Planning for 2019: 5 Progressive Ways to Gear-Up Your B2B Branding
Goodness, look at the time. Wouldn’t you know it, we’re already talking about 2019. There will soon be meetings and the brainstorming sessions about the plans for next year. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s the last quarter of 2018, so it makes sense to start thinking about the next one. And it’s also not too early to think about how you want your brand to perform in 2019, especially and very importantly, your B2B branding.
77% of B2B marketing leaders say that branding is critical to growth. Competition is going to get tougher with more fragmented customer markets and more saturated industries. For your business to face the next fiscal year with growth, you have to be prepared. Here are 5 ways you can tune-up your brand and get ready to start the next year all warmed-up like a race car at the starting line.
- Elevate Your Social Media Presence
You’re a B2B business, why would you need a Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn account?75% of Malaysians and 83% of Singaporeans are active social media users. B2B customers are people just like you with interests, hobbies, and personalities. They have Facebook and/or LinkedIn accounts and they log into them every day, as the statistics suggest. Why not go to where the crowd is? You can reach your audience, generate awareness, and build your brand through social media.
- Optimise Your Website Experience
When was the last time you updated your company website? 2018 is the year where almost everyone and their uncle have internet access. If they cannot find you online, they might not find you at all. A website link isn’t just something you print on your business card. It has to be your customer’s main source of information and communication, more so for B2B brands. You want to look professional and trustworthy, and your website should reflect the same. Take a look at these tips to improve your website’s performance.
- Evaluate Your Brand Performance
To know the battle is to win half the battle. Some brands are evaluating their brand performance for the year, then see what can be improved for the next. Some measure their brand’s reception or awareness among target customers, while some execute a brand audit to gauge their brand performance. Part of your branding plans should include an analysis of your environment and decide whether it’s time to grow, rebrand, revitalise or diversify your business.
- Standardise Your Branding Activity
Consistency is key for any brand to succeed. You want your brand to be organised and documented so that everyone; your internal team, your whole company and stakeholders as well as your target audience knows what your branding is all about. That’s where a brand guideline comes in very handy to help ensure all brand communication is consistent and on-brand.
- Define Your Branding Strategy
A brand strategy is crucial to determine who you really are as a brand and where you are going. From there you can decide how to position your brand and the key attributes to stand out from your competitors. You can also make crucial decisions on your brand personalities and a relevant brand story. As brand execution takes time, it’s a good idea to think about your branding plans now more than ever.
No one brands and sells furniture better than IKEA today, even for B2B. But their success did not just happen by luck. They brand themselves strategically to know exactly what they are doing and what they want to achieve. Their brand strategy goes as far as their corporate culture into their employees. This resulted in a synchronised ecosystem that helps this Swedish brand to branch out to almost every major city in the world, yet still retain the same branding no matter where they go.
Is Your Brand Ready?
In a car race, most of the work is done prior to race day. There are endless test runs and practices, constant tweaking of the engine to make sure it’s working optimally and the amount of physical and mental preparation for every member in the team from the main driver to the engineers and pit crew.
It’s almost the same when it comes to preparing for the next year. Your competitors are revving up their engines and making decisions on how to be the better brand next year. Your brand should step up and have a branding plan ready to be executed. You’re not alone, though. A brand consultant can help you in your see if the 5 things mentioned above are in their best form. So, take the first step and decide now; is your B2B branding ready for 2019?