Unlocking the Potential of B2B Brand Marketing Initiatives [Interview]
B2B marketers are becoming more interested in the potential benefits of implementing a brand strategy, but why?
“The B2B Brand Strategy” white paper from Spencer Brenneman found that B2B executives are seeing ROI from their brand initiatives, and 81.3 percent intend to boost their investments in the next five years.
We spoke to Douglas Spencer, president of Spencer Brenneman Strategic Branding, for more insight into why B2B organizations are focusing on this type of marketing.
How are B2B organizations, in particular, benefiting from more investment in brand initiatives?
“I have this theory that B2B companies need a brand strategy for a very different reason than B2C companies: Years ago, B2B companies were able to rely on the relationship their salespeople had with their clients. People change jobs far more frequently than our parents did and the actual sales are more complicated, requiring more people in the decision-making process.
This shift means that companies can no longer rely solely on the relationships their sales teams have with clients. The brand helps create connections beyond just two people initiating a transaction.”
Is there anything B2B marketers could learn from B2C marketers in terms of enhancing their brand strategies?
“Commitment! One of the elements that surprised me in the data was the frequency with which firms expected to update their strategies. A well thought-out strategy should last more than one year and only require a tweak now and then. Successful brands commit to their strategies.”
Which resources/technology are proving most useful to marketers looking to improve their branding initiatives?
“Digital asset management systems lead the pack in investments and that makes sense. Inconsistency is enemy number one of a strong brand so giving an enterprise the tools to bring it to life consistently is money well spent.”
Would you say B2B organizations are behind B2C companies in terms of brand marketing? Why or why not?
“Based on our research, one could argue that B2B companies are catching up! For example, I remember just a few years ago having a difficult time explaining what a verbal identity was and why it was necessary. Apparently, that’s no longer such a mystery!”
In your opinion, what was the most surprising or interesting finding in the report?
“For those of us who have spent a lot of time in B2B branding, it was surprising and refreshing that companies are focusing on brand marketing at all, let alone with such enthusiasm.
However, the most surprising finding to me is that companies are paying so much attention to their verbal identities. I’m thrilled! Verbal identities are powerful tools, which our research demonstrates.”
For your free copy of the white paper, visit the Spencer Brenneman website!
ABOUT DOUGLAS SPENCER
Douglas Spencer is president of Spencer Brenneman Strategic Branding, which helps organizations articulate who they are at their core, find the best way to connect with their customers, and bring that to life both visually and verbally.
He has more than 20 years of marketing experience, working with professionals from around the world in verticals such as financial and professional services, healthcare, media and nonprofit. Douglas is a frequent speaker on how strong brands improve business performance through strategic alignment, employee engagement, brand governance, verbal and visual identities and more.