To B or not to B in B2B
It is far from unusual for companies in B2B markets to completely ignore the value that comes from understanding their position in their marketplace and investing in their brand.
Here, Peter Stimpson of brand specialists, Good Company + Co, looks at the decision by Techno Group to refresh its brand.
Techno Group began the journey to re-position its offering by creating a strong platform to set it apart from its competitors. Key to this strategy is adopting a more pro-active service.
Refresh your brand
More often than not, companies in B2B markets focus their marketing activities on individual products and pricing, while ignoring the opportunities offered by building and promoting a brand. At Good Company + Co, it is our experience that a company built around a strong brand will always out-perform a weak one by delivering better financial rewards, customer retention and employee engagement.
Techno Group operates in a B2B market, specialising in precision engineering and assembly. With CNC turning and milling machines and a dedicated quality team, the company delivers components of the highest possible standard. With customers in aerospace, defence, medical, motorsport, instrumentation and telecommunications, Techno Group enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence.
Hastings-based Dan Wahnon, Group Business Development Manager at Techno Group, explained to me the challenge faced by the company: “We operate in a very competitive, price-driven market where only the strongest survive. However, competing only on price is not a sustainable strategy and our management team recognised the need to differentiate ourselves”.
Developing a brand strategy involves creating a central, unifying idea around which all behaviour, actions and communications are aligned. Central to the brand strategy is the positioning. This is the glue with which companies build their brands, strategise their planning and extend their relationships with their customers, breaking through barriers of oversaturated markets to create new opportunities.
Techno Group began the journey to re-position its offering by creating a strong platform to set it apart from its competitors. Key to this strategy is adopting a more pro-active service. Dan told me: “By offering to work more closely with our customers and providing help and support on R&D projects, advice on how to develop products and transforming concept drawings into components and assemblies, we were seen to add enormous value to the service we were offering. This made price a much less important part of the equation”.
A strong offer needs to be instantly recognisable through a brand that conveys the qualities the Group wants to project. Despite the previous branding being a big part of the company’s identity and history, it was time to move forward. Techno Group’s new brand was developed around this new customer-focused positioning and reflects the group’s ‘personality’, encompassing its vision, values and culture, while also supporting the value of its products.
From a branding perspective, the ‘personality’ answers the question ‘what is it like to do business with these people?’ and gives you something that you, and only you, can own. When you operate in saturated ‘me too’ markets, this is what makes the difference. The challenge is to have one organising thought which supports the brand personality and gives you the confidence to express it consistently at all times.
Alongside the new brand, Techno Group redesigned and developed its website with the user in mind, with improved navigation and pages better connected than ever before.
A website says a lot about the way a business operates and what it prioritises, and this was a perfect opportunity to present the fact that we are a strong and reliable manufacturer providing complex, precision-based solutions, focused on the needs of our customers”.
The new brand for Techno Group has not only resonated well with existing and new customers but has also underlined the belief the Group’s employees have about the strategy and confidence in the continued opportunities for the company’s growth in the future.
Ten reasons to invest in a strong brand:
1. Makes it easy for the customer to buy – aspirational / must have;
2. Makes it easy for the sales force to sell – creates demand;
3. Makes it easy to build brand equity brand – recognition / loyalty;
4. A strong brand commands a premium – worth it;
5. Energises the business - employee engagement;
6. Creates new opportunities in saturated markets - dynamic;
7. Anticipates the future - takes you where you want to be;
8. Aligns brand to business strategy – consistent;
9. Business asset £££ – it has a value;
10. Get talked about! – has a voice in the market.
We have entered an era of mass individualism. We have too much information and not enough meaning. We are fed up with being talked at; we want conversations, particularly in a business context. Techno Group is a good example of how this can be achieved.
When all is said and done, your brand personality is what you will be remembered by. People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.
Peter Stimpson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
More about Techno Group can be found on the Techno Group website here.