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B2B Branding in a Downward Global Economy

Today, most people can immediately recognize successful consumer brand names such as Pepsi, Miller, Kodak, Nike, Toyota, Honda, etc. However, when asked to identify an equally strong B2B brand, most people will turn to you and raise their shoulders saying that they simply don't know. Sounds familiar?

Some B2B branding experts will tell you that there could be a few reasons for this. Some are related to 'overall reach'.

To most people, their perception of brands has been 'pre-programmed' in their brains by the permeation of so many consumer brands into their North American culture since the mid-fifties and early sixties.

You can offer just about anybody a Pepsi and they will probably take it, but not everyone needs an 'obscure' software application or program that will improve the management of customer relationships (CRM) in the B2B segment...

Historically, consumer brands try to influence strong emotional feelings with a specific product. How can B2B and online marketers 'emotionally connect' users with a CRM application or something that is so 'traditionally disconnected?

When the sales script goes beyond features and benefits, the final decision to buy comes down to a simple “do we want to do business with that company, yes or no? And is their product or service really what we want for OUR very specific needs?”

In the past few years, some B2B marketers have talked about why it's so important to keep a very clear distinction around what is actually being done and just HOW it is being done. However, and now that we are facing a global downturn in the current business cycle, we must stress this even more today than before.

Beyond some very elementary rules, B2B marketers and online sellers still have to build connections to their customers if they want them to buy their products or services.

Some will tell you that in the B2B segment, this can be a tougher sell than in the consumer segment. Remember that in reality, it's still people on the other end who are making the final buying decision.

Whether B2B marketers like it or not, even B2B buyers can be surprisingly emotional and very rational beings at certain times. That expensive SAP ERP (R-3) application or complex CRM software will be bought by a person or a small group of people that can be very emotional and sometimes even downright finicky.

If B2B marketers and eCommerce vendors don’t engage people's own emotions, the sale will most assuredly go to someone who does engage emotions and personal feelings.

Of course, identifying the exact emotional ties to something as mundane as paper clips or "Post-It" notes might seem like an overkill, but there are still many marketing experts today that will tell you that emotions do play a very big part to almost any sale, consumer-oriented or otherwise.

Source: Marketing Trends

Read other articles in this issue:

Throw Out Your Selling Language - Unlock Your Natural Voice
B2B Branding in a Downward Global Economy
B2b Sales Leads Success Checklist


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February 20, 2019

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