Because Your B2B Brand Strategy May Still Need Fixin’
We hear all too often the strains of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” reasoning for not updating brand messaging or revising outdated websites. What you aren’t doing, in reality, is adhering to a consistent and congruent brand development strategy. But do you really know how many opportunities you may be missing out on by not making these changes? What is your gauge for broken? If you don’t remain relevant and contemporary, prospects may be passing you by because you look “broke” to them. Your assumptions may be shortsighted and costly.
What’s Your Website Saying?
Your website should be the hub of your communications with the world. Here’s a question posed on the Business 2 Community website in a blog about outdated websites: “If you weren’t in the room to talk to your biggest potential buyer, could your website do the job?” Kudos, if so … and ouch, if not. The blog goes on to explain that if your website is not effectively communicating your brand value proposition and the unique identifiers of your products and services—two essential elements of a robust brand development strategy—it is outdated and you are missing out on a great deal of opportunity.
Maintain to Retain
You must maintain your website to retain your brand. After all, doesn’t your one employee that works round the clock 24/7/365 deserve some love? It may be your hardest working employee! Your website—if optimized and maintained, while delivering consistent brand messaging—does all this work for you while you sleep blissfully in bed:
- Educate visitors
- Answer questions
- Nurture prospects down the funnel
- Appease customers
- Convert visitors into leads
I Am So Turned Off Right Now … and ForEVER!
But if a visitor takes a look and is turned off, and worse, turns away because he or she is greeted with the following, nothing is gained:
- Old or amateurish imagery
- An unappealing home page
- Marginally helpful info
- Anemic or confusing brand messaging
- Clunky or absent navigation
Not only that, but you may never know how far reaching that dismissal may reverberate. With the influence that world wide web connections and social media posts can have with one bad review, public opinion has legs like never before. So the loss of one sale may actually multiply without even hitting your radar.
Remain Relevant and Contemporary
An intrinsic part of your B2B brand strategy has to include remaining relevant and contemporary on all fronts. Actually, you have to be contemporary to remain relevant these days! If your public presence seems out of synch with what you say you do, that can strike a chord of incongruence to prospects; you appear unreliable in terms of your ability to deliver on your promises (if you can’t even manage to manage your website). People will lose confidence in you if your best representation of your company, products, and services are still feeling groovy from 40 years ago. And while there are still antiquated websites and brands that need some serious resuscitations out there, even a five- to 10-year-old website can be considered outdated today. Especially if you are in a technical business, which many industrial manufacturing companies now are.
Building High-Tech Trust
Long gone are the smoke-stack factories of yesteryear. Most industrial manufacturers are heavily invested in precision machinery and skilled talent and are running high-tech operations. But is your website betraying you? Are the pieces of your well-intended brand development strategy fractured and collecting cobwebs on the web? Trust, as intangible a metric as it is, remains one of the most important elements of closing a sale. Trust can be built by a simple gesture of good faith, or it can be destroyed by a careless oversight. It’s like that with a quick glimpse of a website.
Keep Up Appearances to Stay Ahead
What may seem like small, inconsequential details to you may be make-or-break factors in visitors continuing to click on your pages. I mentioned that you need to have quality images—both photos and graphics. Did you know that 90% of info transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text? HubSpot reports that visual content is a key component in each of the top 5 most effective B2B marketing tactics. As well, kissmetrics tells us that nearly half of web users expect a site to load within two seconds or less; they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded in three seconds. Did you catch that? They abandoned the ENTIRE site. Done. Gone. On to the next competitor. This may speak to our “microwave mentality” and complete inability as a culture to be patient, but the larger lesson is that your brand and bottom line suffer because you are seen—both in perception and experientially—as literally not keeping up.
You may have a cutting-edge operation behind doors, but if your window to the world shows another view, no one knows that but you. As a Boston-based B2B brand strategy firm, we work through a brand development process with clients. Whether a deep re-branding or a simpler updating, it often involves revising the website as well (including factors like SEO strategies). It’s clear the two need to work synergistically; one without the other is an ineffective B2B brand strategy.
Grant Marketing can guide you through a new brand development strategy to explore and uncover how you are as a company and help translate that into the best representation of who you are as a brand. To get started with the brand development process, download our Brand Report Card.