C.E.K. & Partners
Branding vs. Positioning – What Does your B2B Brand Need to Drive Revenue?
As an Atlanta-based B2B brand strategy a firm, organizations contact C.E.K. & Partners to handle a rebrand after a B2B company completes a merger/acquisition or to fix a brand strategy that a larger agency had its junior team members lead. We also build and launch new brands for existing B2B brands seeking to launch into new market segments. In these scenarios we frequently find ourselves defining and explaining the relationship between branding and positioning.
Most Common B2B Brand Strategy Questions We Answer:
What is branding or brand building vs. brand positioning?
What is the relationship between branding and positioning?
Which one do I need or do I need both?
Because these terms – branding and positioning – often are used interchangeably it means sometimes clients ask us to handle a brand refresh (aka new brand look and feel) when really the company is seeking a new positioning.
Here are some simple explanations to help provide clarity.
WHAT IS BRANDING? It’s a promise and an experience.
The B2B brand’s promise and the experience it delivers is what creates loyal customers, ultimately, positively impacting a company’s revenue. While many may perceive branding as a cost center, the ultimate price a company pays in not investing in creating a well-developed brand.
Creating a B2B Identity
One aspect of B2B branding is indeed about creating a symbol, a mark – a logo – an identity representing a company, but it is more than that.
Establishing Foundation B2B Brand Elements
It’s about actually creating the look and feel to establish a company’s presence, along with defining its values, beliefs and key attributes. In other words – its essence and personality. It is about “WHO” the brand is and “WHY” the B2B brand exists (aka its purpose). (Read more about why B2B's need a purpose) It is about B2B customers emotionally and rationally connecting to it. It’s about creating a consistent brand experience across the B2B customer buying journey .
It is really about what prospects think about it – and shaping those perceptions before a competitor does so for the brand. It is not to be confused with a marketing campaign seeking to sell a specific product, service, or solution.
While many may perceive branding as a cost center, the ultimate price a company pays in not investing in creating a well-developed brand.
You need B2B branding services if you are seeking to establish:
Brand Identity: the visual representation (e.g., the logo, colors, and graphics) for a new brand or after a merger/acquisition
Brand Personality: the tone, attitude, beliefs, and the style
Brand Essence: the core promise you offer
Brand Experience: what customers can expect from interactions
WHAT IS POSITIONING? It's why the brand is better, special and different.
B2B brand positioning is how the company “differentiates” itself from the alternative choices the customer has to choose from in the market.
Positioning establishes why the brand is the best choice for the customer.
Positioning helps to define the specific market niche your brand wants to own within a category and the mind of your prospect. You need to understand your positioning before you develop your identity system or develop creative.
A positioning statement is a not a tagline.
Rather it is an internal guide for
Your B2B brand needs brand positioning help if you are seeking to:
Identify and establish a unique point of competitive difference
Articulate a value proposition for a business or product
Launch into new market segments
Establish or align positioning after a merger or acquisition
Clearly explain the problems or solutions it solves for the buyer and how
Some B2B brands may only actually need help with B2B branding or B2B brand positioning while others may need both. Category leaders with a clear competitive advantage invest in brand strategy and establishing a positioning for their brands and products/solutions.
We lead B2B brand strategies to help companies position and build their brands enabling them to drive revenue growth. Brand building is a long-term investment, and our proven methodologies and techniques provide a road map, along with the assets and tools needed to excel.
Download our free eBook, Cultivating Customer Experience: Differentiate — and Win — in the New Competitive Battlefield or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.404.345.6447.