Being “on-brand” is a familiar expression due to pop-culture references and a marketing-savvy society. We used to relate “branding” with a logo and catchy tagline, but non-marketers are now realizing what marketers have known all along—branding conveys a complete picture of who you are, what you do and how you behave as an organization.
Your branding efforts guide how the public sees you—becoming your identity.
With over 585,000 tech companies in the U.S., developing a strong brand is crucial to stand out from the rest. So, where do you start? Here are some ways to make your B2B tech brand development less overwhelming.
Business to Business = Humans to Humans
Remember, B2B is NOT a faceless entity doing business with another faceless entity—it’s humans doing business with humans. You need to know who you are (the face of your company) and who your audience is (your customer’s face) for effective marketing.
Let’s say you’re on the cutting-edge of innovation and have an amazing offering BUT you struggle to communicate what you do and why your audience should care. The audience won’t know your identity, making you seem less trustworthy.
So, those potential customers will go to competitors with a strong, and seemingly reliable, brand identity. Your offerings may be superior, but the competition has a strong image of themselves, connects with them as humans, not transactions, and knows exactly what those customers want or need.
This is why developing your B2B tech brand is so important.
Three Questions to Ask When Developing Your B2B Tech Brand
A brand identity is not created overnight. Your leadership team needs to self-reflect to nail down who they are as a company, what they do and how they will communicate their solutions to their audience.
It’s best to have a diverse team of stakeholders look at the big picture and answer these questions in a way that aligns your brand with your vision for the future.
Who are we?
Decide how you want the world to view you.
- What do we look like?
Ex: Does your logo make sense? Is it timeless, memorable and easy to comprehend?
- How do we sound?
Ex: Are we direct and crisp in our messaging or more business casual? Boastful or laid back?
- What is our talent/customer service/culture?
Ex: How do we showcase our culture of excellence in employee wellbeing and customer service?
What do we do?
Decide the scope and purpose of the solutions you provide.
- What solution do we provide?
Ex: Do people know what it is we actually “do” for them? How do we solve their problem?
- What is our unique draw?
Ex: What are some obvious ways we differ from the competition? What are we most passionate about that others will relate to?
How do we communicate?
Decide on your target audience and how you connect with them.
- What are our buyer personas?
Are we reaching the right audience? What do our customers need, how do they need it and what are their preferred buying experiences?
- How consistent are we?
Are we communicating on a regular and effective basis with our audience? Are we using style guides and eliminating unbranded materials for brand consistency?
- What are our talking points?
Does everyone know our key messaging and talking points? Are we reinforcing their use in all materials and communication across the board?
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Once you have answers for how you will be seen, how you solve customer pain points and how you engage with your audience, you can tell your story in a way that is relatable and will build a base of loyal consumers.
Storytelling doesn’t need to be overly verbose. The message simply needs to convey why people should care about your brand and how they can relate to the humans and mission behind the brand.
Don’t know where to start? Try playing “mad libs” with generic statements and then craft them in a way that is unique and tailored for your brand.
Relate to your audience:
Before [this product/service/offering] we were challenged by [this pain point] and did [this research/development] to come up with [this solution]—and now you can benefit, too.
Our passion for [core value] is at the heart of our company. No other [product/service/offering] will [do this] the way we do.
Don’t Stop There!
Developing a B2B tech brand is a process. Once you are comfortable with the basics you’ve established about your branding you can continue to shape and refine your brand strategy. We get into these details in our free downloadable: A Branding Guide to B2B Tech. If you have questions, we’re here to help!