Apply your brand holistically.
One of the key factors in brand strength is its ability to be applied across the organization consistently. Time and time again, we see brands that have one identity for consumers and a completely separate (and usually dated) one for the B2B audience . Smart marketers realize the fluid nature of brand experience across the B2B and B2C worlds and develop strong brand architectures that apply across the entire enterprise—not just across product lines.
Make your brand an authentic representation of your organization.
“Authenticity” is one of the most overused words in marketing today, and yet it remains one of the most critical components in creating a strong brand. For decades, marketers worried about brand as it related to advertising instead of developing brand positioning founded on the true ethos and identity of the organization.
With today’s technology-enabled transparency , brand messages and content that are not aligned with the true nature and values of the organization risk being “outed ” and negatively received by audiences (or worse yet, ignored). If you haven’t performed a brand positioning audit and analysis recently, we’d advise you to do so soon.
And if you have performed an audit and analysis, be sure that you’ve validated it and communicated it to the entire organization (see point #1).
Confirm your brand truly differentiates you from competitors.
Under pressure from sales, many B2B marketers create brand messages that promote product features and benefits without creating a point of differentiation for the brand. Although this may meet the need to increase awareness of a specific product or service, in the long term it does very little to enhance the strength of the brand.
And what if the truth reveals that you really aren’t different from your competitors? That’s where a thorough positioning exercise, incorporating the needs and perceptions of your target audiences, can help you craft an authentic identity that helps separate and distinguish your brand from the rest of the market.
Align your internal and external brand.
One of the most overlooked brand channels is your employee base. You can activate this base more effectively by making sure you’re aligned with your human resources and marketing communications teams and that your brand positioning is applied across both of these channels. At a minimum, this includes graphic identity, taglines, and imagery.
Being more effective involves making sure every employee knows your organization’s elevator pitch. Remember, the more your employees understand and relate to your brand message and positioning, the more likely they are to share them with others. Depending on the size of your organization, that can be a lot of WOM applied toward strengthening your brand.
Create an agile brand that works across all channels.
Social media can be the most direct line between a brand and its customers, yet many B2B organizations don’t recognize the value of applying brand positioning and identity to this channel.
Aside from editorial calendars and content that reinforce your brand positioning and messaging, B2B marketers should consider creating social media graphic templates for posts and ensure that graphic standards are applied consistently to creative content, including infographics, videos, and photography. In today’s sharing environment, it’s easy for content to be isolated from the original brand platform it was posted on; make sure your brand message is still applied, regardless of where a viewer might see it.
Looking for additional ways to pump up the strength of your brand?
Since 1985, Magnani Continuum Marketing has made it easier for organizations selling in highly technical and complex markets to deliver the most effective and seamless traditional and digital brand experiences.
We’re more digital than your advertising agency, more strategic than your digital marketing shop, more creative than your management consultants. And a heck of a lot easier to work with than almost all of them. We’ve helped some of the largest corporations in the world and some of the most exciting new start-ups. And we’d love to talk with you. Just drop us a note.