January 4, 2023

From the Ground Up: The Basic Guide to Building a Strong B2B Brand

by Melissa Caffrey

As a brand strategy consulting firm, Renegade has spent considerable time mapping out brand building for various companies. At it’s core, brand strategy is about helping businesses develop a clear and compelling brand that resonates with their target audience. By taking a calculated approach to branding, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition and create a lasting impression on customers. 

Naturally, this looks different for each brand in question; ignoring the unique characteristics of each company and target would be irresponsible. However, in the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at the basic guidelines behind how brand strategy consultants typically build a brand from the ground up.

Let’s imagine you’ve got an idea to start with. Whether it’s a company that makes hats for pet birds or one that optimizes data aggregation at B2B software companies, these steps will help it become a lean, mean, lead-generating machine. 

Conduct B2B Market Research

The first thing to do is conduct market research. There are consultants and agencies that specialize in this, or for a more DIY approach, there are plenty of startup services that offer tools to handle the research. 

Taking a closer look at the market you intend to serve helps businesses gain a deep understanding of their target audience and the competitive landscape; that’s why brand strategy agencies often like to start here. Through market research, businesses can identify key opportunities and challenges for their brand, and use this information to inform their branding decisions. 

Research usually starts with objectives, and a great question to ask first is: What do you want to learn about your target audience? From there, determine the key metrics you want to look at and, thus, the additional questions you’ll want to ask. Once that’s been done, you can collect and analyze your data to help reveal how the brand should present itself.

Develop A Brand Statement

Once market research has been completed, the next step is to develop a brand positioning statement. This statement should clearly define the unique value proposition of the brand, and outline the target audience that the brand is intended for.

At Renegade, we recommend the following exercise: try to create purpose-driven statement that is 6 words or less. This will help you focus on what is truly in the DNA of the brand. This statement should be used as a guiding principle for all branding decisions, and should be regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. Think of it as a North Star you can turn to whenever faced with a tricky decision.

Build a Distinct Brand Identity

The next step in the brand strategy process is to create the brand identity. This should include a visual logo and style guide, as well as a tone of voice and messaging framework. These elements should be consistently applied across all of the brand’s marketing materials, in order to create a cohesive and recognizable brand image. 

A few helpful tips: take a close look at every competitor’s brand and logo. Look at companies in similar fields, as well, even if they aren’t direct competitors. This will help you spot trends that you can then avoid in order to stand out. Ask yourself questions like: Is every other brand using a certain color palette? Do their names follow certain themes? Gauging what is standard will help you determine areas in which you can cut through with distinct branding.

Create a Brand Activation Plan

Once the brand identity has been developed, the next step is to create a brand activation plan. This plan should outline the specific initiatives that the business will use to bring its brand to life in the market. This could include product launches, events, or marketing campaigns. It should also include specific goals and metrics for measuring the success of these initiatives—is it leads generated? Event attendees? Sales made? Or, perhaps a hybrid metric is in order? 

Measure What Matters

Finally, the last step in effective brand strategy consulting is monitoring and measurement. This involves regularly tracking the success of the brand and its initiatives, and making adjustments as needed based on feedback and data. By continuously monitoring and measuring the success of the brand, businesses can ensure that their branding remains relevant and effective in the market.

Here is a basic outline of the previous steps toward building a distinct brand that will resonate with audiences, and capture the spirit of the company:

  1. Conduct market research to understand your target audience and the competitive landscape. This will help you identify opportunities and challenges for your brand.
  2. Develop a brand positioning statement that defines your brand’s unique value proposition and target audience. This statement should be used to guide all of your branding decisions.
  3. Create a brand identity that includes a visual logo and style guide, as well as a tone of voice and messaging framework. This identity should be consistently applied across all of your marketing materials.
  4. Develop a brand activation plan that outlines how you will bring your brand to life in the market. This could include initiatives such as product launches, events, or marketing campaigns.
  5. Monitor and measure the success of your brand strategy, and make adjustments as needed based on feedback and data. This will help ensure that your brand remains relevant and effective in the market.

Overall, effective brand strategy is a critical component of building a successful business. Brand strategy consultants, while recognizing the subtleties of each brand, know that there are good general guidelines to follow. By taking a strategic approach to branding, like agencies and consultants often do, businesses can create a compelling and differentiated brand that resonates with their target audience and drives business growth.

For more on this, check out our B2B Brand Strategy Report.