When it comes to interacting and doing business with B2B (business-to-business) brands, mixed signals from websites, social media channels, and emails are becoming more common. It has become increasingly challenging for businesses to maintain consistent branding. In the current B2B market, it is more important than ever to provide that consistency alongside an up-to-date experience for consumers.
Consumers do want a quality product or service but it needs to come with an eventful experience that is relatable and provides benefits both professionally and personally. Long-term value needs to be provided, and so the brand is the key. B2B organisations and their marketers can struggle with this, even though they know exactly who their target audience is and who the buyers are.
When Appetite Creative were asked to produce a campaign for Armani Hotel’s exclusive New Year’s Eve party “A Night to Remember” the branding had to be consistent with Giorgio Armani’s view that “Elegance is not being about being noticed, but about being remembered”
Marketing is underrated in B2B
Due to a sales-driven atmosphere, a lot of the leaders in the B2B world underestimate the role and value that marketing plays for businesses. If they set up a marketing division, it becomes primarily sales oriented or wholly integrated with sales overall. This approach will inevitably fail, buyers hold a short attention span and do not appreciate a sales pitch across every touch point in numerous businesses marketing strategies.
Millennials, Generation Z, whatever it may be, each buyer wants a connection, a personal interaction, some value in the form of learning where their investment benefits them in the short and longer-term depending on the product or service.
Good and connected branding does not mean boring repetitiveness
B2C over B2B
The pressures of carrying out multiple marketing projects with limited budget and resources can be overwhelming for marketers who may end up feeling weary of taking risks in case errors are made. For this reason, they feel that B2C markets are more suited to them as more creativity is offered compared to intense B2B environments.
The B2B industry needs to take a leaf out of the B2C industry’s book and provide an experience where business brands are kept consistent throughout the organisations marketing and operations both inbound and outbound. If B2B businesses keep up their inconsistent approach to branding, it will be detrimental to their reputations and it will allow competitors to gain the edge.
If you think about it, when was the last time you engaged with a piece of content from Coca-Cola that made you feel or see anything that resembled Pepsi, or just not in line with their branding, it would be odd, and you wouldn’t feel comfortable.
Solving the issue
Marketers are the only ones that can solve the issues surrounding many B2B brands not utilising digital and creative in their marketing strategies and branding to capture the millennial decision-makers. HubSpot recently stated that "only 50% of B2B marketers prioritise visual content over anything else" which defeats the purpose of streamlining and making a brand consistent.
Now brand consistently
So where do you start in taking control of your brand efforts? Well take a step back and look at your efforts from a broader perspective, from the very beginning, do your existing efforts resemble your B2B business’s nature? Does it resemble your business’s personality? Does it help to understand what you do? How you do it? Is it very sales like? Does it always speak with the same voice? Is there a clear consistent message across every piece and every channel
Find out what you can and improve, invest time and resources in marketing as consistent branding is more important now than ever to effectively targeting B2B audiences and persuading them to buy into your business and strengthens the brand. Consistent branding also allows companies to seamlessly introduce new elements to your portfolio.
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