For those that think that B2B branding isn’t important to their business, consider this…

In research by Google and CEB (one of the world’s leading business advisory companies) 3,000 business buyers were asked whether they saw any difference between competing suppliers, and valued it enough to pay for it. 82% said ‘no’. Meanwhile, in a study by McKinsey and Company, strong clearly defined business brands were seen to out-perform weak ones by 20%.

The conclusions are easy to draw.

In an increasingly competitive business environment, brand is more and more important. And yet many B2B organisations see ‘brand’ as the natural domain of their consumer counterparts, more about marketing gloss than sales grit.

“In an increasingly competitive business environment, B2B branding is more and more important”

But brand should be absolutely central to any business.

We’re not talking about a logo (important as that is) but about strong brand management that places as much emphasis on strategy as style. With multiple stakeholders, a complex mix of products or services, and myriad sales messages, your B2B branding can be the glue that holds many different facets of your business, and your marketing, together.

So what should trigger a brand review?

A new or changing marketplace; a merger or acquisition; the need to refresh your company’s image or re-energise your people; the realisation that customers in a digital world are doing business in a very different way – all of these can be powerful reasons to reassess your brand and refine the story that you’re telling. But where do you start?

Here are 10 tips for how to develop a strong, focused business brand that will engage your customers and inspire your people.