Face it. Every B2B market is flooded with competitors. How does a business-to-business marketer get products noticed? Being consistently interesting and memorable will get you recognized quicker. Those attributes need to be built into your brand image.
But just what IS a brand, anyway? CCC defines it as the sum of all the associations your prospects and customers have about your product or service or company. It’s touchy-feely and hard to control, but brand building is well worth the effort if what you build is strong, positive and attractive. Being distinctive and meaningful separates you from the competition and attracts prospective buyers.
There are four key steps in brand management:
- Positioning – identifying your unique benefits and desired image. What personality or image do you want to present to customers and prospects?
- Planning – developing a road map for your brand identity programs. Where, when and how will you present your brand? This should be tied into your B2B marketing communications plan.
- Protection – guarding the integrity of your brand. How will you police the use of your logo, trade names, colors, tagline and so forth?
- Promotion – building awareness of and preference for your brand. Brand promotion should be a component of all your marketing and communications programs.
Brand management is an ongoing process, not a destination. Keep working at it!
Looks matter – even in B2B marketing. From your product to your place of business, your firm will be judged by how you look. So professionalism and consistency are very important.
It starts with a well-designed logo, defined company colors and a tagline that delivers your benefit message. But that is ONLY the beginning. You’ll need to roll out this identity in all your communications.
Consistency in how you present yourself to the market is a low cost way to build a presence. It’s what big consumer marketers do — advertisers like Coke, McDonalds and Target. Take a hint from them.
Here’s a quick checklist of the places where your logo, colors and tagline may be used. You’ll want your company’s identity to look crisp, clear and consistent no matter where it appears.
Need help creating and maintaining a consistent identity for your company? Contact Susan McPherson at Creative Communications Consultants, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org