more than ever, buyers are doing their own research before making any purchasing decisions. They seek out information on companies from websites, social networks, events and their peers. With new advancements in online targeting, display advertising and marketing automation, it’s essential to take advantage of your image and your message. If you are not committed to developing brand consistency online, customers might start flocking to someone who is.
Branding is about creating an image for your company, whether it is B2C or B2B. Good B2B branding presents your company as professional, legitimate and trustworthy. It is not necessarily bad to be nit-picky with what you display to your audience. Audiences often notice inconsistencies and can interpret them as careless and unprofessional.
An article by the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company points out an important distinction between B2C and B2B companies; “Buy the wrong toothpaste, and you can always change brands when the tube runs out. Buy the wrong turbine and you could hurt your company’s earnings for years.”
Another McKinsey & Company study found strong brands outperformed weak brands by 20 percent. These strong brands are seen as less risky, and it was found customers were willing to pay a higher price for a product if the company had a well-established brand.
B2B Brand Consistency
There are tangible and intangible characteristics of your B2B company that are important to properly use to establish brand consistency:
These should be easily identifiable by your target audience and successfully display the uniqueness in your company. They should always remain consistent in color and typography. The consistency will help your company become better branded in your industry and to your audience
Social Media and Website
My first blog post already established the importance of social media for B2B companies, and additionally Business 2 Community offers 7 Golden Rules of Social Media Branding. A constant stream of relevant posts for your company creates a brand for potential customers to follow and learn from. As for your website, if it is not well designed and organized, it could be immediately dismissed by a customer. Show you care by making information easily accessible.
If you want to establish a positive brand, you have to be available and helpful when your clients or potential clients need you. Make sure your customer communication follows the tone and voice you establish online, making a seamless exchange when current and prospective customers contact you or start looking for information.
Do your own research. Look at your competitors’ online profiles, collateral and customer communications. Where do you think you rank? What do you think prospective customers would think? Make sure that when it comes to the competition, your company stands out from the crowd.
When bridging the gap between your audience and your company, make sure to keep your customer – and you’re brand- in mind for each touch point.