B2B Brand Strategy Considerations

Brian Bluff co-founded Site-Seeker with his brother Eddie in 2003. He received his degree in micro-electronic engineering from RIT and later served in the United States Navy.

Brand strategy considerations are an important element of every marketing plan -B2B, B2C, and B2G. A friend recently asked me to help create a brand strategy for his company. He asked “I have one company and multiple branded products; what is the best brand strategy?” We’ll explore in great detail below.

This post is part of a series relating to B2B branding strategy considerations. See these if you’d like to read more:

Brand Strategy Consideration 1: Differentiate your brand(s)

Each brand should have a different target. Whether you make the distinction based on vertical, price, or other factor is dependent on the situation. Be familiar with how the 80/20 rule applies and protect your most important brand at all cost.

Brand architecture defines how the company and product brands are related. There are basically three  strategies – corporate brands, individual brands, or endorsed brands – see Wikipedia for more detail.

Brand Strategy Consideration 2: Understand the strength of your brand(s)

Too many companies drink their own Kool-Aid, believing that a brand well-known in one vertical will have the power to make the leap to another vertical. On the other hand, not understanding how far you can leap can be very expensive requiring you to fund brand development from the bottom up rather than starting halfway up the latter to brand success.

Brand Strategy Consideration 3: Document your brand strategy, and reference it often

Many times companies set out with the best of intentions only to get twisted around the marketing axle as day-to-day events cloud their vision. In the Navy we used to call this “losing the bubble”. In business can cost you money.

The way around this problem is to clearly document your marketing strategy. Take time to articulate your understanding of the competitive nature your markets and each products’ role in those markets. Being consistent in the way that you operate your brands is important and having a plan to guide you helps.

Brand Strategy Consideration 4: Develop a launch plan

The old saying “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” applies hare. You need a advertising plan. Without one, you’ll be like that tree – no one will hear your noise. In the b2b world, brand strategy should consider PR (press releases, pitching stories, and event and award/marketing), SEM, SEO, email marketing, and of course targeted social media.

Brand Strategy Consideration 5 – Remember who you are

At the end of the day every company has at least one core competency; whether that be an understanding of the markets you serve, a set of of manufacturing disciplines, or how to move your product to market. Further, most companies have a personality, a brand identity.

Mistakes are made when we overvalue our strengths or under estimate our weaknesses. Thinking that we can easily move from market to market, or operate under different guiding principals in different parts of our organization is risky and exhausting.

Brand Strategy Consideration 6 – Measure everything

Developing a brand strategy is expensive and time consuming – redundant I know. In bigger organizations, once the machine starts moving, its hard to stop or change direction – Newton’s First Law. So to keep yourself from waking up a year down the road, having spent a lot of money, and without having achieved much, you have to measure.

Measuring is something near and dear to our hearts at Site-Seeker.

This post is part of a series of B2B branding strategy related posts. See these if you’d like to read more: