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Have you ever wished that you could change the way your b2b brand is perceived by others? It’s the classic “grass is always greener” effect – perhaps a change of eye or hair color, or a body switch that could present you as an entirely different person to the world (hey, it worked in Face/Off and Big). While there’s access to contacts and hair dye for people looking to make a change, achieving a perception shift in marketing isn’t always as easy.
Marketers need to make sure that their b2b brand stands out from the rest. This could mean taking a stance to support a social cause or even rebranding the entire company. But one thing they should never do is forget about how any change could affect their target customers.
Coca-Cola learned this the hard way when it tried to rebrand its famous soda as New Coke in 1985. The backlash was immediate and harsh – and taught company marketers that change isn’t always welcome. However, Coca-Cola took the criticism, reexamined the company, and then presented a new drink – Coca-Cola Classic – which continues to prop up its position as one of the most valuable brands over 30 years later.
Before going through a b2b brand change to alter the image and/or messaging around the company or product, it’s important to:
- Keep the messaging consistent and concise: It’s crucial for a b2b brand to keep its messaging consistent across the board, as straying too far from the core values of a company can confuse customers and potentially drive them away. Confusing your buyers with messaging full of jargon and buzzwords is a surefire way to reduce your sales, while keeping your message clear and understandable is one of the best ways to maintain healthy relationships with customers.
- Understand the buyers: What’s the use of selling to a cultivated list of customers if you’re not offering what they want and need? Before making adjustments to messaging, remember your audience. Know who you’re targeting and then create a plan that communicates clearly how your product delivers what they want and treats their pain points.
- Test your message: The budget is approved, the concept is final, and all seems well – but has the messaging been tested? Before giving the green light on any b2b brand campaign, it’s important to gauge how it will be received. Utilizing test groups and A/B testing can help marketers figure out what’s perceived as a strong brand message and what messaging might miss the mark.
- When it doubt, cut it out: If you’re not sure your message will work, don’t execute the plan. It’s far easier (and more cost-effective) to pull the funding on a campaign you’re not sure about than to potentially spend millions cleaning up a mess.
Once your b2b brand change is ready to go, don’t forget to share the new messaging across all channels. This includes targeting key media and analysts, sharing on social feeds, and investing in digital campaigns (like pay per click (PPC) and by targeting specific audiences using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and GoogleAds). These activities can play a key role in ensuring a successful brand repositioning, as a strong integrated marketing program that supports your new branding will enable you to successfully reach a wider range of audiences.
Remember, going through a branding change can be hugely beneficial for b2b companies. However, with a myriad of challenges facing today’s marketing professionals, it can also be extremely complex. That’s why simple steps like putting in the time to research target audiences (including their needs and how your offering can help them) and testing your messaging before executing any campaign can be worth their weight in gold.
Are you looking for a fresh perspective on your b2b brand campaign plan? We’d love to help – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page.Sign up to our newsletter for PR tips and tricks