21 NOV. 2017
Act on a Vision – Creating New B2B Product and Corporate Brands
Our talk with Labbrand’s Marta Dealcaraz, Business Director and Master Industrial Engineer, gave very interesting insights – we discussed with her about creating new products and brands for B2B companies.
Brand theory has its origins in the consumer product market and is normally considered in relation to big businesses. What is a brand?
A Brand embodies the consistent value system that a company presents to the world, which is perceived as that company’s way of doing things. An established brand enables customers to save time by guaranteeing the level of quality, reducing purchasing risk and simplifying their choices.
How can that be less relevant for B2B companies than for B2C ones?
It is not. Branding is very relevant in the industrial markets too - The loyalty to a product brand can tie the customer to a supplier. Indeed, our researchers and strategists have often observed that when B2B buyers are asked in a survey why they choose a certain supplier, they rationalize their decision with “hard” factors like the performance of the product, its price, the availability, or the guarantee but also that they often stay loyal to the B2B brand they use for years for reasons beyond those below. These loyal customers buy trust and are affected by any number of other intangibles that have a value as well as the functional properties of the product. They perceive competing companies as standing for different values which provide them with the opportunity to create lasting competitive advantage in the market.
What is unique about corporate brand building in the B2B space versus B2C though?
The need of a stronger internal engagement with the brand to succeed. In the B2B world, employees are the main connection between the brand and its customers so the company's culture will define how customers experience the brand more than anything else.
The company’s brand - its culture and its essence- sets what people can expect from it and the quality of every product and service it offers, which is nearly impossible to copy whereas it is easier than ever to copy products today.
Much of today’s B2B branding conversations focus precisely on product brands though. What converts a product into a brand?
B2B companies are often better at product marketing than they are at expressing the values of the company and that is not a surprise, mainly in industrial environments. However, product and brand often get confused with many industrial companies giving names to their products and believing that they are creating brands. A product only becomes a brand when people make rich mental and emotional associations when they think of it.
At many companies, the group that naturally leads product development is R&D, which gets to define the market opportunity and the product positioning, and in some cases, even the name. By involving branding experts earlier in the brand building journey, the result would be sub-brands that may not only add revenue but that would also contribute to the overall brand strength and clarity.
Is there anything specific about China in this field of B2B brand creation that is worth to mention?
Well, for decades Chinese companies have been hugely successful as OEM manufacturers but we see now many of these companies creating their own brands around a product offering that is often better, cheaper, or more innovative than anything they have ever built for their customers.
The speed of change in today's China market (not comparable to others) is also making it both an exciting and anxious time here to be a marketer in the B2B arena, which used to be much quieter and stable one. Digital is everyday playing a bigger role for them.
What makes LABBRAND the most qualified partner to work with B2B clients and/or highly technical environments?
Our scientific approach to branding is in our DNA -LABBRAND meaning Laboratory for Brands - and makes us unique. Most branding agencies just focus on creativity whereas we do on logic processes and analytical and systemic thinking which ultimately empowers our solutions with simplicity, efficacy and efficiency. We use market insights, strategy and creativity to build solutions for our clients’ business challenges and we do that collaboratively to truly help them drive their organizations to superior results.