Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A brand is a brand is a brand

I'm currently working on a brand strategy project for a global business-to-business conglomerate and in the process of researching other global b-to-b brands, I've discovered something.

They're all the same.

They're all producers of quality products.

They're all solutions providers.

They're all innovative.

They're all changing the way you think about [insert product category here].

They're all focused on sustainability.

They're all about ethics.

They're all promoting diversity.

They're all building a culture of collaboration and respect.

They're all providing opportunities for their employees.

They're all strengthening the communities they serve.

All these issues are relevant and important to their customers, regulators and channel partners. I get it. But by focusing only on what's relevant, they're missing the second part of creating a great brand: being different.

Yes, it's hard to be the first to step out of the pack, but there are great rewards for those that take the risk. Because, while rational thinking and functional benefits matter in business decisions, just because someone is sitting behind a desk doesn't mean he checks his emotion at the front door. You're still talking to people with hopes, fears, needs and desires.

Great consumer brands are built on emotions. There's no reason great b-to-b brands should be any different.


  1. You make an interesting and very valid point there, Harvey. Every industry is chock full of competitors, and while some people will choose to go to old reliable practices, customer curiosity can be fueled by being different. Retaining customers will ultimately be up to how well the brand delivers their goods or services to meet client satisfaction. - Vernia Soriano @ One Sixty Fourth

    1. Absolutely, Vernia. Differentiation gets you noticed, gets you talked about, and gets you remembered. Service and delivery keeps those people coming back for more. As I often say, there's no faster way to kill a bad service than with great marketing.