Branding is more than a business buzzword; it’s your competitive edge. Your brand differentiates you from everyone else in your category. In a Business-to-Business environment like CAM, your competitors can duplicate almost anything of yours. They may be able to do a better job, sell the product or service at a lower price.
But there is one competitive edge they cannot copy: your brand.
“A great brand raises the bar,” says Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. “It adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it’s the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you’re drinking really matters.”
Your brand represents intangible aspects of your product or service; it is a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, and ethics. Your brand creates in the mind of your clients or prospects the perception that there is no product or service on the market quite like yours.
One of the characteristics of a Business-to-Business (B2B) product is that in many cases it is bought by a committee of buyers which makes your brand even more important.
These buyers are well-versed with costing levels and specifications, and because they constantly monitor the market, they have excellent knowledge of the products. In many cases purchases are specification driven, so your brand must be clearly defined and target the appropriate segment.
At the end of the day, your brand is your business. When the estimators have gone home, generators have been turned off, plans are folded and put away, what does your brand stand for?
A successful brand begins with superior products and services. It is not created by a marketing program
If you can’t convince clients or prospects that your product (or service) is worth purchasing, no amount of advertising dollars, or public relations will help you achieve your sales goals.
The most effective B2B marketing is transparent; it reveals the essence of your brand. Marketing doesn’t sell your brand; it tells the story of your brand from the inside out. Be transparent. You have a story. Tell it.
Your website needs to reflect your brand so that your clients see a seamless continuity between your in-person service and your online presence.
Quality, or the perception of quality, lies in the mind of the buyer. Build that perception of quality, and you will succeed in creating a powerful brand. Ultimately, a strong brand will reduce the perceived risk for the buyer and help you build your business and generate more revenue.