A clearly defined B2B brand delivers strong tangible and intangible benefits to all organisations regardless of the industry in which they operate. Brands born from a deep understanding of their market, business environment, target clients, competitors and employees will perform strongly and facilitate business growth.
At BrandMatters, we believe rebranding, refreshing, reengineering or restructuring your brand over time is a strategic imperative in staying relevant and driving growth. Research and insights underpin all our brand recommendations, and we believe this provides the much-needed demonstrable proof for organisations to move forward confidently, as they look to generate the growth they need to achieve their strategic vision.
So, with this in mind, we’ve explored 5 key opportunities that B2B brands should actively consider to drive a stronger growth trajectory for their brand and business strategy in 2023.
1. Seek first to understand
One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to elevate your organisation’s growth agenda is to develop a stronger understanding of underlying market potential. Businesses are being forced to pivot, evolve and adapt to a new normal, and face new, volatile market conditions and a client base whose habits, priorities, attitudes and needs are shifting.
Many organisations believe brand research should only really be conducted when there is a problem that needs solving – but this is a very small part of the larger and more important role that research should play.
In this ever-changing landscape, smaller, more focussed ‘check-ins’ with your clients will ensure your brand continues to remain relevant and will act as a solid foundation upon which you can continue to strengthen your brand.
By understanding these changing dynamics and setting strategies that align to the outputs of research recommendations, your business can have confidence that your long-term strategic direction is aligned to a more ambitious growth trajectory.
2. Cut to the chase
Make sure your brand’s meaningful point difference is obvious to all. Reflect it in every touch point and consumer interaction with your brand in order to create coherent mental “real estate” and a strong predisposition to buy. Remember, strong brands that achieve sustained growth have clients who are disinterested in alternatives.
Creating a brand proposition which distils how your organisation is meaningfully different, which creates an emotional connection with multiple stakeholder groups so they consistently understand and can articulate that benefit, is not as simple as it sounds. It’s crucial to engage your audiences to carve out and build that narrative around ‘Why choose our brand?’.
Because clients are increasingly time poor and require more channels to convert their attention into sales, developing layered messaging across multiple mediums that differentiates your brand from its competitors is critical. Demonstrating your understanding of your audiences and articulating how your unique service proposition can meet their needs, all in a short, sharp and meaningful way has never been more important in achieving genuine growth.
3. Find your purpose
There is no greater movement across brands in the B2B market than instilling purpose into your organisation. Brands can no longer just compete on price, product and performance, they have to also compete on purpose if they want to survive and generate sustained growth in this new consumer paradigm.
When we look to the growing number of consumers seeking brands whose values match their own, purpose is a fundamental reason to buy, and to buy repeatedly. And with trust in such short supply, the notion that brands can and should benefit people and communities (not just shareholders) is an appealing and surely valuable one.
Embracing your brand’s unique sense of purpose will help your people engage with the strategic direction of your organisation. They will understand what is required of them to live this purpose in their everyday roles as they interact with your clients. Unlike typical change-management exercises, deep purpose gets to the heart of why your business exists. Little by little, it forces a recalibration of your organisation’s role in the world, as well as its relationship with employees, clients, and society at large, and can help drive growth when executed with authenticity.
4. Reduce complexity
As B2B businesses grow, either organically or inorganically, they naturally become more complex. Organisations who need assistance reducing complexity in their business model often need help with their brand architecture strategy. One of two scenarios typically motivate action:
Because as the market continues to evolve more swiftly than ever before, our view is that brand architecture can be positioned as a powerful tool to retain and increase market share against increasingly aggressive competitors, as well as protect against owned brands that are inadvertently competing against one another.
Organisations who have a strong framework from which to grow, who are agile and can support change, they are the businesses who will succeed in the future. A well-defined and executed brand architecture strategy affects all aspects of an organisation’s growth trajectory, and its often a key difference in building long term, sustainable success.
5. Refresh your identity in market
Strong B2B brands need to adapt and evolve in order to survive and grow. Contemporising and unifying your brand’s look and feel is critical in creating a modern identity that communicates more than just a minor change in strategic direction.
When reviewing or undertaking a refresh of your brand, subtlety is often the key. Smaller, incremental changes over time can keep a B2B brand fresh without wholesale changes. A finely tuned brand refresh can provide the necessary changes and updates that an organisation needs to ensure they don’t start to look tired. This agility of small, more frequent changes, in the form of more subtle logo and/or visual identity evolutions, can help companies adapt to the ongoing changes confronting today’s fast-paced, disruptive business environment.
There is enormous potency in B2B brands who incrementally migrate the equity of their brand over time. This can allow your brand to contemporise its profile and engage with both current and future clientele on an ongoing basis, without extensive rebranding exercises that take longer to execute and require much higher budgets.
Building long term sustainable growth in 2023
These strategies to drive business growth are just a sample of the different ways that B2B brands could consider as we settle into 2023. At BrandMatters, we provide all these services (and many more) in house, under one roof, with a clear focus on generating research-led brand strategy programs that drive business growth for B2B brands.
In today’s competitive markets, a strong brand strategy is vital and will directly impact your overall business growth. Contact us if you would like to discuss your current brand challenge, and determine how we can grow your brand in the future.