Who better to learn from than those who came before us?
Here at Haley Aerospace, we know we’re experts at B2B branding and marketing, but we also recognize that we weren’t the first to do it.
Hundreds and hundreds of other marketers came before us, and thousands more will come after us. While each one offers something a little bit different, they all have their own unique set of skills, knowledge and experience we can learn from – things we can take, pivot from and use in our own daily work to improve our branding efforts and those of our clients.
That’s what today’s post is all about – learning from those experts who came before us, and discovering new insights that can take our branding efforts further and improve our results in the long term.
Do you want to learn from B2B branding’s best, brightest and most experienced? Here are 7 mantras and quotes from downright experts. Start using them in your own branding efforts today (we know we certainly will!):
- “It’s fascinating how the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing are the same today as they were 50 years ago. It’s still about relationships although today we have new tools and techniques at our disposal.” This David Meerman Scott quote is just a friendly reminder that despite all the technological changes our society has experienced, B2B branding is still, at its heart, the same as it was many years ago. We still need to put relationships first and remember that while our clients may represent big businesses, they’re still just people. They want a connection to the products they buy and the brands they buy from.
- “88% of executive buyers want a conversation, not a presentation.” This is in the same vein as Scott’s quote, but it really drives home the point well: Just because a buyer is a C-level exec or purchasing on a large scale for a massive corporation doesn’t mean they want to be sold to like a business. They want to be talked to like a human being, with their questions answered and their concerns addressed. They want to know the person they’re buying from cares about their needs and wants.
- “Will B2B buyers find your company if they put your industry’s frequent search queries into a search engine? Your website only works when it is seen by potential prospects and leads. Most people find websites by using search engines.” Said by Thomas Schmitz, this quote reminds us of the hugely important role that SEO plays in the B2B world. Too many B2B brands get swept up in the world of trade shows, convention and cold-calling, and they forget that much of today’s lead generation happens solely online. If SEO isn’t a part of your branding efforts, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
- “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” A quote from none other than Bill Gates, this one is crucial for B2B companies, who often try to hide away even the slightest negative comment or feedback from their customers. While bad feedback is never fun to take, it’s actually the best way to learn and improve our brands. It gives us insight into what we could do better, and in a highly transparent online world, it also gives us the chance to be more authentic, winning customer trust and respect at the same time.
- “Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C sales side and whether or not your product is a cheap impulse buy or a multimillion-dollar long-term sales cycle, your business is now – without a doubt – a media company as well.” With this quote, Mitch Joel reminds us of the massive role media plays in the branding world nowadays. No matter what type of company you consider yourself (aviation, aerospace, defense, etc.), your organization also needs to be a “media” company. It needs to use the web, social media, content and the digital landscape to connect with buyers, and it needs to do so better than the competition if it wants to survive.
- “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It can be hard to grasp, but even though we create our branding personas, we don’t have full control over them. In the end, our true brand is how we’re perceived – what the end buyer thinks of us and tells their friends about us. For this reason, it’s important we don’t just focus on the nitty-gritty of branding – the colors, logos, etc. – but also the way our branding makes people feel … the experience it delivers. That’s what will last in buyers’ minds.
- “Marketing is what you do. Branding is what you are.” I often see branding and marketing mixed up, when the two really couldn’t be more different. While marketing is certainly important, helping you draw in more customers and sales, the real success of your company lies in your branding. That’s who you are to your customers – how you make them feel and what you stand for. In the long term, that’s what will keep you alive.
These are just a few of my favorite B2B branding mantras. Have more to add to the list? Let me know. Want to discuss improving your company’s branding? Contact Haley Aerospace today.