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Why B2B Brand Awareness is Critical in 2020

On this episode of The Marketing Cave, Carter explains the power of B2B branding and how that brand awareness can set you apart from your competitors in 2020.

 

 

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Here is the transcript:

Carter:

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the Marketing Cave. My name is Carter and this is the 12th and final episode of the first season of The Marketing Cave. So on this episode, I want to talk about why you know, B2B branding or B2B brand awareness is going to be a huge factor in 2020.

And I'm talking B2B really specifically because I create a cave. That's what we do. We are a B2B, digital marketing agency, and we really focus on businesses that are in the B2B space. And what we've learned about those businesses and the way that they work is is the sales cycle is so much more complex, there's so many more steps, there's so much time that goes into it. There are so many more people who have to approve or buy in or sign on the line or whatever it is, and what we Is that you've got to be creating content for every stage of that buying process, whether it be in video format, or, or audio or written, you've got to be creating content for each stage of that buying process. What happens when your competitors are also doing the exact same thing, they've got a very robust inbound marketing strategy, they're doing a podcast, they're doing those same things. And ultimately, you know, when someone goes to the side between you and a competitor, probably going to compare you side by side apples to apples, and basically try to make an assessment of which direction they should go for your product or service, whatever that is. So like I said, if someone's doing all the things that you're doing, what is something that's going to separate you or set you apart when it comes time for for your customers or potential customers to make a decision between you or a competitor?

And one of the things that we're continuing to see be a huge factor is is your brand or your brand awareness. And what that really is, is like it's your messaging, it's your positioning, it's who you are. It's your culture. It's the way that people view you and the way that you present yourself in the marketplace, and that ends up being a big factor. So I want to get into that a little bit more. But before we kind of dive into some of those those things I want to we want to kind of paint a picture or give you kind of like an illustration or example, or whatever you want to call it of kind of how this works in a much more simple way. So I kind of like the example of when you walk into the grocery store, and you're going down, you know, the frozen pizza aisle, right? And you're looking at the frozen pizzas, and you basically have to side by side, same price pepperoni pizza, you know, there's not a whole lot of difference in in the price, right? So what's the next thing you're going to start to evaluate, you're going to look at the pictures on the box, you're going to see which one looks more appealing, you might be looking at the colors, the logo, the branding, the fonts, things that maybe jump out to you that might say, Oh, that looks more aggressive. I think I like that more than the white and blue plain box or any of those types of things that your eyes are taking in just in a quick glance or a quick moment trying to differentiate or make a decision between two fairly similar products, quote, unquote.

And so that's kind of that first step of like that That's your brand, right? That's your brand awareness. If someone is trying to side between you and a competitor, and you have the more edgy, bright colors and your messaging is just so much more out there and different and has a much different look or feel or vibe. Those are really quick simple things that people are going to associate one way or the other as good or bad when they're making that decision. Same thing goes with pizza. But once you've made that quick assessment of Okay, here, here's this two side by side, I like these colors or like this brand. The next natural progression is okay. Have I heard of either one of these brands before I'm picking between these two pieces? Have I seen a commercial or have I heard a friend talk about one of the other? Or is there something that I know are associated positive message with one of these? When ultimately the pictures look the same? The brandings are about the same. The price obviously is the same. Is there anything that I can connect myself to to either one of these that would make me feel more comfortable purchasing one pizza or the other? And again, pizza is a quick thing where it's like five bucks or whatever it is, it's not a big deal. But when you're buying, you know, enterprise software, there's a huge piece of that trust and who do I know who do I not know what I feel comfortable with, when it comes to making a big decision like that. And then I would say another piece of this is, if you do have that brand awareness, if you do have that trust, if you do have people who feel comfortable with you, there's a chance they might even pay more to work with you. Going back to the pizza thing, digiorno is twice the price of your average, like frozen pizza that you would get just name brand. And so there's a reason that people are willing to pay a couple, $3 - $4 more for a digiorno pizza, because they've heard of it. They've seen all those commercials, they associated with a higher quality or better ingredients. Whether or not that's true, I have no idea. But people naturally start to associate that with higher quality. And therefore when they're standing there comparing the 499 Pizza versus 899 pizza, it's like well, I've heard of that one. I feel more comfortable. I think that's going to be a better choice because I know of it and I've heard of it. Okay, I'll pay double or $4 more, or whatever it is, because I have that pre existing connection to one of the other. And again, same thing goes for selling software, if at any point you can set yourself apart from your competitor by making connection, building trust, having someone feel more comfortable with who you are your messaging, how you put yourself out there in the market, that can be a huge differentiating factor when it comes to that final decision making kind of phases.

So I just wanted to give that quick example to kind of show you know, the what the what the mindset is when you're kind of like progressing through the process of making a decision. But really, how do you get to a point where someone feels that trust that comfort, that awareness, and really what it comes down to is it's in B2B, it's still a human being that you're selling to right people will want to still have a connection with someone, even though that it's a business interchange or a business transaction or business relationship. You're still humans, right it's still two people working together trying to to make a deal happen, right? So the more that they feel comfortable with you as a person, therefore, they feel more comfortable with that person's company, if that makes sense. So what that kind of boils down to is your branding, your brand awareness, the way that you're perceiving the marketplace really comes down to your people, the people within your organization, and how they're treating people outside the organization. So your sales folks as they're going through that sales process and having those conversations with people, if they aren't building that trust and making a connection and doing the things that are needed to, to foster that healthy relationship to where when it comes down to choosing between exactly the same product servicing the same price, the same delivery dates, all of those things like well, I like that person more I like that person more. Therefore, I like that company more. Okay, let's go with that option. Because I just felt that connection, I felt better, it felt safer. And so just to reiterate that point really quickly, it your brand and the way that people perceive you is is solely based on your people has nothing to do with you know the copy on your website. You can put anything on your website and say that you have the best, most courteous, incredible client success people, but if they are delivering that and living up to it and actually executing on what you're saying, it really means nothing if you're not actually proving that out to people to where it actually builds a reputation that almost precedes you. So just really quickly, you know, as a handful of things that I've seen that people are doing that work to really help build a brand or build brand awareness in the B2B space.

So I alluded to it earlier a little bit where you know, the people in the company, that kind of is what builds your brand, but what about those people's personal brand, so, if those people are out, writing content on your blog, if they are sharing things on LinkedIn, if they are, you know, going and being featured on a podcast or speaking at an event, all of those things, builds their personal brand, but they're also tied to your company. Therefore, when they get in a room with that person, oh, I saw you speak at that conference last year. You automatically have a leg up right then in there because of that connection. That's been made. person to person, not person to company. So I would just say if you're in this situation you're trying to figure out how do we how do we build our brand? What do we what do we do to kind of start to build that and make that a differentiator for us. Empower the people within your organization to make content to make blogs, podcast, whatever it is, encourage them to apply for speaking roles, whatever you can do to help build their brand will help build your brand. And then one other enormous benefit to this beyond the actual, you know, revenue perspective or or business development or growing the company from a new customer perspective. This also is a huge advantage when it comes to recruiting. If you can set yourself apart against other companies in your space, you will be attracting the best possible talent because they want to be a part of something that has a better brand a better message, someone who's doing things differently and are openly saying hey, we aren't your typical blank company. I think that is a major factor when people are trying to decide where they want to work, especially top Talent who had the opportunity really, to have some say, and some choose between where they go because they're good at what they do.

So that's really all I want to talk about on this episode. I know it's kind of a quick one, but it's just something that I think is a good thing to think about moving into 2020 in the B2B space, you know, it's no more of just, Hey, where's this big company with a big logo, and that's enough buy from us, you got to be creating a personality for your company and having a brand that people identify with and understand and can connect with, in ways beyond just a professional business type situation. So yeah, just wanted to share my insight on those those things from a from a B2B, you know, branding awareness perspective. So take that run with it, apply it, obviously, for every organization is going to be a little bit different. But there are some core things in there that I think you can focus on in 2020. When you're trying to separate yourself, from your competitors when it comes kind of that final stages of making a decision if you're going to go with when the comparison is is fairly similar from a services price, those kind of things like what are the outliers, what are things that you can layer on that will set you apart from your competitors So thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Thank you for listening to the first season of The Marketing Cave. We've had people literally all over the world tuning in and listening to these episodes. So thank you so much for that. I appreciate everyone who has liked, subscribed less to comment and send us a message all of those things. Thank you so much, and we will see you in the next season.

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