The current Whitepaper of the influential German Federation Industriekommunikation (BVIK) confirms: a strong brand is a major competitive advantage for companies in the B2B sector. Conclusion: Especially for small and medium enterprises it is a huge advantage to invest in branding and corporate design. This is supported by 5 success factors.
1. Success Factor: A strong brand is a competition winner!
Empirical studies show that brand-driven companies are more successful than their competitors who rely purely on the persuasiveness of their products. The reason: corporate brands present the benefits of the products not only rational, they make it an emotional experience. They do that by creating a positive and recognizable brand image in the mind of the audience – supported and made memorable by a uniform corporate design. A clearly positioned brand creates trust and identification and is the basis for a lasting customer relationship (study RTS Rieger Team, 2010).
Only about 16.2 percent of small and medium sized businesses stated in a study that they systematically manage their brand (Hübner & Sturk, 2011). Strategic brand development or a corporate design – perhaps with the support of an experienced branding agency – is not even in sight. The topic is still very much underrepresented.
This in mind: Whoever succeeds in positioning his coporate brand as a beacon in its field and to anchor it in the minds of its customers and in the hearts of his employees, will secure a decisive advantage over their competitors now.
“Many believe they do not need one. Some believe to already have one. Few make things right intuitively already. A strategically built corporate brand is still the future for most B2B companies today. “
White Paper “Das Mehr ist Marke”, Bundesverband Industriekommunikation e. V., 2014
2. Success factor: brand development makes companies unique!
“But I have the best product on the market. Everybody knows that. Why should I then put on an expensive brand development. We would rather invest the money in R&D! ” Such objections are heard repeatedly.
Especially for small businesses it is a value-added investment to deal with the issue of brand building. In today’s competitive markets in which the product benefits are becoming increasingly interchangeable, you have to stand out from your competitors in a different way.
Companies that deal in brand building base it very much on the wishes and needs of their audience. These can be converted into a unique value proposition. Or in short:
Companies that have no brand, will deliver only goods. Corporate brands deliver a unique brand experience with every customer interaction.
3. Success factor: A strong brand can often sell at a higher price!
What is true for fashion or cosmetics as well as for the goods in the supermarket or for industrial goods in the B2B sector? Brands can sell at higher prices in the long run.
“Brand Premium” is the magic word here. This is the monetary value, which is added through the reputation of a trademark if it is branding a rationally comparable product. For this, the brand must be connected to an original, differentiating promise. And this promise has to be kept. At every important touchpoint.
This brand premium doesn’t just fall out of the blue. To stand out from the mass of competitors in an industry, a brand must be strategically created and professionally designed. For small businesses it is sometimes difficult to finance this effort. But behind this is a great opportunity. Experienced brand specialists like the Lighthouse brand agency help you to fully exploit the potential of the brand.
4. Success factor: A strong brand is a professionals Magnet!
Demographic change will become an increasing challenge – especially for SMEs in rural areas. In some regions and sectors the competition for the best graduates and professionals already gets noticeably harder. Those companies that create a brand and then expand this brand world to the dimension of an attractive employer brand will have a major competitive advantage in this “War of talent”.
But remember: Employer Branding is far more than better-designed job ads. The focus is on strategic orientation. This is often in parts similar to the corporate brand but much more focused on how the company’s values translate into work environment etc.
5. Success factor: Brand Consulting is the first step towards more sales!
“I do not need a brand. At the end it always comes down to pricing. “
How many times have we heard this phrase at Lighthouse! Mostly from the mouth of a salesperson. But that is too short-sighted.
Of course the Sales Team is one of the main brand ambassadors for most B2B companies. At the end every day they are face to face with the customer. But if really only the price counts, why it is necessary to have a sales rep at all? Why do sales representative value their clothing so much? Why not come in your jogging suit to the customer appointment?
At the end the sales team is only delivering a promise. A promise that is heavily supported by a strong brand. It’s a promise that contains the brand experience of its operations, the unique feel of the company’s brochure, the well thought out arguments in the sales guide and the attitude of the entire company, which is reflected in each employees appearance.
That promise makes the difference.
That’s the brand.
LIGHTHOUSE® is a privately held company that specializes in strategic and creative brand development. Our customers are mostly strong internationally operating medium-sized enterprises in the border triangle Germany-Austria-Switzerland. A clear brand positioning, a keen brand profile and a pinpoint brand communication: The result we call the Lighthouse effect. Explore the possibilities of your brand!