Good branding is easy to understand, but hard to actually do. Obviously, there’s plenty of value in things like thoughtfully-defined positioning statements, well-crafted visual assets and a finely-tuned brand voice.
But many B2B companies still miss the mark. That happens for plenty of different reasons, ranging from a lack of time and money, to a complete misunderstanding of what branding is. That’s a problem, as data from Circle Research finds that “77% of marketers say that branding is critical to future growth.”
Is your company’s growth at risk? Below, we’ve covered three common mistakes B2B companies make with digital brand-building. Avoid them to protect your business’s future.
1. They don’t have a clear understanding of what branding is
Your brand is not your logo. It’s not even your product or service. Instead, it’s the process of giving your company, products or services. It’s about creating a vision of what your brand is – and isn’t – in the minds of your customers.
Your logo, fonts, colours and other visual assets are part of this process, but they aren’t the whole picture. A full branding exercise involves defining your company’s key features, who it stands for, how it’s different from the competition, and how that value is communicated to customers.
If you haven’t been through a professionally-led branding exercise before, consider working with a partner like Windsorborn who can help you make sense of the process and create a compelling brand that can be successfully deployed across multiple channels.
2. They don’t brand consistently across platforms
Data from Action Card suggests that “It takes an average of 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand.” In the brick-and-mortar world, those impressions may all happen on the one same channel. But online, digital touches can happen on your website, on review sites, on social media, or on a number of other channels.
That’s why brand consistency is so important. According to Crowdspring, “90% of consumers expect that their experience with a brand will be similar across all platforms and devices. They expect a seamless transition between web and device-native applications through colour, flow, and overall quality.”
If you aren’t thinking about brand consistency across different platforms, the impact of these individual impressions will be diminished. You’ll need more touches in order to create the same brand awareness impact.
To prevent this from occurring:
- Develop a brand voice so that you’re clear on the specific language you’ll use to engage consumers.
- Use consistent colours, fonts, graphics and logos everywhere your brand publishes.
- Optimise your owned channels – including your website, business profiles, review site profiles and social profiles – with your logo and other brand assets (for example, post consistent pictures of your product or service).
- A brand style guide – like the one we put together as part of our rebrand for 1-Stop – is a must for maintaining brand consistency and clarity.
3. They forget to have fun
Digital interactions are ephemeral. They’re fleeting – and they should be fun. Even the most buttoned-up, conservative B2B brands should remember that the key to digital engagement is, well, being engaging.
Your customers aren’t data points. They’re people. Customers have a choice of following you or your competitors. Help them make the right choice by being authentic, vulnerable, and – yes – fun.
The New World of B2B Branding
These three mistakes aren’t the only challenges you’ll face as a B2B company. But by understanding what branding is, how to implement it across multiple digital channels, and how to use it to connect with your customers, you’ll be able to avoid these and other pitfalls on the road to branding success.
Have another mistake you’d like to add to our list? Please leave us a comment below: