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.