B2B Branding, selling the brand first
In B2B, particularly in start up businesses, time and investment is reserved for R&D and production. If this is all that you do, you’re not going to make it. You’ll be another business with a great idea or a great product that finds itself a little lost in the commercial world.
Your product is only as good as the strength of your brand. Brands attract attention; brands get noticed and brands are memorable. Investing in building your brand protects you from other companies trying to take market share from you and raise the barriers to entry.
Let’s work through an example, imagine you developed the “intel chip” and were ready to take it to market. You had put an enormous amount of work into R&D, production, manufacturing, forecast, and financing – but it had no brand, no tagline, no logo. It has a value proposition; you know what it does well, what it does differently, who will benefit from it and how it will change people’s lives. However, these elements are not easily communicated without a brand, something to bring it all together and make it mean something to your target audience.
In B2B often people think that brands are a fluffy/nice to have, non-essential item. Without one though, if you were take the “intel chip” to PC manufacturers and tried to on-sell it, you are offering them just another component, and what is stopping another company with the same amount of resources and expertise from offering the same type of chip cheaper? Brands help you to charge a premium, brands help you to mean something to your customer and brands are not easily replaced by substitutes (when you invest in them).
At The Marketing Network (www.themarketingnetwork.com.au), a marketing agency an advertising agency, all in one, we come in at the early stages of product development or even when your product is just an idea. We help you to create a strong value proposition to build an emotional connection with your brand, so that when you are ready to launch, your brand is ready too. Read more about B2B Marketing at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B2B_Marketing#B2B_Branding.
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SMEs: Stand tall and play with the big boys
I am sure that you can put your hand on your heart and say that your new product or service is different and unique.
You have a point of difference that would convert a prospective customer in seconds. But how?
Here’s a checklist to ensure that you convert your prospective customers:
1. Look reputable:
- Have you got a logo that looks substantial?
- Do you have a tagline/slogan/positioning statement under your logo that communicates your point of difference?
- Does your website wow your customer?
- Is the content on your website relevant and proof read?
- Is all your marketing material consistent and themed?
- Do you have an office address and customer service number?
2. Build confidence:
- Do you offer guarantees and or warranties?
- Do you have testimonials from existing customers?
- Can you use the logos of existing customers to create instant credibility?
3. Get noticed:
- Do you have and regularly update a blog, to exhibit thought leadership and improve your SEO?
- Do you update your customers through email and LinkedIn/twitter/facebook?
- Do you have listings and or advertisements in business directories?
- How is your Google ranking?
- Do you do sponsored(Pay Per Click)advertising on Google?
- Do you regularly communicate through email and direct mail with your customers and new leads?
- Is your point of difference obvious and consistent in all your forms of communication?
To find out how we help our clients to play with the big boys, contact us now. We are a marketing agency and advertising agency, all in one and our website is full of information on brand identity and styling, content development and campaign development. By working on looking reputable, building confidence and getting noticed, you’ll look just like a big player in your market, on a small budget. Remember ‘Perception is Reality’! We’ll help you to launch your brand successfully and maximise the return on your marketing investment.
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On a small marketing budget it’s all about choices
If you have a small budget and your marketing agency is suggesting email marketing – consider the benefits of a direct mail piece instead. The payoff could be better.
The main difference is that direct mail is considered a more acceptable form of communication for new leads, especially if you have a great offer. Whilst email is a cost effective was of keeping in touch with people who know and love you, but is often dismissed as spam when it arrives in the email inbox of a prospect.
If you have a decent budget, then hedge your bets and do both! But, if you don’t then you have to know the facts before you make your decision
At The Marketing Network, a marketing agency and advertising agency, all in one, we understand that you can’t have it all, on a small budget. So we suggest that to really get your brand noticed, consider the old fashioned way – snail/direct mail. The rationale is quite simple.
• Firstly, you are putting your brand in the hands of your target market.
• Secondly, it engages all the senses, plus addressed mail has an emotional component (i.e.: it’s addressed to me, I feel special).
• And lastly, the letterbox is the least cluttered promotional channel. The inbox is full and the letterbox is quite empty!
On a small budget, it makes sense to look for a channel that is less cluttered, allows for a high degree of creativity and has a far higher chance of getting noticed. A direct mail that ends up in the bin was read first!
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You Get What You Pay For – A Professionally Designed Logo Can Not Cost $100
Recently a member of Linked In Group, posted an excellent blog on why “A Logo Should not Cost $100”.
Although a number of readers agreed fully with the thinking and issues raised by the author, they pointed out the cold hard facts of the free market…demand and supply will inevitably have their way. (more…)
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A Web Marketing Tip from Experts that ends up costing you money and time by lulling you into a false sense of security…
Everybody wants to discover the “silver bullet”, THE solution to all their problems, whether it is to building a profitable online business or to losing weight! That’s the sort of society we live in – Quick Fix, Pop a Pill, so it is no wonder that the “expert marketers” serve up solutions that the market seems to be demanding!
Unfortunately, just like weight loss, developing a profitable online presence in form of a website or blog is not as easy as popping a pill! (more…)
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Linked In: It is not how big it is but how you use it!
A fascinating debate recently took place on the pages of Anthill, the summary of which can be described as follows:
- Should you aim to get as many connections as possible?
- Is Linked In suitable for B2C Marketing or only B2B?
You can find the article and readers responses here:
Doesn’t the question of how you should connect and with whom all depend on your product or service offering? (more…)
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Linked In: The Rules Of Engagement for Successfully Building Your Professional Network.
Success on Linked In and in fact in all Social Media channels relies on the principle of leveraging and building your reputation with your existing professional (and personal) connections as well as building new connections that will also hold you in high regard.
Yet many Linked In users fail to do this effectively and damage their reputations because they forget the simple rules of engagement when it comes to interacting with their existing and prospective audience online. (more…)
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