What Industrial Business Can Learn From the Most Beloved Brands

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 by Kerry O'Malley

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According to Accenture Interactive, the most beloved brands in the United States for this year were Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Samsung, and Sony. They were ranked by a combination of how fun, relevant, engaging, and social they were, among other criteria. But if you are an industrial business, what can you learn from them or even emulate as part of YOUR marketing? Read on and we will give you some ideas.

Tell a story

We’ve previously discussed how to create B2B content that tells a story and noticed that many of these leading brands do the same. IBM is a consistently leading top B2B brand because they provide excellent services and are not shy about it. A little while ago, they purchased over 60 ad spaces during a professional golf tournament. One of the most compelling was a story of how the company helped Memorial Sloan Kettering process data in order to choose the best cancer treatments for their patients.

Keep it simple

You may know your products inside and out, along with their benefits. But selling a spec sheet on your product won’t necessarily get the job done. Think about the leading brands we mentioned, and even your own favorites. When thinking about an ad or campaign they conducted, how complex were they? I’m betting they were not only simple, but also focused on one sole trait or aspect of the product or service that was highlighted in a memorable way. So if you have a product that breaks a rule, offers improved lifesycle, etc., there is nothing wrong with focusing on just that one aspect. The rest of the product’s benefits can be communicated in subsequent campaigns.

Know your customer isn’t just one person

 Well known brands usually do a good job of speaking to all segments of their target audience in their marketing communications. For instance, Apple doesn’t just market to the young, tech savvy iPhone or iPad user. The B2B industrial buying journey is usually more complex than a B2C purchase; but industrial marketers can also speak directly to the needs of individual buyers. In a large, industrial purchasing process, one person may be assigned to do research and present the results, but more often than not a group will make the ultimate decision to purchase. That group may include a purchasing agent, an engineer, a plant manager, a CFO, and others. A B2B researcher at Millward Brown Corporate reported that most B2B products, especially those with a hefty price tag, are “bought by committee.” Keep this in mind when crafting your marketing messages because targeting one person may not be enough.

Understand your customers’ pain

Understanding what keeps your customers up at night allows you play into it. New Relic is a software analytics company that was recently ranked as a leading brand among B2Bs. They are upfront when telling clients “we understand the stories your data is trying to tell you.” The company then promises to sell them services accordingly. New Relic struck on the concept when they realized how many of their clients fear they will not be able to understand all the data they are paying for. New Relic puts their fears at ease by promising to understand FOR them and interpret the most important data.

Be passionate about what you do

The top five beloved brands follow this rule; but a new contender who recently entered the arena is also nailing it. That company is one that isn’t as well know: Fitbit. For the record, Fitbit makes a range of activity monitors mostly worn on the wrist to track how active you are during the day. Users get progress reports, tips and tricks, and even an online community of like-minded people. But what sets Fitbit apart from regular pedometers? All one has to do is visit their site to see how passionate they are about their products.  All of their marketing messages are meant to get their customer as excited about their products as they are. Could you do the same for say, wastewater pumps or check valves? Of course you can. There is no way to falsify a passion for your own product, even if it is industrial, B2B.

Every industrial company is different, even if you compare yours to one that sells the same products. Each one has been in business for a different amount of time, has a different focus, different leadership, and most importantly, different value in the eyes of their customers. An essential key is learning what makes your brand stand-out, be it breadth of offerings, technical leadership, exceptional customer service, longstanding reputation, or even a willingness to do anything to overcome competition.

If you are an industrial company and would like to know more on how to turn your company into a beloved brand, contact us to see how we can help.

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Author: Kerry O'Malley

omalley@marketectsinc.com

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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