The B2B Brand Differentiator
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The term brand book often brings people out in a hot sweat. The thought of having to compile a ‘bible’ of assets for your B2B tech company to use can often feel like a daunting task.
Now this article isn’t to convince you that you need this to enhance your brand strength, oh no, we’ll leave that to Patrick Mork (former CMO at Google Play) with this insightful blog post here.
What this article will do, however, is help your tech company build a world-beating brand book. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of everything you should include in it..
Now, you might find you have quite a few of these lying about gathering dust in various folders. So, it helps to first gather what you’ve got, put it all in one place (we use Dropbox) and then work out what needs updating, what needs axing and what is good to go.
1) Your WHY
This is your companies’ reason for existence. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why did your first employee join you? It’s the big, scary question, the one that gives CEOs the world over goosebumps.
After all, how do you quantify and explain this succinctly?
This question is pretty important (which is why we’ve put it first) and will feed into every other aspect of your business; from creating your marketing strategy, to how you hire new employees.
2) Your mission
Your mission is your two to three-year plan detailing how you’re going to move your business forward.
The tech industry waits for no-one. So, you need to constantly be looking to the future to stay competitive. That’s why your mission statement should be a constantly evolving document that you communicate in an effective and timely manner.
Need some inspiration? Check this out.
3) Your strategy
This is the ‘nuts and bolts’ document that tells everyone in your organisation what the next 12-18 months will entail for your B2B tech company.
But, why is a strategy so important?
Well, simply put, it provides focus. It enables you stay on track if too many ideas, plans and cooks threaten to derail your progress!
A persona (if you don’t know) is the detailed breakdown of your perfect fit customer. Your B2B tech marketing team uses them to target the people most likely to convert to paying customers.
If you don’t have any personas yet then you need to read this.
You can have as many personas as you feel you need for your brand. But you need to make sure that you are targeting the relevant persona for a specific audience. Don’t make it too broad, we write a lot of ‘head of IT’, ‘B2B tech marketing manager’, ‘business owner’ personas - because they’re the specific roles we want to target in an organisation.
5) Tone of voice (TOV)
Your TOV helps all members of staff to understand your style of communication. So have a think, as a B2B tech company do prefer a relaxed style, or something more formal?
Documenting this and ensuring every single employee understands it will ensure brand consistency in everything you do.
6) Brand assets
How many times have you been asked for a copy of your logo? Or bombarded with questions like, ‘which font do we use?’ It can be infuriating!
That’s why listing your brand assets in an easy to find place will save so much time and hassle. If you know where everything is, you won’t use the wrong logo, image or colour and have to do the work again.
Brand assets to pull together include:
- Your logo (in as many file formats as possible)
- Your approved colours (with hex codes)
- Your fonts
- Any imagery/illustrations you’ve had designed
Brand strength for your tech company
There are common misconceptions in B2B tech that branding is for big companies, and that it’s expensive and not worthwhile if you’re not big enough. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your brand book lays the foundation for your brand, values, culture and the big ‘why?’ which should inspire employees, partners and clients.
It’s the foundation of your brand strength. Keep in mind that products change, people change, markets change but great brands and the stories they inspire are constant.
Good companies build products. Great companies build brands.