Craft a Distinctive Differentiating Strategy for your Brand
Your brand is the sum total of your business’ efforts to create, position, and market the products and services you offer. Your brand positioning is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of your brand that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Differentiation is the word to describe a brand strategy and positioning. It is essential if you want your brand to achieve a competitive edge over other businesses in the market. How you portray your brand today will determine its future success. A well-designed brand strategy will help you stay relevant today and in the future.
A brand strategy is more than just copywriting to read or a CTA to click. It is the journey of your company from where you are today to where you want to go next generation. It's about planning today how your business will succeed tomorrow. Your brand positioning should be carefully thought out and planned prior to development, ensuring it reflects the business vision and mission.
Differentiating your brand among competitors
In many B2B industries, enterprises offer the same product with marginal differences. What will differentiate them is their brand positioning. For example, consider Slack. It was initially intended for internal communication but not created for public use. The founders saw the potential in Slack and launched it to the public in 2012. Today, it has grown to be one of the top communication tools in the market.
Slack’s brand positioning statement is, “Making work-life simpler, more pleasant and more productive.” The statement says nothing about Slack but describes how you would feel if you use Slack. The tool also focuses on a few key features that make its positioning statement a guarantee.
Slack can integrate with more than 2400 apps, thus making work-life productive and simple. It also keeps updating with evolving technologies to upgrade its features and functionalities, making work-life easy and pleasant. And, that’s why Slack is popular among its competitors and is called one of the first “new-age communication tools.” If you want your brand to stand out, you need to position it differently in an ocean of me-too competitors.
Make your brand appealing to the right audience
While brand positioning is crucial for both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer), the B2B strategy comes with unique considerations. At its core, a B2B brand strategy should define who you are, what you value, and who you serve. It also should include your business goals (present and future) and how you plan to reach those goals.
To understand the brand strategy for B2B better, let’s consider some aspects of why B2B and B2C strategies should be different.
B2B brand strategies should target the interests, needs, and challenges of people who purchase on the behalf of their organization. The organization is the customer. Here, the buyer’s journey plays an important role while planning brand positioning and strategy. Consider different stages of a buyer’s journey to understand how to position your brand effectively.
Now, let’s dive into the various brand positioning strategies you can execute to appeal to your specific business audience.
5 steps to develop a unique B2B brand positioning strategy
Identify your target audience
Your target audience would be specific stakeholders of organizations who either make the decision or impact the decision-making process. Identify the stakeholders, their role in the organization, the pain points of the organization, and the solutions that would help. It helps to make your brand appealing to your audience.
Identify your competitors
Conduct competitor research to understand and analyze your competition. Research the market, social media, and customer feedback to understand your competitors' brand positioning and marketing strategies. It helps to differentiate your brand from competitor brands.
Identify your USP
Identify what makes your brand or offerings unique from what the competitors are offering. Compare your offerings to identify at least one aspect where you are better than your competition and make that your USP. It helps to specifically state what you are offering that others are not.
Create your positioning statement
Create a 1-2 sentence statement that defines your brand’s unique value for your customers. Your positioning statement should include the greatest benefit of your product that appeals to your audience.
Connect emotionally with prospects and customers
Use the results of the first two steps to connect emotionally with your audience. Make your audience understand that your product will help them overcome a challenge or solve a problem that their organization is facing.
B2B brand positioning stories that created an impact
IBM, launched in 1911, has stood for technological innovation with the power to change the world. Despite 3 major positioning changes until now, its recent change positioned itself as a “Cognitive Business” emphasizing its focus on big data and AI. Its brand positioning with its tagline, “Let’s Put Smart to Work”, emphasizes that IBM not only has the expertise but also knows how to apply it in building solutions for its clients’ benefit.
Intel, for many years, has positioned its brand uniquely by targeting its end-users in its communications. Its slogan “Intel inside” is the quality stamp for many products even though its technology is mainly invisible and expensive. Recently, the brand has positioned itself as “powering the future of computing and communications”, and now has transformed from being seen as a PC component to an enabler of amazing experiences.
Position your brand for growth amidst competition
A powerful brand positioning makes all the difference when your business is entering or competing in any market. You need to work to find a differentiation that already exists in your business and frame the positioning strategy around it. If you want to connect emotionally with your audience or showcase your brand as unique in the market, a distinctive differentiating brand strategy is a must for your business.