Own Your Brand Development Strategy
Brands seep into our consciousness, support our lifestyle activities, and influence our spending. Heck, they help shape it all. You don’t have to be a specialist in brand strategy development to get a sense of what I’m talking about. Whether you are a company head worried about B2B brand strategy or a mom looking for the right educational toys for her tots, brand messaging is at the heart of your purchasing decisions. Often because brand consultants have managed to get to your heart.
What’s Your Target Tribe?
Brand development strategy targets us in the recesses of our consciousness, and often touches the intangible parts of us that drive us to buy through our emotions, memories, and family or “tribe” loyalties, as marketing titan Seth Godin might say.
In his book Tribes, he states, “People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.” As such, when a brand strategist helps define a target (which all sounds very calculating for a goal that seeks to strike at the heart of someone’s desires) he or she is really striving to create relevant messages—experiences, really—and deliver them to people, who by nature of belonging, or wanting to belong to said tribe, want those messages. Call them reaffirmations of lifestyle affinities. Brand messaging becomes an amalgamation of our collective experiences with our tribe, company, product, or family of products. At the heart of effective branding is our sense of belonging to something more than a backpack, favorite beverage, or car. We belong to a belief.
Hit Me with Your Best Brand
These beliefs are intrinsically entwined with our self-identity. As such, we often carry them through the years—even sparking generational loyalties within families—we are so closely connected to them. You are actually proud to be connected to that product—or what that product “means” or represents. Translation: you’re cool because Product X is cool; or you are environmentally conscientious because Company Y is a global leader in the cause.
The experiences meld over time and can be subtle, but they are no less real. They can be visceral, and can strike a chord when you are hit with nostalgia (as you may have read about in our previous blog post) or pride or particular call to action:
- Does that phone commercial make you want to call your son overseas?
- Are you moved wear your favorite good luck t-shirt when the game comes on?
- Are you inclined to make a donation to your favorite charity when some community project reminds you that you are indeed connected to something larger?
All of this speaks to branding that overtly or subtly influences your actions because of a sense that you belong to something with a meaning beyond just purchasing a product.
Nuts & Bolts
We’re all consumers, so it stands to reason that industrial brand development works much the same way for B2B business. Perhaps even more so, as B2B colleagues tend to travel in tighter circles within B2B ecosystems—the connections and sense of loyalty and belonging even stronger. Your brand development process should incorporate a brand development strategy that helps your clients tap into the connections you build for them through your industrial brand messaging.
Face it, beneath the nuts and bolts of a business, you really are selling someone your reputation for reliability, innovation, dependability, trust, customer service … see where I’m going here? Past the mechanics of your products, you are selling a promise. There is a reciprocity to this promise of belonging. Your brand creates an emotional connection to your customers and from your customers (sorry, guys, but you are not immune to emotions), plain and simple. And your customers become loyal to that promise—when you deliver, that is.
Are you delivering all that your B2B brand strategy promises? Can you deliver a better promise? A stronger brand message? Grant Marketing, a Boston-based marketing firm that specializes in B2B brand strategy consulting, can walk you through the brand development process to help uncover or clarify your brand messaging. To get started, download our Brand Report Card and see how well you are connecting with your customers.