Master Monday #5

Here at KTP, education is valued. So on Mondays, in order to inspire and motivate my fellow business gals (or guys!) the day is devoted to curating articles that I believe will help propel you to your best productivity! Long live Mondays!!! Huzzah!

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20160620193223-articles-startup-01.png5 Common Branding Mistakes That Could Cost You B2B Sales (And What To Do About Them) by AJ Agrawal – Curated From: The Huffington Post

 

Branding is what speaks to your target audience. It’s what defines your company in the eyes of everyone watching and helps you to grow your company quickly. This is where first impressions are key because 48% of consumers say the best time to get their loyalty is when they’re making their first purchase.

Branding mistakes can be catastrophic. To become a master of B2B sales you must avoid these common branding mistakes.

You Don’t Know Your Target Market
Startups are all about experimentation. But there’s such a thing as experimenting too much. You don’t want to cycle through lots of different target markets or you could find yourself completely missing your target audience. Aim to hit your target audience from the very beginning. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone. Trying to do this will weaken your overall brand.

Without knowing your target market you’ll find it extremely difficult to brand yourself effectively. Find your target market immediately and stick to it. This should happen before you start selling.

You Underestimate the Role of Your Employees
Big corporations will develop branding in the boardroom. Many entrepreneurs will attempt to do the same thing. This cuts out most of the crucial members of your team. Your employees have a lot to offer in branding meetings. And most companies want to deal with employees who’re being genuine and authentic, so if the brand was crafted without their input they’re only playing a part.

Allow your employees to have a say in your branding. Let them operate freely on social media. It’s just like allowing your company to build up lots of personal brands under the overall corporate umbrella.

You are Trying to Stick with the Crowd
Brands, by their very nature, are designed to make you stand out. One of the main tenets of branding is to think about a unique selling point. B2B buyers are unlikely to choose you unless you offer something that they can’t find anywhere else. Originality is a trait every startup should have.

When you start your business you lack a reputation and you lack a solid base of customers. All you have is your unique selling point. Don’t trade your main trait by trying to brand yourself in the same way as everyone else.

That doesn’t mean you have to be different for the sake of being different either. The smallest changes can make the biggest differences.

You Don’t Stick with the Brand
Even startups should have a solid set of branding guidelines. These will help you to stick to the company’s values. They will also be more specific about the colors, slogans, and shapes you decide to use. Consistency across a brand is absolutely essential because without it you’re confusing your followers.

One of the stupidest mistakes businesses make when branding is they have campaigns that are all over the place. Of course, you can deviate from your brand sometimes, but you shouldn’t go too far. There’s a fine line you have to tread.

Remember that a lot of your leads will come across your ads multiple times before they decide to buy. They need to see your name multiple times first. Make it easy for them by sticking to your branding guidelines.

You Fall into the Traps of Social Media
So far we’ve talked about the psychology of color and keeping it the same when branding, but none of that matters if you destroy your social media reputation. Social media is a great brand building tool, but it can also ruin your brand in a matter of seconds.

Startups might welcome the visibility of social media, but it can work against you. The main mistakes you need to avoid are departing from your brand, as previously mentioned, and coming into conflict with users.

Haters are a regular part of social media and there’s no getting away from that. Even if you’re right about a matter, arguing with a hater will only lead to you coming off worse. It might be hard, but the best option is to ignore them.

Last Word – Building a Brand Requires Time and Effort
You’ll find that building up your brand as a B2B company will take a lot of time and effort. It’s not a process you can rush because branding is all about substance. Most great companies don’t have a fantastic brand because of their advertising campaigns. They have fantastic brands because they were able to give their target market exactly what they wanted on a consistent basis.

Work on finding out what your main audience wants and cater to that. Over time you’ll cultivate a brand that brings in leads on name value alone.

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