Strengthen the brand with a clear brand promise.

Customers and consumers have a need, look for a solution, compare, and decide on an offer. This behavior is basically the same in B2C and B2B markets, but in B2B markets the decision-making and buying processes are often more complex. The more cost-intensive and long-term an investment decision is, the more important the buying center is. Along the classic sales funnel, there are several decision-makers. The development engineer has different requirements than the buyer; for the production manager, other aspects are relevant than for the IT department. And the managing director or division manager as the final decision-maker has yet another view of things.

Whom the brand benefit must reach

The more clearly a company and a B2B brand are positioned to be able to formulate the brand benefit, to make the brand promise tangible to the various people involved and to be able to prove it, the stronger the position vis-à-vis competitors.

The target group analysis, which is the knowledge of the expectations and requirements of the customers or decision-makers, is therefore essential in brand consulting.

The factual-functional brand benefit. The rational side.

What does the brand offer?

The brand benefit answers precisely this question for the relevant target group. In a few words, it expresses the core characteristics of the B2B company and its products. The more unique answer can be found by distinguishing between two dimensions in brand work and brand consulting.

The economically successful business activity of a company is based on the factual-functional brand benefit. Product quality, reliability, service, and other company-specific factors always form its foundation. Rational arguments are discussed in two directions in brand analysis and brand consulting. First, what is the benefit of the product or service and what are the consequences of the customer using the product? This is about purpose-oriented facts, objective experiences, and opinions. Second: Which economic criteria does the B2B brand, the product, the solution serve? Price/performance aspects always play a role.

The psychosocial brand benefit. The emotional side.

In many cases, the psychosocial benefits are more important to customers than the factual-functional benefits. This also applies to B2B brands. On the one hand, there are the personal motives. Here, individual experiences, needs, and expectations play a role in the purchase decision. And on the other hand, there are the psychosocial components. These include security, recognition, affiliation, knowledge, success, or a head start — aspects that are perhaps also relevant for B2B decision-makers in their own career planning.

Armin Bastl

Armin Bastl
Brand Consulting

When was the last time you described the benefits and advantages of your company and products at brand level in order to actively use the arguments in marketing?

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A clear brand benefit has advantages

B2B companies and B2B brands often face intense and international competition. In addition, the products and solutions are often very complex and require intensive consultation and planning. It is obvious that there is no single brand benefit here. And yet, even in B2B markets, people are still the purchase decision-makers. The factual, rational brand benefit naturally plays a major role. There are purchasing specifications with which the factual brand promises can be checked off. But the various decision-making and purchasing motives that are addressed via the psychosocial, emotional brand benefits should not be underestimated. They can fulfill the decisive moment in customer expectation and be the essential added value.

The more constantly the brand benefit is communicated internally and externally, the better employees, customers, and prospective customers understand what the company, the B2B brand, or the product stands for and what added value it has. The brand benefit gets to the point: This is what we offer, this is what can be expected from us, and this is what we stand for.

Know and understand customer insights in B2B, industry, and technology.

Customer insights and benefits in harmony.

Customer insights are more than a demographic description of the target groups. The description of customer insights is about thoughts, opinions, experiences, needs, and expectations. Especially in B2B and industrial communication, it is important to capture the pain points and gain points of decision-makers. Decision-makers, decision preparers, or even buying centers are anything but a homogeneous target group. Only their professional interests, activities, and structures are the link for brand and marketing communication, for building loyalty. Therefore, in brand consulting and agency work, it is important to have a good understanding of the clients and decision-makers, who are often scattered all over the world. Numerous intercultural and mentality-related aspects form another intersection that must be considered when defining customer insights.

Benefits should be the direct answer to the needs of decision-makers.

There are various sources for analyzing and describing customer insights. A good customer database with all relevant information on companies, decision makers and buying behavior is a good foundation. Customer surveys, focus groups and panels, feedback surveys, and input from sales, support and service teams provide more specific customer insights. A search of social media profiles for user comments can be another source, if this is relevant and used more intensively in the respective B2B, industry, and technology markets.

With a clear picture of customers and decision-makers that goes beyond pure decision-making behavior, value propositions can be more precise in terms of needs and expectations.

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