Think about some of the most successful brands in history, and you’ll find a common thread: each of them has developed a specific identity and story to make a connection to its buyers.
For example, Apple, by many accounts the world’s most valuable brand, has created a brand identity for providing tech products and services that are both innovative and high tech, yet simple in design and easy to use.
This identity works because these same characteristics are pulled through and repeated across everything that the organization does for its customers: the store experience, the products, even the packaging, all are designed to balance high innovation with simple, user-focused design.
B2B organizations should follow this same example when creating their own brand identities.
Having a unique and relevant brand identity is what helps customers to understand what makes that brand stand out against the competition. And, if done correctly, buyers come to accept and believe in that identity, and they seek it out because of its unique promise in the market. If the identity appeals to and connects with prospective audiences, they’ll place their trust in the brand, and as long as the organization continues to deliver on its promises, it will maintain and increase followers and its share in the market.
The problem with this scenario: not all organizations find it easy to create and execute a consistent brand identity that connects with customers across everything they do, and the ways that they do it.
That’s where we come in. Our goal when it comes to helping organizations through branding is to strategically build their brand identities by creating stories, visual designs and experiences that speak to customer needs in unique ways. This can be about making personalized connections to specific customer groups. It can also be about finding and creating the narratives that will engage the organization’s ideal customer groups.
How to Build a Brand Identity
Getting the unique brand identity comes down to three major steps to help organizations build, design and tell the stories that will make the most impact on prospective customers.
It begins with research: Organizations have to understand first of all, what will make its audiences connect. Studying audience needs and concerns can show how competitors are perceived by buyers and where opportunities exist to create new buyer connections that are different and yet valuable in helping to make their work easier, better or improved in some way.
The next step is to create. It’s only by understanding unique buyer connection opportunities that organizations can then move forward to create the visual and message-based representations that speak to those unique advantages in engaging ways.
If done correctly, the brand stories created should provoke target audiences, giving them reasons to break away from established competitor loyalties, in search of a new or improved customer experience.
Once the vision and narrative is created, it’s all about sharing that consistent identity across the channels its customers use to reach and engage them. This sharing can take place across a number of areas that may include everything from social media, to websites, to store fronts.
Branding at Different Levels
From there, branding activities can take several forms: at the most basic level it’s about creating the unique brand identity, narrative and visual design that its customers will relate to. At the more complex end of the spectrum, branding can be a comprehensive blueprint detailing the product’s entry into the marketplace, customized for each specific market segment.
Arriving at all of these narratives, designs and approaches is not a straightforward undertaking. We help our customers get through the process by taking an incremental approach. We’ll discuss some of the specific foundational elements we use to do this in the next blog post.
In the meantime, if you have questions about beginning or revising your B2B branding strategy, please get in touch with us.