.

Step 1:  The Engagement Factor.

  • Employee Engagement – Effective B2B branding practices must be embraced and become part of the DNA of your team, for every employee, across all departments within your company. There is a proven link between internal branding and the bottom line across B2B markets, and for organizations to truly define and establish a strong B2B foundation they must place their brand strategy at the heart of their business strategy.
  • Customer Engagement – To resonate with customers across all markets, it’s about a meaningful relationship between the brand and the customer, with consistent direct communication; it’s about long term loyalty vs. short term; it’s about making the customer believe in your product and/or service; and most importantly it’s about customers who are singing your praises because you have their best interests at heart.

Step 2:  The Evaluation Factor.

Evaluate what it takes to meet your customers’ needs, i.e. the sole reason your company’s products and services exist. To properly evaluate your customer’s needs, tpg is a firm believer in the creation of criteria to astutely assess and prioritize those needs. To reinforce the engagement factor mentioned in Step 1 above this should be developed cross-functionally from team members that will likely be involved in addressing those customer needs. Possible criteria that should be used to identify needs may include, but are not limited to, alignment with your organization’s strategic objectives, financial impact, potential customer response(s) and organizational core competencies.

Step 3:  The Identification Factor.

Identity the true growth drivers for your business based on the following 3 ‘Revolutions’:

  • Technological Revolution – technology is changing at an unprecedented pace and these changes are speeding up the rate of new product and service development;
  • Entrepreneurial Revolution – identify new market segments, with untapped needs and new uses for existing products and create new processes for customer service;
  • Customization Revolution – companies are customizing marketing; relationships, partnerships and alliances are what define marketing today

Step 4:  The To-Do List.

Our comprehensive checklist to get the most out of Re-envisioning Your B2B Strategic Direction:

  • Assign a team to lead the marketing strategy development;
  • Work with an outside resource;
  • Revisit past plans & S.W.O.T. analyses;
  • Perform a competitive review;
  • Perform a communications audit;
  • Review industry trends;
  • Research, research, research; both quantitative & qualitative.

For more about Re-envisioning your business’s B2B branding initiatives contact tpg at 502.587.0044, email info@thepeppergroup.com or visit http://pepperltd.com/contact/.

 

Sources:  Business Marketing: Connecting Strategy, Relationships, and Learning, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill/Irwin., b2bmarketing.net, loyaltyandcustomers.com, marketingmag.com.au.

 

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