Difference of Branding and Its Core Practices in B2B vs B2C Business
There was a time when marketers broadly use the Fax machine for branding or direct selling. But now you wouldn't find anyone who even thinks of using the Fax machine. Everything change today or tomorrow, branding in B2B vs B2C businesses isn't something different.
Today the solution is simple- just go digital. Utilize the power of the web! This is the summary of modern branding practices.
Both of the consumers and investors prefer branding and the percentage is really surprising- 71% and 82%! Yes, 71% of the consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from the name they already recognize, the situation is the same with 82% of the investors too.
When we talk about branding, this is not something debatable today. People just love to buy with the brand name and feel safe as well as. On the other hand, you would see hesitation and lack of trust in their eyes when they make decisions about new or unfamiliar products.
Whether it B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), it's clear that branding is important. With some similarities, there are also some differences in B2B vs B2C branding practices.
In this article, we are going to discuss some facts and practices that would help you set your goal and design the process with ease.
Branding and The Way It Serves
Brand is something that remains us when our factory is burned
David Ogilvy is the famous name in the marketing industry and considered as the ‘father of advertising'. Branding actually refers to people's general perception and feeling about a certain name. Moreover, branding has a clear influence on consumers buying behavior.
Whatever the form or size of your business is, you can't ignore branding. Because brands-
- Serve as the focus for consumer loyalties
- Ensure future demand
- Assure cash flows
- Introduce stability into businesses
- Work as the help guard against competitive invasion
- Allow investment and planning to take place with increased confidence
Difference between Branding & Marketing
Branding actually describes who the company is and why it exists. Marketing empowers branding through sharing the core concept and message with the audience. There is a strong-deep relationship between branding and marketing with a clear difference too.
Branding is the foundation on which you wand and should build your customer loyalty. So, branding basically has a few characteristics like personality, purpose, and guideline.
On the other hand, marketing works as the channel by which you want to increase your brand awareness and generate profits. So, your marketing should be-
(by increasing sales). Additionally, marketing serves as a tool for selling.
This is the primary discussion on B to C marketing.
You would find branding and marketing overlap at some-point of your way of working. That's not a problem. Your brand affects your marketing in many ways. And, your marketing promotes your branding and finally tells your brand's story. So, they are the two sides of the same coin.
Key Concept of B2B vs B2C Branding
B2B marketing refers to selling products of one company to another. And you know- B2C uses for direct selling to the customers.
B2B marketers generally focus on four large categories
- Companies that use their products. Like Soap making companies who buy raw ingredients from third-party suppliers to use in soap making
- Government agencies, the single largest target for the B2B marketers
- Institutions like NGOs, hospitals, and schools etc.
- Mid-field companies that turn around and resell the goods to consumers. Like brokers and wholesalers
B2C marketers have a smaller window of opportunity to encourage consumers and influence them to buy. Consumers generally look for goods and services based on their instant needs. They make purchase decision more quickly without much research and thinking rather than business entities.
That is why expert B2C marketers typically design their campaigns focusing on emotional reactions and instant responses. On the other hand, B2B marketers focus on immediate value. To improve your marketing strategy and outputs you should understand these differences and make the required changes in your planning.
Businesses that focus on B2C marketing, closely observe trends, research their customers’ changing buying behavior. Moreover, they closely monitor their competitors’ tactics. Because it’s essential to know the challenges and understand how to overcome all the barriers to meet the desired goals.
You can understand the difference between B2B and B2C marketing with this discussion.
Difference of Branding in B2B vs B2C Businesses
We talked earlier that with some similarities, there are some certain differences between B2B vs B2C branding and marketing. Check the below infographic to discover these intimate and keen differences. This will also help you understand and decide about B2B communication.
Common Branding Practices in B2B vs B2C Business
If you look around, you would discover different types and forms of branding practices. Most of the marketers follow and apply mixed strategies. So, it's a bit difficult to finalize which of the companies practice what form of strategies. In general, we can divide them into 4/5 individual groups.
Some of these strategies are simply awesome to apply in your branding practices too. Let's have a look.
Traditional Digital Branding
Traditional Digital Branding is basically a push marketing strategy. It’s also recognized as outbound marketing/branding. This strategy tries to generate leads by compelling information to the audience like TV commercials, radio ads, print advertisements (newspaper & magazine ads, flyers etc.).
Methods also involve SMS, emails, digital brochures, electronic billboards and more that target the customer with a customized message.
The challenges with outbound? A lot! It’s actually an old strategy and not fit especially for online business. And also sometimes is less effective. Because people are overwhelmed with these marketing tactics and messages on daily basis. Moreover, it can get expensive.
But like anything else, this strategy also can keep your brand in front of people, especially in non-digitalized areas. Outbound marketing is a traditional approach where a company begins the conversation by sending out the message to its audience.
Employee branding consists of creating a team of selected employees who come to work willing to promote the business. They assist to achieve the goals your company has planned.
The concept of employee branding might seem obvious to you, but many of the companies simply neglect the power of their workforce. To perfectly utilize it, you need to have a great company culture and be sure that your product/services are fit for the market.
So why should employees be engaged in branding activities?
- 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to complete the buying process (Source- IDC)
- Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than brand channels
- Brand messages are re-shared 24x more often when distributed by employees
- 84% of people trust recommendations from their known persons over other forms of branding
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Another well-known branding strategy that is getting popular over the last two/three years, just like inbound marketing. For B2B branding strategies, account-based marketing has become essential today. It complements both your inbound and outbound strategies.
Account-Based Marketing is about marketing to recognized companies or specific individuals, with more personalized content or message. The idea behind it is that the more targeted the effort the better the outcomes will be.
Instead of placing more contents and expecting to attract new accounts, you can target those accounts directly with the contents you already have.
One of the biggest challenges in today’s branding is the need for more personalization and person-to-person interactions. When you read something out loud, it's sure that you would be able to attract more people and that increased interaction would produce better results. Although it’s not a standard practice!
So what is the conversational marketing actually?
It is the process of having real-time & one-to-one conversations for capturing, qualifying, and connecting with your most defined leads. This can be through-
- Direct chat
- Private message
- Face-to-face meeting
- A phone call
- Or an email exchange etc.
Remember that this process also includes actively listening to your customers and their particular needs.
This strategy can help you distinguish your business’ brand and also encourage potential customers to interact more with your product or services.
Top Digital Marketing & Branding Statistics
Before going to finalize your branding strategy and planning, take a close look at the below statistics. To make your strategy more powerful and effective, this infographic of recent branding statistics would help you in many ways.
So before going to meet your targeted group of people, take more preparations. Build a powerful, mobile supported and user-friendly website. Consider content marketing as a priority basis. These will help you reach your goal easily.
B2B vs B2C: Absolute Branding Methodology for 2019
Now is the time to design and prepare your absolute branding methodology. Whether it's B2B or B2C, you should consider these strategies to ensure a quantum leap over your competitors.
Go Digital & Uphold Your Brand’ Value
To get success, today it's a must for any business to going digital. People are online and they just love to see, know and even experience your product or services online. If you are applying only a B2B or B2C branding strategy, a stunning website will enable you to reach both types of customers at once.
Another big opportunity there is to uphold your brand' value and show your worth. You may know that people not actually buy your products, they buy benefits.
So, building brand image and showing your worth is same important.
Develop a CRM
There is no doubt that customer relationship management is the most significant part of your business. The more effectively you manage your customers, the more you will be able to generate profits. That is why a CRM solution is essential from the first day of your business.
From creating a well-organized customer database, a CRM solution lets you monitor their activities, adding and managing companies and B2B partners, scheduling meetings, getting timely reports and so on.
Prefer Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is a special form of pull marketing. It aims to encourage, educate and entertain customers. It focuses on inspiring potential customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in the buying journey This comes to you with channels like-
- Company Blogs
- Other Websites (guest blogging or affiliate)
- Search engines
- Social media
To increase your sale and the quality of leadership on market, Inbound marketing would be the result driven one for you. Inbound marketing builds up by itself and produces many immediate and long-term benefits.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
Take a look at below image to easily get to know and understand the inbound marketing strategy.
Growth Hacking Practices
The phrase ‘Growth Hacker’ was coined by Sean Ellis in the year 2010. Growth hacking is almost a new marketing tactic that is getting popular over a few years. This approach uses a low-cost strategy to fuel a company’s lead generation. It is a procedure of rapid tests across market channels.
Product development and sales segments are classified for effective means of business growth. This strategy lets you testing different approaches through a creative way.
A growth hacker would try anything and everything possible for generating leads and profits. This formula helps to generate traffic but it demands constant redundancy. Growth hacking is a short-term strategy that can be applied as you need. It’s mostly applicable during a startup or growing period.
It involves temporary work and has a narrowed focus on business growth. For now, the term Growth Hacking is owned by startups. But study reports show that growth hacking will in future be a part of the Fortune 500 companies!
Growth Hacking Methodologies (Steps)
- Awareness– Getting people to visit your website
- Acquisition– Getting them to sign up
- Activation– Users get a great user experience
- Revenue– Sell
- Retention– Getting users to come back
- Referral– Getting customers to promote you
Get Personal & Increase Social Media Engagement
Personal interaction is the most effective way to impress your customers. Although its impossible to build personal relationship or communicate all of them on a regular basis, but you should remember this and try whenever it possible.
Social media engagement is another great way to find a new and loyal customer base. This will also help you maintain a real-time communication with ease.
So, develop a site that would enable you go through all the social media channels and maintain a strong bonding with ease.
Give them a Nudge- [SEO & Email]
People love to be surprised! Try to apply some formulas and exciting copy writing that would let your customers think about your brand in a new way.
Nudge is a special term from behavioral economics. In this theory, marketers develop and apply their formulas just opposite of people' general thinking. Or something that people go to make it done unconsciously thinking that they are doing what they actually wanted to do. Give them options and let them decide the best one as their own, that's a nudge!
For example, you want to encourage people to stop littering in the streets. How would do that by-
- Setting up fines
- Paying them for using the garbage bin
- Or placing green footprints on the ground, showing the way to the nearest bin.
If you select the 3rd option, that will be a nudge. A 2011 Copenhagen study showed a 46% decrease in littering in the streets, where they used green footprints.
Use the theory in any of your possible branding practices, especially on SEO tactics and email copies.
Invest more In Visual Contents (Image-Videos)
It's not something new. We are observing an increased growth of visual contents day by day. So, whatever the strategy you select and apply, keep focusing on images and videos. Try to develop a team of creative people who can deliver quality images, infogrphics and video contents.
That's would give you a massive output these days.
Try to Follow Absolute Branding Model
Things are changing, as well as customers. If you rely on the old branding model, there are possibilities to fail or get frustrated at some point of your journey. We have prepared the below infographic to give you an easy and quick view on it.
Wrapping up on B2B vs B2C Branding Practices
The main consideration for today's branding is to going digital. Your target or strategy doesn't matter, build a powerful and user-friendly website. Try to interact and communicate your customers on a regular basis. Give them space, let them decide. They will work on-behalf of you to help you touch the milestone.
When your customers are happy and you have powerful & trustworthy channels to reach them, the win will be yours. Don't think much about the difference in B2B vs B2C branding practices, just keep focusing on the strategy and implementation.
What strategies are you applying to build and increase your brand value? Let us know. If you think there are more effective ways of creating a brand with ease, share with us. Happy branding!