Imagine you’re about to make a purchase, and you’ve whittled it down to two brands. The first you recognize, and the second is unfamiliar. We’re almost certain that you’d pick the first option.
And you wouldn’t be alone. It’s natural to prefer the security of knowing what you’re getting. That’s why 80% of male and 76% of female customers purchase products from businesses they’re aware of. The message is clear; to be a success story in this day and age, you need to build a recognisable brand.
But for those operating in the competitive and complicated business-to-business (B2B) landscape, this is easier said than done, so it’s time you explored the benefits of a branding agency. Luckily, this article will take you through that enlightening journey.
What is a B2B branding agency?
Before we get started, let’s circle back to the basics. A B2B branding agency is a talented team of marketing specialists a business can hire to help them achieve their goals.
By taking on a wide range of tasks, this creative service will be responsible for helping you construct, improve, and maintain your brand identity. They will ensure this resonates with your target audience and effectively communicates your ideology. When they’ve done their job, you’ll be well-positioned in the market and set on a path to long-term success.
What makes this service different from a regular branding agency is that they work in the context of your relationship with other businesses rather than the consumer market.
What does a branding agency do?
Now you know what it is; we need to look at the branding services they provide which will vary depending on your needs and budget.
Some businesses might prefer the customization options of a boutique agency, others require guidance from a rebranding specialist, and a few will need a team well-versed in their company’s niche.
However, our focus will be on a branding agency that offers a full service. As the name implies, these teams are equipped to handle all of your business’s needs. They will adopt a comprehensive and holistic approach by undertaking duties like:
- Content creation, distribution, and promotion
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Public relations
- Website design and web development
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Email marketing campaigns
- Social media marketing
How does a B2B branding agency impact brand awareness?
A branding agency is a valuable resource for growth. However, as a B2B company, you might experience unique problems they aren’t prepared to solve.
If they can’t help you overcome challenges like complex decision-making and rapidly advancing technology effectively, you could end up right back where you started. For this reason, you’ll be better off finding a branding agency that knows your company’s nuances and pain points.
Let’s have a look at what else a B2B branding agency has to offer.
1. Visual identity
B2B branding agencies have worked with many businesses across various industries. The chances are they have valuable insight into yours as well. Since they know what’s already being done by your competitors, they can leverage this and create a distinctive visual identity.
They will use their design expertise to align your visual assets with your unique values and selling points. By doing this, your branding feels personal and genuine, unlike you’ve just hopped on to the most popular trend. Not only will this make you stand out from the crowd, but it will also give your identity longevity.
Being able to differentiate is crucial, especially in the competitive B2B landscape, where it could be a matter of failure and survival. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that those competing in it often sell similar products to the same audience. But also, 61% of startups entering the market in the US offer B2B solutions.
Below, you’ll see what a B2B branding agency can do to help you overcome this hurdle.
Offering custom designs: They will design a custom font or collaborate with a professional typographer who can. Doing this guarantees differentiation from the competition because it will only be associated with your brand.
Producing emotive branding: Any branding agency knows there’s more to design than aesthetics. They will give yours a deeper meaning by using color, imagery, and logo design that evokes a particular emotion and sparks memorability.
Providing industry knowledge: They will spend time crafting the perfect logo with striking color combinations and unique shapes because they know that 75% of people recognize a business this way.
Doing continuous testing: Once your shiny new identity has been created, a B2B branding agency will continue to monitor its performance. They will use data and feedback to ensure it remains effective whenever the landscape changes.
2. Educational content
Content provides so many benefits for businesses. It’s a promotional tactic that feels much more organic than pushy advertisements, yielding better engagement results. It also helps build customer connections, which soon leads to loyalty and advocacy.
But most people contribute the value of this tactic to the way it builds brand awareness. For many businesses, consistently publishing various marketing materials, such as blog posts, podcasts, and videos, is enough to drive familiarity. It’s as simple as that; the more people see your content, the more likely they will remember where it came from.
However, when B2B customers are involved, things get more challenging. It doesn’t just have to be well-distributed, it also has to be educational. These audiences, who have the future of their business resting on their shoulders, will only seek out trusted sources, so you need to position yourself as one.
A B2B branding agency will structure your content marketing strategy around these added hurdles. By gathering statistics, conducting research, and using analytics tools, they will demonstrate your proven track record to grab the attention of your audience.
Let’s look at the types of content types they’ll produce from all this work they’ve done.
Podcasts with industry leaders
3. Thought leadership
A thought leader is someone who uses their expertise, industry experience, and unique perspective to offer guidance to others.
They aren’t found in every industry but are common in places where innovation and knowledge are priorities. For example, in software as a service (SaaS), businesses that operate in the education, marketing, or healthcare sectors tend to be B2B.
This means your business has an opportunity that others don’t. Becoming a thought leader brings many benefits. For example, it’seasier to find investment, more people want to collaborate, and a perceived quality leads to more conversions.
But what we’re interested in is how it boosts your visibility. Spoiler alert: it does, massively. People naturally pay attention to businesses they know they get value from. So when a business is dedicated to being active in the industry, it strategically grows awareness.
A B2B branding agency knows exactly how to take advantage of this opportunity and get their client these results. For example, here are tactics they’ll implement to get you results.
- Utilizing professional social media channels: A B2B branding agency will introduce many channels but tailor digital marketing efforts towards LinkedIn. This way, a network of industry connections can be established and regularly engaged with. They’ll also maintain it consistently to help you build credibility.
- Engaging in important conversations: A thought leader must stand out and have something to say. An agency can secure opportunities for public speaking, guest posting, and collaboration to ensure customers hear your original thoughts.
- Improving your brand positioning: The first click on the search engine results page (SERP) gets 28.5% of all clicks. A B2B branding agency will use SEO strategies like inbound linking and keyword research to improve your ranking and credibility.
- Making your business helpful: Use your expertise to help up-and-coming professionals and startups find their feet. This will sharpen your leadership skills and increase your influence. Agencies will effectively market your mentorship and workshops.
4. Account-based marketing (ABM)
For the reasons we mentioned above and more, B2B companies have a different relationship with their customers than their business-to-customer (B2C) counterparts.
B2B customers don’t just shop and go; it’s often a long-term partnership that requires a long, complex sales cycle and ongoing support. In addition, they expect a higher level of personalization in their product, so the B2B business is more involved to get this right.
Maintaining positive relationships with your customers is crucial. It puts you in a better position to meet their complex needs, leading to repeat purchases and higher satisfaction levels.
This is why businesses invest in ABM, a brand strategy that focuses all of your efforts on individual companies or accounts. This personalized B2B marketing encourages stronger relationships compared to appealing to a broader audience and increases the chance they will do business with you.
But more than this, it can be great for visibility, especially when B2B branding agencies are involved. Their forte is tailoring messaging to your target audience to make it resonate effectively. With their talents, you can develop a deeper, more impactful brand experience for them so your business leaves a lasting impression.
Below is a rundown of what they might implement.
- Lead generation: Your new hire will be responsible for contacting your chosen customers and interacting with them personally. This initial exposure not only increases brand awareness but also lets you make a more impactful first impression because the agency will reinforce your messaging.
- Competitive analysis: In the B2B sector, your competition is most likely scouting out the same accounts you are. An agency will have the research skills and data tools to find out how they’re engaging. By filling in gaps found in their strategy, yours becomes more effective.
- Influencer scouting: A B2B branding agency will seek out influencers who follow your target accounts. When you partner with them, you make their followers aware of your business.
- Web design: A creative agency will optimize your landing page for the accounts chosen. Considering 76% of customers are more likely to purchase if a brand personalizes, they’ll remember your business’s website positively.
Do you feel as though you’re casting a net out but not catching any fish?
Just like a river, your business can become stagnant. This typically happens when the same products are offered with the same marketing efforts, leading to a decreased flow of interest. You might think you have a winning idea, but sadly, customers get bored. It’s not like they have to stick around with so many other B2B companies vying for them.
When you aren’t prepared to try something new, you’ll miss out on opportunities like media coverage, social media engagement, and word-of-mouth referrals, all of which are crucial components of brand awareness.
And remember, if it isn’t your products being talked about, it’ll be someone else’s. An innovative brand will grab the spotlight and leave yours sitting in the dark. Surely there’s a way to brighten up your business’s future?
B2B branding agencies excel at positioning their clients as innovators because they understand market conditions, design influence, and storytelling. There are many advantages to hiring one for this purpose, so let’s look at some of them below.
- Award prospects: Don’t deny it; having an award-winning business would make you feel a bit smug. An agency will actively seek out opportunities for recognition within your industry. Not only will this bring more attention, but it could provide investment opportunities for further innovation.
- Marketing automation: If you’re not a hot shot in a huge tech company, you may think artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t for you. However, your potential hire would help bring your business into the modern world with automation. This new-found efficiency creates a consistent experience across channels, which is a great way to increase familiarity.
- Market research: During the brand-building process, the external team will anticipate future trends with forecasting tools. Adopting these before your competition will present you as forward-thinking. Also, these insights work to identify ways of satisfying wider customer demands, for example, through localization or developing a new brand.
- Design thinking: This methodology involves tackling problems with a human-centered approach. B2B branding agencies are pros at this and will find creative and innovative ways to overcome challenges.
Ready to take your brand to the next level?
Your business has the potential to do great things. And an agency has the expertise to make those things happen. So, if you want to see how high you can fly, it’s time to decide if some outside consultancy is right for you.
Reaching out to a B2B branding agency will be daunting. But shopping around and doing some research will help you find your perfect match. Look for one that offers introductory sessions, provides open communication, and has a portfolio of success stories on hand.
If you want to see an agency in action, check out this case study about how our Literal Humans team redesigned MeetEdgar’s brand and website to generate further growth.