As a self-proclaimed “brand czar” and leader of B2B marketing, I recognize the importance of paying attention to the brand. A successful marketing strategy requires a well-planned go-to-market strategy that targets the right customers and a cohesive marketing team that can effectively communicate the brand’s story to build awareness, drive engagement, encourage consideration, and ultimately drive conversion and customer loyalty. While this requires a variety of skills, from communication to research to digital expertise, the key component that has always stood out to me is the brand itself.
The term “brand” does not just refer to a current fad, but rather it represents a covenant or understanding.
The cornerstone of any successful brand is the value proposition of the product or service being sold. In fact, without a solid value proposition, all other efforts to build a brand are pointless. If the product doesn’t deliver on its promise, customer loyalty will be hard to come by. Thus, building and nurturing a brand is arguably the most critical function of marketing.
Although some in the B2B world may disagree, believing that in the complex B2B environment, too much emphasis on brand value can lead to diminishing returns, especially as it’s hard to get brand consistency from individual sellers who often manage the most critical brand touchpoint, i.e., in-person sales calls.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for B2B providers, challenging this view. The pandemic has radically altered the marketing landscape, making digital communication more important than ever before. It has enabled B2B providers to connect with customers globally and speak directly to them about their value proposition, delivering brand messages more consistently and effectively.
To leverage these new opportunities, B2B providers have been quick to improve their digital marketing tools and switch to virtual events, finding new ways to engage customers, investing in new technologies, and paying closer attention to all aspects of the marketing stack. The pandemic has enabled B2B providers to ensure that the right message gets to the right customer at the right time, helping to build brand value and drive growth.
The importance of addressing social and political problems cannot be overstated.
The way in which consumers evaluate brand value is undergoing a change, and as a result, brand leaders, as well as all other leaders, need to provide guidance, assistance, and commitment to current and ongoing external events. A brand, in the present context, encompasses not only the value of the product but also the worth of the organization for which it stands. It is not just about what the product claims to do; it is also about what the company aspires to achieve.
Merely stating that brands must be socially responsible is no longer enough. In one of my earlier articles, I discussed the true meaning of “purpose” for a company, which holds even more significance today. In every sector, including health, environment, safety, and the future, people want products and companies that solve problems.
Furthermore, our brand now has two distinct and critical audiences: our customers and our employees, making the situation even more challenging. With the “Great Resignation” in full swing, the marketing team is under more pressure than ever to use the best techniques to attract new employees. Talent competition is intense, and competition now spans across sectors, states, and countries since people can work from home. However, just like customers, potential employees care deeply about the company’s value, both within their local community and on a global scale.
To remain at the forefront of your industry, you must always be looking for new and innovative ways to improve your products, services, and processes.
I was a part of the team responsible for creating the schedule of one of the most significant business-to-business events of the year. Ignite USA’s schedule for this year is designed to prompt marketers to think about the opportunities and challenges they face in a post-Covid world, with an emphasis on the importance of brands.
Ignite USA provides a platform for companies such as Kyndryl, the IT services spin-off of IBM, to share their inspiring brand transformation stories and how they connected with customers in today’s world. This event is an excellent opportunity to learn from the best in the field, who will share their insights, tools, and processes to help us improve our work efficiency.
What sets Ignite USA apart is that it will be an in-person event, providing a powerful way to communicate messages. As someone who identifies themselves as a brand “czar,” I am excited to attend Ignite USA and gain further knowledge about the impact of brands.