B2C Lessons that Can Improve B2B Brand Experiences

15 May

I recently read The Experience Effect by Jim Joseph.  It’s about creating just that, an ‘experience effect’ that will drive consumers to a brand.  As I read Jim’s book, it seemed to me that many of his lessons on B2C branding translate to the B2B world. A strong brand offers many benefits to business.  It can make it more difficult to be displaced by a competitor, get you invited to the discussions by the customer, justify price premiums, even attract top talent.

Here are a few lessons from Jim Joseph’s book that I think can help you to create a great B2B brand experience with your customer.

DEFINE THE BRAND

Every business, big or small, should take the time to formally define its brand. To define your brand, answer these questions; What does your brand stand for?  What is it that the brand promises to deliver? How is it unique? How important is your product to a business.  In other words, what business problem does it solve?  Once defined, everything about your business should support the brand from the marketing plan down to details like a customer return policy.  Communicate the brand vision throughout your organization.

Businesswoman working on computer screenMAP THE TOUCH-POINTS

In the past, marketers looked at typical touch-points like newspapers, magazines and other media that a target subscribed. Today, a customer might learn about a product in a Group discussion on LinkedIn or other community sites so, it is a good exercise to map out all touch-points a customer might engage with your product including social media.  For many B2B businesses, a touch-point includes a partner like a service or maintenance contractor.  Make sure to look at your customer engagement model from beginning to end.

BE CONSISTENT

It’s important that a business creates a consistent brand experience for customers across every touch-point, like marketing messages, advertising, website, collateral, social media, sales channels, customer service support and even how customers are greeted in the office lobby.  Consistency creates and reinforces the brand and unique position that you want customers to know and recognize.  Jim Joseph states, a consistent brand experience builds loyalty and can justify price points (low or high) in the consumer market. This is also true in the B2B market.  IBM is a great example of a truly consistent B2B brand experience. IBM’s ability to consistently deliver on its promise in myriad industry sectors has earned the company brand accolades. (Davis Brand Capital)

VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER

Serve the needs and wants of the customer in every marketing and business decision.  Become the customer and question if what you are doing or considering doing will help your customer meet her business goals.  Learn as much as you can about your customers so you can understand their problems and then deliver solutions.  Many customer touch-points are not under the marketing umbrella (like sales or engineering) so, everyone in the organization must be a customer advocate.

SPEND EFFECTIVELY & MEASURE RESULTS

Align your marketing budget with desired results.  Allocate the marketing budget to the prioritized goals for each customer touch-point.  A strong brand requires care and feeding.  Monitoring the brand and ensuring it remains relevant and compelling is an ongoing process.

Resources:

The Experience Effect, by Jim Joseph

IBM’s “Smarter” Brand#1 on Davis Brand Capital 25, Unbound Edition (meaningful dialogue), Davis Brand Capital, by Bryan K. Oekel

Ranking the brands… http://www.rankingthebrands.com

Building a powerful B2B Brand, Circle Research by Andrew Dalglish

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: