When we think about a brand, our mind quickly jumps to well-known brands in the B2C space such a Nike, Coca Cola, Apple.
You and I both know two brands that have created powerful brands despite having nearly the same ingredients. I am talking about Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Most people think that a brand is a logo and the tagline of a company. It cannot be further from the truth. Even though they are a part of your overall brand, your company logo and corporate identity program are not your brand.
I need to reiterate this, especially for Industrial companies, as I’ve answered this question many times during our Industrial Marketing Agency work.
What is Branding?
Cattle farmers worldwide use a hot iron to stamp a mark on cattle rumps to claim ownership. This process is branding, and companies quickly used this idea to do it with their products so that their target customers could easily recognize their products. The mark on products is nothing but the company logo.
Branding is the perception in your target audience’s mind about your company and what you stand for. This perception is hard to control and grasp as it is built over time through all the touchpoints through which you communicate with end-users.
In the B2B Industrial space, branding becomes even more complicated as the perception is defined not only by your customers but also by suppliers, employees and investors.
Our digital marketing consulting services clients at our Industrial Marketing Agency have named branding or the lack of branding as one of their top-most pain points. The reason is that most Industrial companies don’t have an established branding process.
Here are 10 Do’s and Don’ts to help you keep the branding process on track for your Industrial company
5 Things to do in the branding process
Create a strong Mission Statement
A strong mission statement will guide all the stakeholders and staff at your industrial company to communicate seamlessly through all touchpoints. A documented, precise and specific mission statement will reflect the core values of your industrial company. Your company leadership can easily ask a simple question, “Does this action or business decision reflect our mission statement?” to alter the course if it does not align with the mission statement.
Be Intentional in using core values
If your mission statement is to be efficient and dependable, then be intentional in using these core values in every action and decision you make. It would be best if you depicted these core values throughout all your industrial brand assets.
Be intentional about using it as your mantra when providing industrial product and services while communicating with internal and external customers and through all the touchpoints such as your website, email, blog, newsletter, etc.
Understand your Target audience
You will be unable to deliver value through your products without understanding your target audience, needs, and challenges. Creating buyer personas will help you get a deeper understanding of their demographics, problems they are trying to solve every day at work and questions they might have about your products.
When many companies in the same market provide similar products, it is difficult for potential customers to understand how your company is different. To avoid getting lost in this sea of competition, you need to create differentiation to stand out from your competition.
Focus on your Strengths
Many companies have no idea of their strengths, or they are not good at expressing them. Ask your team members in customer-facing roles such as Sales, Marketing and Customer Success about your company’s strengths. Ask them to note it down. Create a master list and narrow it down to five top strengths that genuinely resonate with your company’s core values.
5 Things to avoid during the branding process
Don’t Rush the Branding Process
Companies who rush to create a brand will most likely skip the crucial steps needed to create a solid brand. Branding needs to be a streamlined process that requires creative and strategic inputs. Working with an experienced Branding Consultant will help you give ample focus on various branding process steps without giving up too much time.
Don’t have too many people in the branding team
Create a branding team in your company with stakeholders whose opinion matters the most in the branding process. Involving too many people in the branding process can make it difficult to reach a consensus as each will have a different viewpoint.
Don’t forget to focus on what makes you different
In a rush to create a brand, many companies end up copying their competitors. Copying the strategies your competitors are using will dilute your brand’s value. It will make it even harder for you to convince your customers to buy from you.
You will come across as just another company manufacturing just another machine tool or cutting tool in the vast market.
Don’t overpromise and underdeliver
Suppose you make promises to deliver a specific value through your brand promise; stick to what you can deliver. If you think you will convince the customer after they have bought your product based on false promises, you will end up alienating your customers and pushing them towards your competition.
Don’t overpromise and underdeliver, as this is a dishonest tactic and will only lead to mistrust in your brand.
Don’t underestimate the branding process
Companies might create great products and services but rarely do they sell themselves. Creating your industrial brand will only strengthen the value of your brand. Even industry leaders like Siemens, Renishaw and Sandvik promote the value and promote their brands.
Your brand and your products and services are intricately linked, and maintaining your brand value will ultimately strengthen your products and services.
There will be common problems you will face during the branding process. If you keep the above ten dos and don’ts in mind when creating your industrial B2B brand, you can get great results.
Building a solid B2B industrial brand means having strong core values, excellent positioning and a long-term brand strategy.
If you want to know more about branding your industrial company, contact us and we can have a chat.