Binge watching. Googling. How many of us would be able to define these words 10 years ago? We wouldn't, because they didn't exist. Yet, thanks to powerful branding and fantastic PR on behalf of Netflix and Google, these words have become part of our vernacular. How can you successfully adopt the same principles in your B2B branding?
5 Steps to Building a Successful B2B Branding Experience with Public Relations
1. Establish Your Brand Message
If you haven't done so yet, establishing your brand message is crucial. In fact, it's one of the very first things we at Marx Communications initiate when we begin work with a client. Our B2B branding workshop hones in your key messages and positioning so you stand out from your competitors and are differentiated.
You may have a great product or service, but unless you demonstrate its value to your customers, you have failed in delivering an effective message. Your message also needs to resonate with the media if you expect to generate any press coverage.
Think "Just do it," "The ultimate driving machine," or "Think different." These are relatable messages that resonate with all of us. Even if you don't drive a BMW, you envy that feeling of zooming through open roads with full control.
2. Positioning Your Brand
What makes an athlete stand out? It's the way he plays the game against the competition. The same is true in business.
Positioning your brand involves differentiating yourself. It's how you stand out in your customer's eye, relative to the competition.
Think about gaps in the market that present an opportunity for your B2B, and then own that space. For instance, at Marx Communications, we don't offer PR to just any company. Rather, we've positioned the company to be a prime leader in the B2B PR realm.
Apple is known for it's sleek design and picture-driven interface. Are there other brands that produce phones, tablets, and laptops? Of course. But, Apple has sliced off a piece of the market to target its design to those who want the Apple lifestyle -- not just the cheapest knock-off. Definitely effective brand positioning.
3. B2B Branding and the Press
Your branding includes everything that your B2B company creates. This is particularly true in media relations.
Press releases are your time to shine. They are not, however, the time for a cheesy marketing ploy, such as this one:
First, is this really newsworthy? Did you learn anything about the personality of the brand or its executive? Rather, could you easily see this script as a late-night infomercial?
It's no surprise that this release only received four shares. And I'm guessing they are mostly from employees of the company.
Rather, press releases are a perfect opportunity, not only to release information that concerns the public, but showcase your brand and how it relates to your audience.
Check out this release for a breath of fresh air:
A well-crafted press release is a skill that Mr. Jobs only entrusted to his PR department. After his PR people drafted the copy, he would reportedly edit it many times until he felt it conveyed the right message. (For more info on creating press releases that don't suck, check this out)
Granted, it hardly seems fair to compare a weight-loss company to Apple's Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. However, we all know that these two names have not always beena household brands. Executive branding is the whole reason you even know the name "Steve Jobs." That brings us to our next point.
4. Executive Branding
Perhaps even more so than in the B2C realm, executive branding is central to the overall branding and positioning your firm.
Branding particular executives helps your audience relate to your story. They're able to put a human face and personality to your B2B company.This concept of relatability is at the core of any PR strategy.
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5. PR and Branded Content
Your brand message, really the personality of your B2B firm, should be reinforced in every piece of content you create, including podcasts, blog posts, articles, press releases, videos, and newsletters....
A good PR person will understand this, helping you drill down and focus on your branding throughout the creation process. Your PR team will show how that message is perceived by the public, and use that perception to steer your ship into the winds of positive opinion.
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We hope this crash course in branding your B2B company has been helpful! But, if you want to go a little deeper with a personalized course, you'll need to Check out our Messaging Workshop! In just a few hours, you'll learn how to:
- Craft your key message
- Create a tailor-made tagline
- Draft an original "About Us" statement
Ready to get started?