Dec 26, 2009

Answer to A Reader's Question: B2B sector - How to Build Brand Value

A reader from India asked me a very specific question. He wanted to know how to increase the brand value of a company who is in agricultural post harvesting machines. Whether the company manufactures or just sells the machines doesn't matter. The key is to understand how to build brand value in the Business-to-Business industry.

Before going into the subject of brand building, there are three things you must understand about what is a brand.

My definition of a brand:
  • The brand is customer's expectation of the company.
  • The brand is company's promise.
  • The brand is an obligation to every employee in the company.
The brand is NOT a logo, visual design or name.

How build a B2B brand

You have to also understand that there is no magic wand. Building a brand takes time, knowledge and money. Let's say you have all those three.

The same brand building principles which apply in consumer business, work in the B2B sector as well. However, there is not only one way to build a brand.

If I was in a hurry, and didn't know how to get started, my first thing to do would be to read Duane E. Knapp's The Brand Mindset book.

After having the fundamental understanding of the brand, I would invite five different brand consultants to give me their brand building pitch (a.k.a. their new business presentation). They will do it for free, and you get more ideas about how to build brands.

I would hire the most promising brand consultant to help me with my project. When I started working in an ad agency that was the first thing I did. There is no reason to try to reinvent the wheel by yourself. Plus, it is a great learning opportunity for you as well. (A caution: it takes confidence and healthy self-esteem to admit that you can't do everything by yourself. Otherwise, the co-operation may not work.)

Be prepared to spend more money and time than you thought it would take. One of my colleagues, who is a brand consultant, is now working his third year with a large Finnish engineering agency to make the brand to become a part of their employees every day work. When your brand is an obligation to your whole staff it takes time to get everyone working together. Remember that people at Volvo has been working for safety since the year 1944.

In brief, it doesn't matter what your business is. You can build a brand to any business if you know the brand building principles. Use experts when in doubt.

I appreciate your questions and comments. Please, keep them coming.

P.S. Read all my free articles about branding click here

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