Mention “branding” to B2B management, and logos may come to mind.
But, a logo is not a brand.
According to Branding Strategy Insider, a BRAND = [Prediction of what to expect] X [emotional power of that expectation].
A brand is a promise about who you are and what benefits you deliver that are reinforced every single time people come in contact with any facet of your organization.
But isn't branding more important for consumer products such as Coke and Nike?
To the contrary, argues Kevin Randall, Director of Brand Strategy & Research at Movéo Integrated Branding. In a brandchannel article, Randall argues that brands drive business-to-business sales even more than in the business-to-consumer arena:
"Branding today is a strategic tool that helps the supplier cut through the morass of the market, get noticed, and connect with the customer on many levels and in ways that matter. A strong brand becomes the customer’s “shorthand” for making good choices in a complex, risky, and confusing marketplace."
And despite the grueling process associated with B2B sales, brands still play a role:
"B2B customers often evaluate potential suppliers according to numerous, rigorous criteria—a “scientific” RFP process. But does anyone really think a multi-million dollar decision will come down to a numeric score or check list? How does a supplier even make the RFP list? You guessed it: Through their recognized brand."
The financial returns of companies who invest in building strong brands can be very impressive.
The article also outlines 2 requirements to build a strong brand which are especially relevant to B2B marketers:
Click here to read the full article, “It’s a Fact: Strong Brands Drive B2B Markets.”