• Elaine Keep

5-minute strategies for b2b marketing - brand building

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

We cover the strategies for b2b marketing that turn your prospects frown, upside down. This episode covers - brand building.

B2B Brand, Branding or Brand identity? The idea of brand vs branding can be interesting in itself, as the words are used interchangeably but there's a difference.

Marty Neumeier in the book 'The Brand Gap' defines it in this way.

"A brand is a gut feeling about someone's view on a product, service or company. It's an emotion, a feeling."
"A brand is not what you say it is - a brand is what the customer says it is."

You can't tell people what the brand is - they will make their own judgement.

Although we can't tell them what to think, we can influence them with branding, creating positive interactions. Branding shows our uniqueness when they begin to compare your brand with others - and this becomes your brand identity.

In B2C, a lot of time and money is spent on brand building, but in B2B, this can be left in favour of more short term 'buy now' tactical messages that aim to bring in short term opportunities.

Quick Quiz: What % of b2b should be tactical?

In B2C, around 60% of a communications budget is devoted to brand and 40% tactical.

As a clue, In B2B this should be more weighted to tactical - but what % do you think works?

___% brand-building marketing

____% tactical marketing

The answer?

The answer is B2B brands should look at 46% brand activity and 54% tactical. That's not much different to b2c. Yet so many brands run on closer to 80% tactical, 20% brand building.*

Too often B2B brands are tight on the old purse strings- but there needs to be a balance between long-term brand building and short-term sales activation (any activity that aims to get an immediate response: your offers, claims, incentives.). While hot prospects may convert, for the uninitiated, this is likely to leave them cold. 80% off something I've never heard of is still 20% of my money being spent on something I haven't heard of.

How to create brand-building content in B2B marketing

Positioning with emotions isn't as hard as it sounds.

  • We know your boss is on your back about sales. Here's how we can help.

  • It's tough at the top. But know what's tougher? DOING IT ALONE.


  • You've spent too long in business to still be doing excel reports on a Sunday night.

  • Sometimes - you just need the safe choice.

  • We know the challenges of entrepreneurship.

  • if you like to do the right thing - you're our kind of person.

Brand building for B2B - an example

VWCW decided to reposition themselves from a manufacturer of vans to a service partner.

Their positioning included a smart advert showing them acting as a partner to SME businesses. You can watch it here.

"We understand that your fleet is the lifeblood of your business. That’s why our network of dedicated van centres nationwide are committed to being a business partner you can rely on. #WorkingWithYou

  • Brand awareness increased by 30% and service perceptions improved, leading to the highest UK sales and market share in the company’s 60-year history.

  • Econometrics shows that the new campaign was three times as efficient as previous advertising, with a financial payback of 11:1

  • VWCW has become No. 1 for brand attractiveness, and most considered van in the category

  • Volkswagen has moved from 4th to 2nd in the Commercial Vehicles category

*(This isn't just made up by us - it's according to a study from Les Binet from Adam & Eve DDB who has devoted his career to measuring and improving the effectiveness of advertising and President's Medal winner of the IPA Effectiveness Awards. In short, we believe him.)

Adjust your b2b strategy so it includes more brand building activity.

Let us create your strategy to turn your b2b marketing into something that caters for long term, and short term.

You know it makes sense.

About us

Your Marketing Managed bridges the gap between using a marketing freelancer specialising in one niche, and a marketing agency with expensive rates that might not execute on every idea.

It's a unique hybrid freelance/agency model - specifically for b2b - but that's a mouthful - so the name Your Marketing Managed fits the bill nicely.

Created from the concept of offering marketing agency services without London marketing agency prices, Your Marketing Managed offer b2b marketing strategy, which includes website copywriting services, blogging services, content copywriting, b2b email marketing and general 'b2b marketing / freelance marketing tasks in everything from traditional, digital and events.

You get the perks of the rates similar to a freelancer with the multiple skills and strengths associated with a marketing agency.

We charge on a project basis or a day rate, with lightweight contracts to suit both parties.

Your Marketing Managed was founded in 2017 and is run by Elaine Keep, a previous head of marketing for PLC and SME businesses in the areas of eCommerce, software and SaaS. Elaine is also the editor at the Incentive Marketing Association and Incentive&Motivation and a member of Wiin (Women In Incentives Network.

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