This is part four of four in a series on brand development for business-to-business (B2B) companies. Read the previous posts here:
Part 3: Building a New Company Brand
In the earlier posts, we explored some of the fundamental reasons behind the importance of building a strong basis for your brand, which included team clarity and developing a solid reputation.
We also examined some misconceptions about what a logo really is, the role that marketing plays, and the costs of building a brand.
In post 3 we learned a few ways to efficiently and effectively develop a brand strategy.
In this last post, I will outline the core elements of brand building and provide a few tips and tricks to make these core branding elements the best they can be.
The 4 Critical Elements of B2B Brands
Just as you never have a second chance to make a first impression, you can’t change your name once you’ve launched, so make sure it’s right.
If you go with something too generic, it won’t be remembered.
Make it ownable. Make it yours.
If you have to develop a name, that’s okay. As long as it doesn’t give off any negative connotations or mean something odd in a different language, you’ll be golden.
Your logo is going to stay in customers' minds long after the pitch, so it needs to be memorable, distinctive, and representative of your image.
Have a look around your industry to see if there are any benchmarks or established rules that you should consider. For instance, if you are in a professional service industry, a slick or flashy name may come across as unprofessional.
Tagline or Slogan:
The tagline or slogan needs to compel the prospect to your offering.
Taglines can be designed in a variety of ways. They can be developed to describe what you do, differentiate your company, make a connection with your prospect, or provide a call to action.
Taglines that are too vague make your company look vague. Take a stance and make a statement!
A brand promise is the decree you make to customers so they understand what to expect from all interactions with your people, products, services, and company.
Building your brand promise sets the tone for your company, so craft it carefully.
Don't be too specific in your description of what you offer in the event your services or products change.
There are many other things that can be considered brand elements, but these are the most important ones to get you started. Things like reputation and brand story evolve over time, and their genesis will be a direct result of your efforts in all other aspects of branding and workmanship.
The most important tip - regardless of the brand element - is to make certain you are using your branding in a consistent way. Brand inconsistency does not lead to anything but a poor company image.