Oftentimes, B2B organizations get the stigma of being out-of-date and slow to respond to what’s popular in technology and today’s market.
If your organization is suffering from a case of the “olds” and you want to take your branding and marketing into the 21st century, here’s some areas where a breath of fresh air can make a huge difference in customer perception and interest.
Fresh Colors and a New Logo
The fastest-spreading way to get a new persona out there is to update your brand’s colors, specifically in all media and collateral, like your logo, website, letterhead, and invoicing.
Even just replacing the tans and browns that were popular in the 70s and early 80s with noticeable colors, like blues or high-contrast pairs, depending on what you are looking to visually represent.
A good example of this is Zuora (which was first referenced in a Hubspot article about great B2B logos), which offers subscription billing. Zuora’s lowercase logo is very modern, as is their website. Because Zuora’s target clients are looking for a streamlined approach to billing, their logo and website reflects this notion.
When it comes the color of your website and logo, it’s worth researching color psychology to determine what you want your updated logo and company colors to convey.
Running a few mock-ups by some employees as a “test group” can also help you decide what works best. Employees make great test groups because they are familiar with your industry and knows what will appeal to customers.
Sleek Design / UX
Today’s consumers are seasoned internet users who are not only using it for business, but also several times per day for their own leisure and personal projects.
For these reasons, online consumers are judging what they see of a business by their website, app, and other online presences. If these properties are confusing or hard to use, they will equate the frustrating experience with your company as whole.
Many might think, even subconsciously, if their website is difficult and hard to use, the company is probably the same.
The best way to remedy this, while giving your b2b branding a fresh look, is to make sure you have the best user experience and web/app design possible.
Make your site responsive, so it will automatically optimize for whatever device the user is accessing it from, and make sure the navigation is easy to use and the content is readily digestible. Good design and UX can translate into a better perception of your company.
Fun, Forward-Thinking Campaigns
If your logo and website are on track, you can also modernize your company’s image by freshening up your marketing. Have you used the same email templates, newsletter themes, or media kit for decades?
It’s time to make it more fun and forward-thinking. No matter your industry, your ideal clients are smart, educated people who deserve modern marketing messages. The same old brochure tends to get thrown away much more quickly than one designed with your new branding and updated content that makes the information you’re sharing easy to read and immediately scannable.
American Express did an awesome job of this by rehauling their business outreach to include an entire content portal called OPEN Forum, which includes content and discussion for business owners and professionals. This proactive approach made them more of a content expert in the business industry.
Even though some industries want to keep a more serious tone with their messaging, it doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. Focus on creating more engaging content that tells your audience how you can solve their must common pain points.
New Platform Direction / Tactics
This goes somewhat into the above section, but have you been doing the same marketing campaigns over and over again, with mediocre or disappointing results?
If so, trying a new marketing platform can be just the thing to modernize your b2b company’s online presence. If you haven’t done any social media at all, maybe it’s time to step into the waters. LinkedIn is full of opportunities for b2b organizations, but Facebook and Twitter may also be a successful addition to what you’re already doing.
Additionally, b2b consumers are more likely to expect their vendors to have an e-commerce solution for their products and services and avenues of opportunity to purchase.
Making your products immediately available for purchase online could help shorten your sales cycle, while also converting customers who might have lost interest or become distracted with something else before they called or met in person to make a purchase.
By making the sales process as easy as possible for your customers, you give them less reasons not to work with you.
Other areas of marketing many b2b organizations can still expand to include newsletters, long-form content, email, and video.
Improve Your Company Culture
One unexpected way you can liven up your company’s presence is to focus on within: your company culture. Many times, both b2b and b2c organizations will receive reviews, news coverage, and social media links simply from being an awesome place to work at.
A good example of a company leading with their perks is Buffer, who offers the following perks for employees:
- 100% remote
- Annual international company retreats
- Unlimited Kindle books
- Computer of his or her choice
Buffer’s perks is part of their company culture; which also includes transparent salaries. These benefits are meant to help employees encompass the “10 Buffer Values.”
By improving your company culture through modern employee perks (such as flex time, free snacks and drinks, or fitness classes), you are making your employees your biggest advocates. This is some of the best “guerilla” marketing you can get, especially when when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing.
Modernizing your company’s branding and marketing is really the best way to stay current with today’s trends, while also creating the best impression possible with your current and potential customers.
Images via Pixabay; screenshots taken July 20, 2015