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The New B2B Growth Playbook: Why Brand Matters and How to Measure Its Success

In our previous posts, we discussed the end of the traditional B2B playbook that relies heavily on lead capturing and MQLs. Today, we’re diving into the future of B2B go-to-market strategies, focusing on a data-driven approach better suited for the current environment. This series, starting with this post, aims to introduce a new demand generation playbook for B2B marketers. This series will guide you through the intricacies of building and measuring brand success.

Why Brands Should Focus on Building Their Brand

There has been a resurgence in the importance of brand building. Brands have realized that without a strong identity, they struggle to secure new and growing pipelines. But what exactly is a brand? Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Another definition views a brand as the sum of perceptions and ideas connected with a company. At its core, brand recognition is about being known and understood by your target audience.

In the noisy B2B landscape, establishing a recognizable brand is challenging but crucial. A strong brand can differentiate a company, create loyalty, and drive long-term success. By focusing on building a brand, companies can ensure they remain top-of-mind for their target audience, ultimately leading to increased trust and sales.

What is Brand and How to Measure Success in Building it?

Measuring brand success can be complex, but it’s essential to understand how well your brand is performing. We propose evaluating three key aspects:

  1. Brand Recognition: Is your brand known among your target audience? Historically, companies used brand surveys to uncover awareness levels. However, in the B2B context, this approach must account for the noise and complexity of the market. Trendemon leverages ABM data to understand if target accounts are engaging with your site or content, indicating brand awareness.
  2. Brand Association: What is your brand known for? It’s not enough for your brand to be recognized; your audience must also understand what you do. Analyzing the content your target audience engages with can provide insights into whether they grasp your offerings. For instance, if a popular blog post doesn’t relate to your core business, it might indicate awareness without understanding.
  3. Brand Sentiment: How do people feel about your brand? This psychological aspect is harder to measure externally. Direct feedback from prospects can provide anecdotal evidence of brand sentiment. While this may not be entirely data-driven, it offers valuable insights into your brand’s emotional impact.

There are additional aspects to brand such as:

  1. Brand Differentiation: This is how your brand stands out from competitors. It’s about the unique value proposition and the distinct features that make your brand preferable. Effective differentiation can attract clients looking for specific solutions that your brand uniquely provides.
  2. Brand Consistency: Maintaining a consistent message, look, and feel across all touchpoints and communications is crucial. Consistency reinforces recognition and trust, ensuring that every interaction with your brand reflects the same values and promises.
  3. Brand Promise: This is the commitment or guarantee that your brand makes to its customers. It’s about what your customers can expect from your products or services. A clear and compelling brand promise can drive loyalty and repeat business.
  4. Brand Experience: This encompasses every interaction a customer has with your brand, from the initial contact through the sales process and beyond. A positive brand experience can lead to customer satisfaction and advocacy.

The sum of these aspects is your Brand Equity: This is the overall value of your brand as perceived by your customers and the market. It includes the tangible and intangible assets linked to your brand, such as reputation, customer loyalty, and perceived quality.

How to Connect Brand Investments to Outcomes and ROI

To effectively connect brand investments to outcomes and ROI, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Your Target Audience: Clearly define your target audience based on factors like geography, demographics, technographics, revenue, and employee count. This helps in evaluating brand awareness within this group.
  2. Measure Engagement: Assess the engagement of inbound accounts (both anonymous and known) with your site. Consistent engagement indicates brand awareness. Typically, three to five touchpoints are needed to state that a company is aware of your brand.
  3. Evaluate Content Understanding: Ensure the content engaged with provides a clear understanding of your offerings. This might require direct interaction with prospects to gauge if your messaging is effectively communicating what your company does.
  4. Transition from Brand to Intent: This step, which will be the focus of our next post, involves connecting awareness to intent. Determine if companies aware of your brand are also interested in or considering your solution.

By focusing on these aspects, B2B marketers can build a robust brand that drives engagement, understanding, and ultimately, conversions. Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll delve deeper into connecting brand awareness with intent, completing our new B2B demand generation playbook.