Starting any new business is challenging. But for new B2B companies, it can be especially daunting. A complicated sales process, dealing with multiple decision makers and competing with more established brands are just some of the challenges that new B2B companies face. This can make it especially difficult to stand out and showcase their unique point of difference.

Enter branding strategy…

83% of B2B marketers say their top marketing goal is to create brand awareness. But creating that awareness starts with having a strong brand. Branding is the process of creating the overall identity of a company. From logo and visual design to tagline and tone of voice, every branding component works together cohesively to tell a story that stands out.

For new B2B brands beginning their branding journey, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure success. Here are 5 branding keys to keep in mind.

1. Research the competition
Before a new B2B company can dive headfirst into the branding world, they need a strong understanding of the competitive landscape. It’s something we’ve talked about a lot in previous blogs. The best way to start? An audit of top competitors, outlining their relative strengths, weaknesses and strategies to achieve their sales goals. With competitors outlined, startups can get a clearer understanding of the marketplace and their audience’s goals. They may also discover a unique sales opportunity or other audience to consider. There’s a reason why this competitive audit process is one of the first steps we take with any new brand here at Madison. It establishes the framework for strategic and effective branding.

2. Build a brand identity
After creating a competitive audit, startups should begin crafting their brand position. A brand position is a statement that defines who your brand is, what your brand does and what key difference sets you apart from the competition. A brand position also guides and informs the rest of the brand identity, including:

  • Logo design
  • Branding colors, icons and other visual elements
  • Branding icons and other visual elements
  • Tone of voice and messaging strategy

Once a new company has established their brand identity and their visual brand pieces, they are ready to go to market. But where should they advertise? Time for step 3…

3. Find out where your customers are
For B2B buyers, the purchasing process is complex and layered. So having a clear understanding of the buying journey is critical for developing an effective branding strategy. Start-ups should consider interviewing current customers about their purchase process or partner with a research company to uncover key information like:

  • Customer personality traits
  • How customers prefer to shop (online, in-person)
  • What social media channels they engage with most
  • Purchasing challenges they face

All of this information informs the marketing decisions that B2B companies use for their branding strategy, helping to ensure that they are leveraging their marketing dollars effectively.

4. Use testimonials to your advantage
Building customer loyalty starts with trust. Whether we’re checking out Yelp or Amazon, we all feel more confident in buying a product or service when it has great customer reviews. The same is true for B2B buyers. New B2B companies with satisfied clients should reach out to them for positive testimonials to feature on marketing materials. A rave review from a fellow buyer can instill confidence in future customers.

5. Create meaningful connections
So much of B2B buying is built on relationships. And the best way to forge those relationships is in person. With their new brand at the ready, new B2B companies should find opportunities to introduce themselves to prospective customers. They could consider a booth at a local or national convention, or perhaps host an event featuring experts from their industry. By meeting prospective customers in-person, start-ups can build long-lasting relationships in an engaging way.

While the journey for new B2B companies can be difficult, taking the right branding strategy steps ensures a better chance at success creating customers relationships that last. Have questions about taking your brand to the next level? Reach out and learn more about our collaborative approach.