Building a brand in a B2B market is not nearly as common as doing so in a B2C environment. Instead of trying to exploit impulse purchases, you need to learn how to add value to your offer. Instead of settling for one-time buyers, you need to place an emphasis on the return customer. Finally, instead of looking for a way to make a strong impression at the moment, you need to focus on consistency and establishing a lasting reputation. With this in mind, here are several tips on how to build a brand in B2B markets.
B2B interactions, unlike B2C ones, are usually not impulse purchases. This means that the customer has enough time to thoroughly examine the offer in question and distance themselves from the initial offer for long enough to look at it rationally. In other words, in order to make your offer superior to those of your competitors, it’s not enough to simply make it look better – you actually have to offer a lot more.
Some make a mistake of believing that this can be examined through the price tag, whereas in reality, it is most definitely not so. In order to create a brand that’s appealing to other businesses, you need to make sure it hits on all points that are relevant to your audience. Quality assurance, warranty length, return policy, delivery system, and many other factors that your customers may value as highly as they do the very price of the product. For this to work, on the other hand, you need to gather actionable data and form your brand on the results.
Another thing you need to understand is that a company-centric story simply doesn’t resound as strongly as a customer-centric one. Ask yourself what your clients care more about, what they can do for you, or what you can do for them. This is one of the most universally applicable rules of both marketing and the business world. So, when telling the story of your company, you need to set a client as the protagonist and portray your business as merely an agent (or even a tool) through which they achieve their dreams and goals. It’s also fairly important to portray a potential issue they’re facing as faithfully as possible.
Focus on the local market
Even though we live in the world of e-commerce and m-commerce, things haven’t changed as much for the B2B as they have for B2C interactions. You see, for an individual customer, an ideal purchase is the one they can complete online, as well as the one that has the simplest checkout process possible. When it comes to B2B, face-to-face meetings are much more important and so is the ability to establish a connection on a personal level. Therefore, a Victoria-based company might want to develop a specific brand strategy for Melbourne, while leaving a global campaign for later on.
Outline vision and corporate values
Sometimes, when they plan cooperation in the long-run, companies may look for those businesses whose vision and corporate values align with their own. This is a great opportunity for you, seeing as how finding a compatible partner allows you to run your business with a lot lower overhead and effort invested. Therefore, start by focusing on basic parameters such as vision, values, and a mission statement, so that you can communicate clearly and in a language that your potential partners understand quite well.
Use competition as a reference point
Perhaps the biggest misconception about the business world lies in the idea that the competition is always a bad thing, when it’s more than obvious that these things aren’t so black and white. Think about it: without an inferior competitor, how would your clients know just how great your company is? Without someone to overprice their products, how could they know that your product is affordable?
At the end of the day, you don’t actually have to outperform your competitors in every single aspect of running a business. All you have to do is find a single area in which you’re superior and focus your branding efforts on that particular point. It really is that simple.
Focus on consistency
The last difference between B2C and B2B markets is in the value of the purchase and the significance of the return customers. Take a look at things from this perspective; in a B2C market, a customer is completely content with making a single purchase if all the circumstances align. They need a single product that you are currently offering on a discount; they will purchase it, and likely forget you even exist. With B2B, it’s never that simple. Seeing as how offers are substantial and collaboration in the years to come is more likely, customers are more inclined to do a proper research of your brand. Therefore, consistency is the key.
The most important principle of building a brand is always the same – instead of approaching your customers as a nameless entity, you’re giving your business a face and a personality people can relate to. This remains unchanged in B2B markets, as well. The only difference is how you get there, and with the application of the above-listed six techniques, you will definitely have an easier job at achieving this