Rebranding in B2B

B2B Rebranding. Business’s Greatest Asset.

B2B rebranding seems like a luxury to many. Because, so much of the business-to-business success is from direct sales. (See a Glen Guard B2B case study here). As a result, B2B marketing is often secondary. And B2B advertising is often limited to brochures, trade shows and website design. Branding and rebranding often seems like a cost with low ROI.

How is B2B rebranding different from consumer brands?

B2B rebrandingFirst, we should consider exactly what BRAND is. Then we can look at differences and contrasts with traditional business-to-business branding.

Brand is not corporate identity. Even though your logo and symbols are PART of your brand. They are NOT your brand.

They are all symbols that you use to help customers remember the product or service you are selling.

Ideally, you want your identity marks to be different from the competitor’s.

When we talk about marks we mean your logo, color palette, symbols and even your style and tone. You need to create space between you and your competitors. So they do not blur.

”It is not a description of your product or service. It is not a product or corporate name. Brand is not a description of what you do or how well you do it.”

What is BRAND?

Might be easier to say what brand is not. It is not a description of your product or service. It is not a product or corporate name. Brand is not a description of what you do or how well you do it.

However, BRAND is a reflection of your customer and prospect.

Let me give you an example by way of a consumer brand.(Download a PDF on Rebranding here)

Consider Jif peanut butter

First, Jif is peanut butter. It is sold in four styles. Creamy, Crunchy, extra Crunchy and reduced sugar.Jif as an example of B2B rebranding

The brand name is Jif. But P&G understands what a brand IS. They know that when consumers shop for like-products they measure a few values. One is price. As a result, Jif must be priced within the price elasticity of the category.

So Jiff can’t sell for twice as much as a competitor’s brand. It is in the range that the category considers FAIR.

Jif won’t claim that its peanut butter is more easily spread. Or, how it compliments jelly. These are TABLE STAKES in the category. You can’t be a peanut butter and not have those attributes.

Procter and Gamble quickly figured it out. Taste was important but the most important reason Moms bought Jif was found in the brand promise. Jif promised choosy mothers choose Jif.

The ah-ha moment for Jif

When the brand first launched, Jif primarily claimed that it “tastes more like fresh peanuts.”

If you’re old enough to remember the advertising, Jif used a demo to drive home this difference.

Using special effects, whole peanuts were on the bread and, when a knife passed over them, they changed to peanut butter. They ended the spot with the words “that’s why choosey mothers choose Jif.”

 

P&G knows how to sell

B2B Rebranding and Jif Peanut ButterProcter and Gamble quickly figured it out. Taste was important but the most important reason Moms bought Jif was found in the brand promise.

Jif promised choosy mothers choose Jif.

Everything else they said was used to support that claim. Choosy mothers choose Jif because—

Freshest taste, better taste, more like fresh peanuts and so on.

The brand was and is— Choosy Mothers.

“Business-to-Business brands always think of themselves in concrete terms. They see what they sell as tangible. And they regard rebranding as silly and frivolous.” 

A real brand sells an IDEA not a product

B2B rebranding and P&G

The BIG idea was that being a choosy mother was MORE important than any other attribute. Shoppers sought out the brand. And they paid more for it. All to reinforce the feeling that they were better moms.

It allowed Jif to sell at the highest price in the category. It was more important than any other claim Jif could make to build preference.

And it was about the MOTHER. Not the PRODUCT.

B2B rebranding contains many of the same branding rules

B2B rebrandingBusiness-to-Business brands always think of themselves in concrete terms. They see what they sell as tangible. And they regard rebranding as silly and frivolous.

B2B rebranding takes a back seat to R&D, pricing wars and lists of product benefits. (Read about transitioning from sales to marketing driven strategies here.)

So the business-to-business question is this. Is your product the best in the category? Does it have clear advantages over competitive like-products?

If in fact these were the main creators of choice then the market leader would ALWAYS have the most effective product.

If price was all that mattered then the cheapest product would ALWAYS be the category leader.

“Our market research uncovers their most important motivations and influencers. And it might surprise you to know that strongest motivator in B2B rebranding is always an emotional IDEA.” 

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