February 10, 2022

Constructing a Courageous B2B Brand Strategy

by Melissa Caffrey

Courageous Strategy. It’s the first part of the CATS framework, an acronym describing the top 4 qualities of brilliant marketers who build brilliant B2B brands. Great B2B marketers have the courage to do something unique that can differentiate their brand in a big way and fuel next-level growth.

Below, find a list of 3 ways you can implement a courageous B2B brand strategy, with some examples drawn from recent episodes of the Renegade Marketers Unite podcast and our B2B Brand Strategy Report.

For a more in-depth look at how to build a remarkable B2B brand, check out Drew Neisser’s highly rated book, Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands on Amazon.

  1. Clear Away the Clutter

Great B2B branding starts and ends with simplicity. Simplicity, however, isn’t always so simple—especially given that the number of touchpoints in a buyer’s journey jumped from 17 to a whopping 27 in 2021. And don’t even get us started on the size of MarTech stacks these days!

It’s time to do less, better. To focus on not what you can do, but what you must do to make a difference. To make your to-do list shorter and more meaningful.

Take a page from David Koerner’s book over at 75F. As he explained in his interview on Renegade Marketers Unite, he follows a 2×2 framework: Measure impact against effort to determine which marketing initiatives to drop and where you can win in your space.

With this framework, 75F cut their blog, shut down all of their social pages, and let some agency partners go. This left a lot of room to do things that really moved the needle—more on that below.

  1. Dare to Be Distinct

Want to win in your space? Discover and do only what you can uniquely do, and do it in a way that people will remember. 75F did that by cutting what their competitors were doing at scale (blog, social, etc.) and by implementing strategy that rockets its impact up and to the right. How? By handing out living sapling trees instead of branded swag.

CMOs need the courage to fight for an overarching brand strategy that differentiates their company. They need the courage to recognize that being distinctive is more important than being better. It’s time to figure out how to stand out from the crowd. E-commerce entrepreneurs may use sitecore development resources to create a distinct feel and visual of your online presence and market your business.

Start with positioning. Take Wasabi, a cloud storage company with big competition. In an interview with Wasabi CMO Michael Welts and CEO David Friend, they were strongly aligned on the value of a marketing-led, brand-focused business strategy.

Check it out: Wasabi communicated its distinctive value proposition (6x faster, ⅕ the price of AWS) with clever branding language “hot cloud storage” and a branded promise of three “peas:” a guarantee of price, performance, and protection.

  1. Pounce on Your Purpose

How can CMOs identify what will move the needle and what can go? Start with why. At a recent CMO Huddles Super Huddle, Wasabi’s David Friend shared his perspective: “Think billboards: Focus in on that very short, succinct message about who you are, why you’re here, why you exist, and why somebody should care what you’re doing.”

Short and succinct by Renegade’s standards means 8 words or less. Establishing such a purpose-driven story statement is the ultimate way to differentiate your brand from the competition. No one can copy your “why” if it’s ingrained in every aspect of your organization.

Not only that, employees and customers will be more engaged, and prospects will notice. Your brand will have a north star to guide strategic decisions and pivots. Your organization will be aligned under one common cause and will be that much more effective. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.