Discover how to build brand value and increase sales in the long term with brand positioning.
- The role of the brand in long-term sales
- The B2B purchasing process starts much earlier than the relationship with the salesperson and is primarily based on the "perception" that the customer forms in their mind, not just of the product they need, but of the brand they are about to purchase.
- Accelerating growth: the power of branding in a hyper-competitive market
- What does the brand mean for a B2B company?
- What benefits can a manager gain from working on the brand?
- How can we-go support the construction of a B2B brand?
If you are a manager of a B2B company, you have certainly always placed great importance on the quality of business relationships and the products offered, considering them the main factors to achieve growth objectives.
The role of the brand in long-term sales
Certainly, you may start from the assumption that marketing should focus on a product and its distinctive technical advantages, as the only necessary elements for successful selling. As a result, you may have relegated brand-building activities to a secondary role, considering them as optional and not essential.
It cannot be argued that the sales force is unimportant, as we all see the difference between a skilled salesperson and a mediocre one. However, focusing solely on this aspect ignores the true dynamics of product purchasing, even in a business-to-business relationship. Believing that sales can be made solely on the basis of having good salespeople supposes a short-term relationship between seller and buyer, typically based on the cost-benefit ratio of a single offer. This approach disregards the decision-making process that occurs in the mind of a buyer long before they approach a product.
The B2B purchasing process starts much earlier than the relationship with the salesperson and is primarily based on the "perception" that the customer forms in their mind, not just of the product they need, but of the brand they are about to purchase.
In B2B, every company aims for innovation, technology, and differentiation, making it difficult to stand out. B2B is a highly competitive market. How can you distance yourself from the competition without resorting to price as the only means of differentiation?
To achieve success in a highly competitive world, B2B company managers should abandon short-term marketing strategies and focus on creating value for customers in the long term. This can only be achieved by working on brand building, creating a value proposition that extends beyond the product itself.
Let’s consider Caterpillar as an example: nowadays “Caterpillar” has become synonymous with earth-moving machinery, thanks to the branding activity carried out by the Caterpillar company, which had given this name to its machinery because the movement resembled that of a caterpillar. If you are curious, click here to read the full story of the name Caterpillar.
The word Caterpillar immediately conveys precise meanings to us, such as the courage to face challenges, strength, and tenacity in carrying out an action. These values are not related to a single product but to the entire offering of the company, and therefore identify the territory in which the company has decided to position itself. In this relationship, the brand plays a crucial role in guiding sales, as it anticipates the relationship between the salesperson and the buyer, creating a sense of trust that goes beyond rational considerations about the specific product.
Accelerating growth: the power of branding in a hyper-competitive market
In the B2B market, each manufacturer strives to excel in their product, and therefore, having a good product is no longer sufficient to differentiate from the competition. The brand can make the difference.
What does the brand mean for a B2B company?
The brand represents the intangible asset that embodies the company’s identity and value proposition. It serves as a critical means of differentiation in a crowded marketplace and is a key factor in influencing customer purchase decisions.
In technical jargon, we talk about brand truth, the truth that each brand has within itself and that it should be able to express in order to be credible, likable and successful.
Intel, facing much cheaper competition, had to work on its brand to convince buyers to purchase its product at a higher price. To achieve this goal, the branding strategy was based on the values of reliability and performance, which have always been the values that the company believed in. The guiding principle for managers was that the technology inside a PC was accessible to users as it has the power to transform their experience. This belief was verbalized in the form of "experience what's inside," which is a great example of how an entire company can be told in three words, including the emotional, technological, and practical components that are tied to this expression. Today, while staying true to the original promise, the managers have modified the phrase to "do something wonderful" to create a stronger connection between the company's work and the work of all users.
What benefits can a manager gain from working on the brand?
- creating a desire in potential customers to get in touch with the company and therefore act before the salesperson’s intervention
- reducing the product’s buying cycle
- allowing the product to sustain a higher price. On the other hand, decreasing the customer’s sensitivity to price increases
- working to build a sense of pride and belonging in the team of employees, attracting and retaining better resources.
Not convinced? Do you still believe that everything depends on the quality of your salespeople? No problem, because one of the main advantages of a strong brand is that it helps sales regardless of the quality of the salespeople. This does not mean that a strong brand can win every deal, but it will certainly help you win more than you lose, especially in your core business, in your specialization, where the promise of your brand is stronger.
How can we-go support the construction of a B2B brand?
We have developed a proven method for building a brand identity that starts with a strategic plan. Our objective in every project is the construction of a coherent brand narrative that endures over time and resonates with all stakeholders. We infuse our projects with creativity to make them compelling and distinctive, while maintaining the bold approach that has always set us apart.
For one of our clients, an industrial machinery manufacturer, we developed a positioning strategy in the domain of innovation with a concept that encapsulates the company's future vision. Through content production, we created material that bridges the gap between the manufacturing experience and the company's forward-thinking capabilities, providing a cohesive message to customers. See the case history here.
If you want to discuss how to revitalize your brand, contact us now.