Think about three of the most successful brands out there: Nike, McDonalds, and Disneyland. You most likely know what their logos look like, what they represent, and maybe even their slogan. All of these successful brands have one thing in common, and that’s a strong brand marketing strategy.
Brand marketing is necessary for every type of business; it reinforces your position in the market and controls how you would like to be perceived. Brand perception can often influence a buyer’s decision-making process. With multiple brands competing for share of attention, creating a perception of difference is a crucial part of any company’s product and service marketing plan.
The average adult attention span is 8.25 seconds and within that short instance, a brand must successfully execute messaging that truly resonates with its audience. Branding forges your market identity – your reputation. It defines who you are, what you do and what you stand for – your company’s cultural relevance. Relevancy is the magnet that attracts the attention of prospects.
Having a cohesive brand marketing strategy helps generate brand awareness, establishes competitive differentiation and is critical to sustaining relevance.
Having an effective B2B brand strategy establishes your product or service and gives you the opportunity to be recognized as leader in the market. It creates brand value and establishes your company’s cultural relevance. Let’s take a look at some of the smart strategies companies use to establish and develop brand awareness:
- Aligning brand strategy with business strategy
- Integrating customer touch points into overall brand strategy
- Communicating effectively to connect with your target audience
BRANDING STRATEGY VS. BUSINESS STRATEGY
Begin your brand marketing strategy by defining your brand. Clearly identify what your company stands for, ensuring you and your employees understand every unique aspect the company has to offer. It is important that each employee knows the products and services your company is promising to deliver to your customers, as well as the expected end goal(s), so everyone is working in a concerted effort.
It’s important to align your branding strategy with your business strategy. While the business strategy outlines the reasons for being in business, the branding strategy defines how your customers should perceive products and services.
Your B2B brand strategy should promote and support your overall strategic business goals. For example, if your company’s goal is to sell cruise tickets to top level executives, your company needs to carve an image of how it needs to be perceived by top level executives within the marketplace. The company must position itself based on the target buyer’s demands and expectations. This will require different messaging and imagery delivered on different channel platforms compared to a company targeting blue-collared customers.
Cultural, social, personal and psychological factors all affect buyer behavior. Understanding your target audience and their value drivers will help you develop a compelling value proposition that resonates with each target persona, as well as influences preference and action.
INTEGRATING BRAND STORY AND CUSTOMER TOUCH POINTS
With a clearly defined brand strategy working in cohesion with your business strategy, it’s time to really develop your brand identity.
Of utmost importance is to make sure you have a clear understanding of how you want your brand positioned. Develop a mission statement and supporting messages for your company – this will help when designing a logo, selecting company colors and crafting creative. When combined, these elements help invoke certain feelings and impact how a brand is perceived.
After finalizing your brand identity elements, identify the logical steps your target buyer takes before making a purchase. This will help to design and deliver content assets that resonate with the people you’re trying to reach at the most optimal time.
Mapping out the buyer’s journey will help you locate opportunities to integrate your brand story into your customer’s journey. Determine what value you bring to your ideal buyer and weave that promise into your content at every brand touch point.
COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY USING BRAND MARKETING STRATEGY
Your brand strategy is ultimately what helps you communicate and connect more effectively with your target audience to drive consideration and action. The end goal of a successful brand marketing strategy is to have your brand stand out from the rest of the crowd and make your brand be the first thing your target market thinks of when it’s time to purchase. Build a strong brand that connects emotionally with customers and you will take customers to conversion.
Interested in seeing how a successful brand strategy keeps a brand’s awareness and relevancy high? Download this free case study to see how we helped Composite Resources boost their company from general distributor to product innovator.