July 26, 2022

Thoughtful Execution: Bring Your B2B Brand Strategy to Life

by Renegade01

[Welcome to part 3 of a 4-part blog series on CATS, an acronym for the four qualities behind brilliant B2B brands. The cool CATS of marketing are: Courageous, Artful, Thoughtful (this blog’s focus!), and Scientific.]

A successful brand strategy is a powerful asset—one that can help you grow revenue and gain market share. But a brand strategy is only as good as your ability to execute it. You need to turn those words into action via Thoughtful Execution, which encompasses 3 steps: Engage Employees First, Cultivate Customer Champions, and Sell Through Service.

1. Engage Employees First

Engaging employees is the first step in bringing your brand strategy to life. If you’re asking your team members to embrace a new voice and tone, it’s important that they believe in it as much as you do.

Employees need to be involved in the process from beginning to end. If you want employees to feel like they’re valued participants in this process, make sure they have a chance to give feedback earlier than a month from when the new brand is set to launch. 

In an interview to be released in August 2022, CMO Narine Galstian discussed the importance of employee involvement in SADA’s rebranding process. She stressed that employees “are on the front line, they are your advocates. So if they’re not bought into it, the outside world isn’t going to be bought into it.” As a result of their employee engagement efforts, SADA had the support from every level to make their rebrand a success. And they built a ton of excitement pre-launch, too! 

Here are a few different ways you can engage your employees: 

  • Capture employee attitudes about the brand in an employee survey 
  • Develop a training program that reinforces your new brand promise 
  • Create an awards program to celebrate employees that live the brand’s purpose
  • Start an employee book club with a new book at the beginning of each month
  • Establish a professional development program between the execs and entry-level employees 

2. Cultivate Customer Champions

Customer champions are essential. They serve as the best advocates for your brand, providing invaluable insights on what works and what doesn’t. They also provide evidence of your brand’s ability to follow through on its promise, which entices new customers. Most prospects don’t want to be the beta tester for your product or service, they want to work with a brand that has proven itself time and time again to its customers, and to hear about it from the customers’ mouths themselves.  

Customer champions are the customers that will continue to buy your service, tune in to your development, evangelize your brand, and much more. Cultivating customer champions is essential to B2B brand strategy development. There are countless ways to cultivate customer champions, but the approach should align with your brand. Here are some ways to do just that:

  • Start a customer advisory board 
  • Build a customer community (and hire a community manager!)
  • Create a customer awards program (or a podcast) to secure case histories
  • Host a customer event 
  • Sit in on customer calls and talk to industry analysts 

3. Sell Through Service

How can you make it easier for the right customer to buy your product/service? Give it away. While it sounds counterintuitive to a business to give your product or service away for free, it actually makes it that much easier for your prospect to choose you versus your competitors, which is especially important in the B2B world where buying committees are large and the cycles long.

In an interview about Growth Marketing, CMO Gary Sevounts of Socure shared that their “proof of concept” model has played an integral role in the company’s 500% YoY growth.

Here’s a quote from Gary: “When we have a prospect that is well qualified, we want to work with them. We want to equip them with very specific, clear numbers so that they themselves can see what they will be gaining in terms of growth, but they can also become internal champions within their companies. They can objectively present what these technologies can make in terms of difference.” 

Apart from POCs, here are some other ways to Sell Through Service:

  • Conduct a proprietary market research study 
  • Develop a free ROI calculator
  • Create a free trial program
  • Give away swag to share the brand with customers, employees, and prospects

Want more about Thoughtful Execution? Check out our very own Drew Neisser’s book, Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands on Amazon for more clarity and cited examples of CATS.