How to rebrand your B2B company. Lessons learned from the frontlines

How to rebrand your B2B company. Lessons learned from the frontlines

B2B branding is usually unsexy. It is mostly seen as the stoic, matronly and dull cousin of B2C. For decades B2B websites were filled with technobabble and corporate jargon. And a strange obsession with monochromes.

According to Statista, the recent consumerization of the B2B space has placed a strain on B2B eCommerce companies to provide purchase experiences that mimic B2C buying experiences.

50% of B2B search queries are made on Smartphones.

80% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.

A growing number of B2B brands have realized the importance of focusing on brand building to strengthen business to business relationships and drive long-term growth.

There’s only H2H…

For decades we were made to believe that marketing for B2B and B2C was diametrically different. And the twain shall never meet…

But now B2B companies are making more noise (thankfully) and are demanding a bigger share of the brand candy.

Because all marketing can be distilled to just one thing – H2H. Human-to-human. Whether you are selling an eCommerce platform or bowties for puppies, you are essentially selling to another human who likes to be treated like one!

How do you rebrand a B2B company?

Short answer: It isn’t simple. There are multiple stakeholders with multiple views. There are executives, boards and quite possibly the whole company involved in the process. Most B2B branding companies are forced to seek shelter in the Land of Compromise to please everyone and come up with a brand strategy that is agreeable but not necessarily attractive.

Lesson learnt from the frontline: The decision making team has to be small to get things rolling. Or rebranding efforts are forever mired in gut-feel objections.

Emotions are important in B2B marketing

B2B marketers and branding agencies would argue that it isn’t about appealing to emotions. It is about communicating differentiation points and following the features oriented marketing style. How boring. And how wrong. A recent survey to assess the rational vs emotional decision making between B2B and B2C buyers found that the responses were almost similar and not as dramatic as is usually believed.

35% of B2B responders felt that emotion was more important than rationality. And another 35% believed that both emotions and logic played a vital role in purchase decisions.

The takeaway? The guy in the pinstriped suit is guided by emotions as well and if your B2B brand has a grey, unexciting personality it is going to affect sales.

Emotions should play a central role and form the cornerstone of rebranding efforts.

Resolve catalog issues. Unify processes. Build a strong B2B brand.

Sphere of associations: Find your relevant zone

Rebranding would be easy and fun if it was as simple as giving B2B sites a makeover and coming up with cool social media slogans.

For a successful rebranding approach it is important to analyze the sphere of associations and come up with a strong strategy based on that.

Most B2B brands explore new verticals and expand their footprints across different industries, over the years. The result? Their branding no longer conveys what they do.

But rebranding is a tough job and brands learn to live with misalignment. Their branding efforts usually reflect what they used to be. And reinforces an image that is no longer relevant.

It is essential to create a brand image that is relevant and communicates clearly what a business does.

To create a strong brand image it is important to place your B2B company within a sphere of associations.

Every color, every word, every visual element carries with it a payload of connotations and emotions.

It is like dropping a small pebble in a lake of memories and emotions. It sets off a ripple effect and different associations are formed instantly and involuntarily.

The color orange (which is also our brand color) indicates energy, sunshine, happiness, youth and creativity.

which is also our brand color

Words have strong associations too.

The copy across your customer facing content should follow a consistent tone and brand voice.

How to send out the right signals through words

Let’s assume you run a content distribution platform.

Positive words

My content distribution platform

My content distribution platform

Words to avoid or rather words that could send out negative/mixed signals

Words to avoid

By selecting the right words and sprinkling them across all your customer-facing copy, you send out clear signals about what your brand does and most importantly what it doesn’t or no longer does.

Handpicked related content: Why is branding essential for B2B companies?

Faint whisper or loud announcement?

Most companies rebrand themselves to solve a single problem or a set of issues. Sometimes a complete rebrand can be a dumpster fire. It is a huge decision that can affect brand equity built over the years.

A rebranding risk pyramid:

Rebranding your entire company can seem like boiling the ocean. As an eCommerce branding company we offer our clients three service packages.

A rebranding risk pyramid

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Yes. It is. The benefits of a strong B2B brand far outweighs the tedious effort that is put into rebranding it. It increases the predisposition of people to buy from you and quickens the sales cycle.

To cut through in your category and stand out it is important to have a well-loved brand that connects with customers at a more deeper and meaningful level.

What can be a bigger payoff than that?