A simple process to define a brand that resonates with everyone

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How to brand a B2B technology firm

Branding is a powerful tool for customer marketing. But for B2B firms, this is futile if the people delivering the promise – operations, product teams, customer services – aren’t like that. Which is why many firms define their brand personality on what they think it is (or should be) based on internal beliefs. But often this fails to resonate with customers because customers weren’t involved in the process.

Why B2B firms struggle

Branding is a complex process but one which happens infrequently. It  gets left to internal marketers to run many of whom have never done it before and often involves external marketing agencies.

The highly expert brand design specialist firms like Interbrand are mostly focused on consumer markets because that’s where the money is. Most B2B agencies will however get involved in branding even though they are not specialists. Furthermore, they depend on the brief they are given to create a resonating brand but often this does not include customer insights nor gives them enough time or access to the wider organisation. Which is not only frustrating for them but leads to suboptimal outputs and often more expense.

What customers can tell you

Customers have a very clear idea as to what they expect from you and what they experience. Crucially they know how it makes them feel and what aspects of your proposition works best for them. They also know your weaknesses and how you can improve. These opinions matter because they are what drives the value exchange between them and you. Your brand’s position in the market is only defined by how customers see you relative to others and their stories will show you the relative personalities they encounter.

An effective process for branding a B2B technology firm

  1. Find out where you stand in the market by running customer insight research
  2. Assess your own organisational culture and behaviours and get insights into their experiences of customers
  3. Workshop the findings to decide a) what market position you want and b) what brand behaviours you need and get internal buy-in
  4. Use a Jungian archetype system to define the personality that best exemplifies these behaviours. I use Carol Pearson’s system
  5. Develop internal programmes to embed this internally and use this as the basis of your creative brief to an agency.

I worked recently with an international software firm and their agency. They who did exactly this and it started a transformational process for the owners and their management team. It was amazing how well this worked at creating organisational cohesion, energising their people to behave in a way that made a real difference to customers.

Francis Wyburd

whereyoustand is my London based insight and advisory firm. The combination of my ‘hidden voice of the customer’ research and marketing advisory services helps tech entrepreneurs brand their firms brilliantly

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Francis Wyburd

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