That first ‘spark’…that unforgettable ‘eureka’ moment that goes on to change your life forever.
That idea that keeps niggling away in your mind…in your sleep. That idea that you know could solve numerous business problems. That idea that offers a product or service to help other businesses get ahead. That idea that has the potential to change the world as we know it.
We’ve all had that genius B2B thought or concept (some of us have no doubt had many), but it takes great power and determination to take that fleeting thought, flesh it out, put your heart and soul into it and make it a reality. We take our hats off to every B2B brand that’s been through that journey.
However, as with every rollercoaster, the fun doesn’t stop once your business idea has finally become a reality. More hurdles are lining up ready for you to jump them (hopefully without catching your feet in the process) but in order to soar through… you need to ensure you have the right kit and guidance to do so.
B2B brands have it tougher than most with one of the largest hurdles being the brand itself – finding it harder to bring the brand to life. Simple questions like: Who are we? What do we stand for? How do I stand out? And, perhaps most importantly, what will help influence customer buy-in? Whether you’re a B2B start-up or a multinational player, simple questions like these can stump anyone. Ultimately, they can be the difference between the success and stagnation of your brand.
1. Set the Target
We all have goals but it’s being able to clearly define them that’s the challenge. Defining what your vision is both now and, in the future, can be hard especially when ensuring its aligned with your wider B2B brand strategy. The business strategy is naturally the nuts and bolts of the business, but the brand strategy is the glue that holds it all together and helps you not only elevate the brand, but fast-track these objectives. It’s important to set out your target with tangible and timely goals in order to achieve this.
2. Define Who You Are
Take a step back from day-to-day operations and work out what truly defines the brand – What is its identity? Is it the people, the process, the product or service, the business benefits or the ambition and drive of the team itself? It’s important to be able to describe the brand clearly and succinctly across all departments and refining messaging is an important part of this process. It’s no easy job, as your business will no doubt have numerous selling points and unique qualities. To be able to wrap these into a few succinct phrases is naturally going to be a challenge but will stand you in great stead.
Alignment is also no easy thing, but once you can define what the business stands for and communicate it to your employees – your internal brand will begin to strengthen, making it easier to take that next step – shouting about it!
3. Strengthen Your Position & Shout About It
Now comes the icing on top. You need to strengthen your position in the industry and shout about your brand externally. Think about the audience you are looking to influence – which group will help you achieve your target effectively? In order to influence this stakeholder group, you need to get the brand into their hands and on their radars. This doesn’t always mean tangibly. Using traditional and social media channels to support your sales strategy is an extremely effective way of reaching a large target group in a quick and effective way.
It’s all about building your brand and positioning your leaders as experts in their fields – crafting strong news hooks to get your brand out there. Consider communicating your business story and objectives publicly. In addition, conducting targeted thought leadership campaigns can be extremely effective. By elevating and discussing prevalent industry topics and issues that resonate with your target group it strengthens your position as an advisor and, in turn, should help drive prospects in your direction.
At Spider, we work with B2B brands ranging from start-ups, government agencies all the way through to global corporations. No one is the same and no one is looking to influence the same group, however, these pointers all remain a focus. There are numerous methods to building a brand but we hope these notes are a good place to start – whether starting from the beginning or re-evaluating current strategy.