In The World Of B2B, Brand Like A B2Cer

Published: August 23, 2022

It seems like a contradiction to tell a room full of B2B marketers to think like a B2C marketer, but FullSurge’s Mitch Duckler had the intel to back up his claims. Duckler dedicated his closing keynote at the B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange to explain the direct correlation between brand differentiation and key business metrics.1516276832013

Duckler’s presentation, “Brand-Building For Success In The World Of B2B,” highlighted the need for companies to realize that there are human beings behind the organization they are in business with. Businesses aren’t buying products or services — people are. Shifting from a B2B mindset to B2C may seem difficult, but it is possible.

According to Duckler, the brand marketing maturity curve is made up of these four clusters:

  • Nascent (27%): Brand positioning is not clearly defined;
  • Emerging (37%): Brand is executing inconsistently across customer touchpoints;
  • Differentiating (26%): Brand is differentiated, impact is quantified; and
  • Amplifying (10%): Brand story is amplified internally and externally.

He continued that marketers are too focused on best practices, clicks, followers, comments, posts and shares that they forget to build up their brand. If a marketer can successfully answer these four questions, then they are in a good branding position:

Get the latest B2B Marketing News & Trends delivered directly to your inbox!
  • What? Figure out what value your company adds / what the benefits are;
  • How? Define how you provide that benefit;
  • Why? Ask yourself why your company does what it does; and
  • Who? Find out who your target audience is / brand persona.

Establishing the what, how, why and who can make or break a brand. Duckler used the analogy of different airlines to prove his point about the importance of differentiation.

“I would argue that the most important thing that any airline does is they get you from point A to point B safely,” stated Duckler. “When was the last time you bought one airline over another based on their safety record? It’s kind of expected, right? So you’re not choosing one over the other because of safety… there’s something else? It’s the how. I think we’d all agree that Emirates and Singapore Air are very different experiences from Frontier and Spirit. That’s where they differentiate, and if you can’t differentiate between the two, you consider your why. Why is your purpose, your reason and your belief.”

If a marketer wants to succeed in differentiating itself from its competitors, then it must bring its brand to life in a relevant and compelling manner. Duckler shared that brand personality must shine through and focusing on the five I-Factors of storytelling — intriguing, informative, inspiring, intimate and inclusive — can help companies stand out.

“I want to leave you with these three key points about brand as it relates to B2B marketing: Differentiate your brand, tell me a story, become a social butterfly,” Duckler concluded. “Again, not anything that revolutionary here, but for some reason, it is something that I believe a lot of B2B marketers are struggling with, but if you do that right, you can become one of the top B2B brands in the world.”

Posted in: Blog

B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Campaign Optimization Series
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Strategy & Planning Series