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Stand for something and stand out

How can you make your B2B brand stand out?

It’s a question every marketer is asking themselves, but there are a few quite straightforward methods to stand out amongst your competitors.

The secret ingredient to these methods?

Fostering trust.

Trust is a form of currency in today’s market. For customers to trust you enough to align themselves with your brand, you must first demonstrate your commitment to positively changing the world.

When it comes to branding, standing out is crucial, but what does it mean? It’s not just about a unique product or service, it’s about having a set of values that differentiate you from others in your industry.

Over 70% of customers prefer businesses that show their values, social and political beliefs, and not solely the product or service they can provide [1].

Standing for something and being transparent opens people up to understanding your brand and trusting its’ intentions, but we will get more into that later in the blog.

4 Tips to make your B2B brand stand out:

1. Distinct set of values

Brand values are what your business believes in. If someone were to read them, they would know what guides your decisions, marketing efforts and engagement strategies. It should be a unique identifier so that customers can set you apart from other comparable brands.

Be sure that your main goal is about what your brand does for social or environmental change rather than for profit. 82% of people want brand values to align with their own and they’ll vote with their wallet if they don’t feel a match [2].

Idea: Create a brand manifesto that outlines your values and mission. Use it as a guiding force for your business decisions and marketing efforts.

2. Be authentic

We’re living in an age of authenticity. Over 90% of people said that authenticity is important when choosing which brands they’d like to support [3]. In today’s digital age, you have access to more information than ever before and this has made it much easier to sniff out if they’re living up to their promises and if their messaging aligns with their brand values.

For instance, Innocent Drinks were exposed for greenwashing in 2022 [4]. In an attempt to be perceived as a green brand that was genuinely invested in ‘fixing up the planet,’ by cleaning up rubbish, they failed to recognise that they themselves were massive polluters. In essence, their brand values didn’t line up with their messaging and that’s where their inauthenticity lay.

Idea: Share behind-the-scenes content that gives customers an inside look into your business and its operations. Who works there? What do you do?

3. Be sustainable

More businesses are using a sustainability-first approach due to customers wanting them to create more positive change. Even when it comes to creating your brand values, it’s important to base them around their longevity. Will you be giving your full attention to those social/environmental issues in a year? 5 years?

In simpler terms, if you are advocating for environmental change, then do it, and make your methods of combating those issues sustainable too.

Idea: Take a sustainability-first approach to your brand values and actions and focus on long-term solutions.

4. Learn and grow

Since there is pressure for businesses to be more transparent, a critical ability to possess as a B2B marketer is to admit when something you are doing needs changing or adapting. Especially with social or environmental factors.

Taking ownership of any mistakes or changes that need to be made within your business is a crucial component for standing out as a brand as, more often than not, businesses would rather use double-speak to pass blame than use it as a valuable lesson to gain respect from their customers.

Idea: Implement a customer loyalty programme that hosts customer feedback sessions to gain valuable insights on how to improve your product/service. You can then share what you have learnt or how your business has grown from that feedback.

The bottom line is that in today’s B2B market, to stand out it requires more than just what product or service your business can offer. Align your brand with values, be authentic, be sustainable and most importantly, continue to learn, grow and adapt wherever you can to keep up.

You can also learn how your business can adapt in an ever-changing climate.

Top marketing trends for 2023:

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