Have you ever looked at a brand and wondered what got them to where they are now? What did Nike or Starbucks do to make their brand so big that — even without their names — you can identify them just by their logo?
We can liken this to a plant or a tree: if you stand by and watch, waiting for it to sprout and grow, it will feel like it’s never going to happen or it will take forever. But if you let things take their due course, one day you’ll see a magnificent tree.
When it comes to your brand, it’s what happens after you plant the seed that is crucial. And while there may be other aspects that are equally important (like prospects, leads, and clients), branding should never be forgotten.
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Branding is the “process of giving a meaning to specific organization, company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds.” (thebrandingjournal.com)
Brand marketing is “all about developing brand awareness and recognition, trustworthiness, product visibility, market reach, and the overall reputation of your brand. It is a way to promote your product uniquely and recognizably to highlight your brand, it's a particular value for customers and show what sets you apart from others.” (sendpulse.com)
Brand marketing in the B2B world
The hypothesis is simple: B2C marketing tactics also work in B2B marketing. In the latter, you are still marketing to human beings, and the same stimuli that work with customers also work with potential business partners.
Marketing Week calls this “The Big Long” — It will take a long time and an arduous process to build your brand, but the returns are “broad and multi-dimensional.” It’s almost like creating a legacy. Think of De Beers’ “A diamond is forever” campaign.
It is 90 years old. And De Beers has been able to raise their prices by 5%, allowing them to recover from the economic catastrophe of 2020.
What are the ways brand-building creates value for your business?
When you put your brand out there and people know of it, get to know it, and align with what your brand stands for, they would be more than willing to pay for your products or services or align themselves with you.
So put in some thought to your strategy. Are you relying purely on organic? That’s good if you can afford it. Are you considering investing in a branding campaign that will push your brand to your prospects? That is also good if you can afford it.
However which way you go, it will be a win-win.
Why is this important? Because it helps you predict or project the size at which your business will scale. You are targeting a market you have not yet captured but will capture, as opposed to lead generation where you target a market you are almost certain you have captured.
According to Marketing Week, this is valuable because “businesses are valued based on future sales or “future cash flows” in CFO-speak. By some estimates, 80% of the value of a stock is based on sales 10 years or more in the future.” In short, your brand advertising today will guarantee cash flows of tomorrow.
A well-known brand will be worth the extra bucks in the eyes of the customers versus a brand they do not know and associate with. Think of investing in branding as investing in sales you will get because you have become top-of-mind and a household name.
If people do not know of you, how can they think of you or know you exist?
Let’s say you have built your brand consistently on platforms like LinkedIn. When you post jobs openings as a company, potential applicants will be quick to apply because it is a company they know and will want to work in.
As Marketing Week put it, “potential employees are 58% more likely to respond to recruiters after seeing a brand message.”
“Categories are mortal, brands are immortal.” (Marketing Week)
As your business evolves in order to scale and survive, you may want to be placed in different categories in order to conquer new and more markets and therefore continue to thrive.
Think of Instagram, for instance. In the beginning, it was simply a platform to post and share beautiful visuals; carefully created to come up with an arresting series of tiles. Today, Instagram also has stories, IGTV, live streaming, and even messaging comparable only to Facebook Messenger.
From being a social networking platform, it has evolved into a media sharing platform. And so it survives, unlike some of its former contemporaries (like Vine) that died a quiet death.
Do you need help with B2B marketing or brand-building? Or lead generation to run alongside your brand-building campaign? BizScale has the team of experts you need without the overhead cost.