There’s a stat most people know, and it’s that humans are exposed to 5,000 ads per day. Billboards you drive by, YouTube preroll before your video plays, radio ads you hear on your commute, commercials while binge-watching shows, and the ad for those shoes you looked at on Amazon that follows you around all over the web. Millions of companies are doing everything they can to get in front of you. How is your B2B brand going to stand out against all the noise?
Our agency recently attended a branding forum to potentially re-brand the great state of Oklahoma. While checking email during one of the breaks, two older “mad men”—guys that have been in the business for decades—were talking about the good ‘ol days and how much things have changed over the years. One mentioned that he missed the days when clients used to truly believe they had the opportunity to make their brand famous. The days when agencies had plenty of time to deliver thought-out, creatively inspiring and strategically sound campaigns that would run for months at a time.
We live in a time, however, where campaigns may run a few months, maybe a couple of weeks. Some run for just one day. We move so quickly to keep up with digital trends that sometimes B2B brands lose sight of the big picture: You have to stand out and be famous to your current customers and prospects. You have to sell the benefits of working with your B2B company, but how do you do that effectively?
Follow these three steps and you’ll be on the path to making your B2B brand legendary.
Your customer and prospect come first.
With all due respect, it doesn’t matter what you think when it comes to strategic messaging. It doesn’t matter what we think either. You have to understand what resonates with your current customers and prospects. In the insights from a recent research project for a client, product benefits the marketing managers had thought were most important were actually not important at all to their target. Had we pushed only the benefits that mattered to us, those advertising dollars would be wasted. Now that we have the right information, we can work together on the best creative strategy to market that product.
Remember what matters.
It’s true in life and it’s true in marketing. You need to paint a picture to your customers and prospects about why your brand is the best. Don’t focus on product features, like horsepower, torque, mileage, etc. Focus on the result of that feature—the customer benefit. Theodore Levitt, a renowned marketing professor at Harvard, once said, “People don’t want quarter-inch drills. They want quarter-inch holes.” People don’t care about the features. They care about what the features can do for them.
Be the superhero brand.
We live in a time when superheroes are all the rage. As you prepare your B2B brand for 2020, be thinking about how you can outperform your competition and be a hero to your customer at the end of the day. Over the summer, we worked with one of our clients on ways to say “thank you” to their customers. On a hot summer day, they surprised crews on jobsites with barbecue and cold drinks for lunch just to thank them for being loyal customers. Even small gestures like this build rapport with customers, and will be remembered by the people on that crew for a very long time.
As we wrap, keep these in mind as the new year approaches. Sooner or later (probably sooner), you’ll see another ad trying to convince you to buy something. Keep your B2B brand in mind as you encounter these different ads and lead the charge to make your brand famous.