Creating a B2B brand strategy starts with developing high quality data and informed insights to anchor confident decisions. When you make data-informed choices throughout the process and measure your success, your brand strategy will stay on track and build brand value.
What is a brand strategy?
Brand is a word that gets used differently by different people. Let’s start with a clear definition of what a brand is and what goes into creating a B2B brand strategy.
What is a brand?
The definition of a brand boils down to its reputation:
- What it is known for
- What makes it special
- What makes it wanted, preferred and valuable
Before you start thinking about your brand strategy, you need to define and measure these elements and what drives them. Skipping this step–or skimping on it–is a mistake. Horror stories abound of expensive B2B branding mistakes based on no or low quality data. The costs of bad data are high.
When you have solid insights on what drives brand growth and value and data for benchmarking, you are ready to start developing the brand strategy. A data-driven brand strategy is the plan for creating and nurturing a valuable and durable brand reputation.
What are the pillars of a B2B brand strategy?
A brand strategy has four elements, each of which involve making choices that should be informed with solid research:
- Brand story. This is the narrative that explains the brand. It could include its history and reasons for its creation, motivations and inspirations, goals, facts and feelings. Mission, vision, and values are often components of the brand story.
- Brand Attributes. These describe the nature, character, and essence of the brand. They are part of what makes the brand distinctive and are essential in driving the expression of the brand’s personality and behaviors.
- Brand Positioning. This statement describes the customer, how this brand addresses their needs, and how it is special within its competitive set. It marks out the distinctive place the brand wishes to occupy in the customer’s mind.
- Brand Architecture. This aspect of brand strategy describes the brand’s relationship with the company and potentially other brands the company owns. Some brand architecture is simple; the company and the brand are one and the same. Other brand architecture models have brands within divisions within companies and brands that endorse other brands.
Brand logos, names, campaigns and the user experience are part of executing on the brand strategy
Many people equate the logo with the brand. It is the symbol that expresses the brand strategy, conveys its personality and embodies its reputation. The logo, name, and visual system together comprise the identity of the brand. Communications, including advertising, and the user experience are other parts of executing on the brand strategy and bringing it to life.
What’s the value of a strong brand strategy?
An effective brand strategy gives you a tool that drives sales volume, profit margin and loyalty.
It defines what you bring to market and what distinguishes you from competitors.
It makes your product recognizable and memorable. It guides your decisions you make about everything , including product innovation, the B2B customer journey, recruiting employees, and go-to-market tactics and customer service.
Symbolizing your company’s or products’ reputation, your brand is a valuable asset.
How to Measure Brand Value
When you understand that your brand is an asset, it naturally follows that you need to measure its value and track value increases.
Valuing a brand has two aspects: The economic and the emotional. You need to measure both to get a complete picture of brand value.
Measuring economic brand value
You can measure a brand as a financial asset that reflects the contribution it makes to the balance sheet. Valuation methodologies include the cost of creating the brand and building it over time. You can also compare it to the worth of brands at similar companies. You can pour through sales and financial data to measure performance such as sales volume, price premium and profitability, market share, and rate of repeat purchase. These are common metrics to track in measuring brand value and the effectiveness of your brand strategy.
Measuring emotional brand value
Because brands are about reputation and relationship, a simple economic measure cannot fully capture their value. B2B market research companies can measure the qualitative aspects of brand value such as brand awareness, trust, preference, emotional connections and affinity, and intent to buy and rebuy. The strength of a brand in the minds of customers is often called brand equity. Listening to what the market says on social media also gives you a measure of brand equity. Customer satisfaction metrics and net promoter scores are additional clues as to the value of brand equity.
Many companies find that designing and implementing brand tracking research gives them detailed and ongoing business intelligence on the value of their brands and the effectiveness of their B2B brand strategies.
Reaching and recruiting the right people for the precise information you need to measure brand value has long been a challenge. The NewtonX Knowledge Graph accesses an open network of over 1.1 billion global professionals across 140 industries. You have the power of vetted, first-hand and relevant knowledge for valuing your brand.
Measuring brand value pays off when it comes to making high-stakes decisions about where to invest in B2B marketing, product development, sales programs, service plans, recruiting campaigns and more. Knowing the value of your brands can dramatically affect deal numbers when it comes to mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs.
Building your B2B brand strategy on a solid foundation of knowledge and measuring the value created over time makes your marketing count–and accountable.