Anyone who has visited Automechanika will know just what a competitive environment the Automotive B2B market actually is. Suppliers place a tremendous reliance on time and money investments within R&D to make their products smarter, faster, smaller, and more cost-effective and reliable, than their competition. This is an ongoing battle as the automotive marketplace is constantly changing, so companies have to adapt in order to stay ahead. One of the best ways to do this is with effective B2B branding.
The growth of the internet and everything digital has increased these challenges and resulted in a hyper-informed and commoditised B2B marketplace. Buyers are under pressure to make the right choices but are overwhelmed with myriad logical options, features, benefits, information, data and metrics – a sea of noise (and dullness!)
However the best performing Automotive companies often use a ‘secret weapon,’ which helps give them a distinct long term edge – their brand.
Here are WDA’s top 5 ways effective B2B branding drives business within the Automotive market:
1. AWARENESS – It Helps You Get Noticed
One of the key things that effective B2B branding delivers is that it helps you get noticed. This is an obvious – but critical – marketing must. Everything else counts for zero if you are not on your customer’s radar – and logged in their memory.
2. DIFFERENTIATION – Branding Differentiates your proposition and Simplifies the Buying Process for your Customer
Effective branding can provide that much-needed differentiation. A strategic tool that helps you cut through the noise of the market, get noticed, and connect with your customer on many levels and in ways that matter most. A strong brand becomes your customer’s compass for making good choices in a complex, risky, and confusing marketplace.
3. ENGAGEMENT – It Taps Into your Customer’s Emotions
B2B decisions are still ultimately made by human beings, and even when being guided by a number of necessary explicit and rational criteria, a powerful emotional impulse is always present to influence the purchase decision. Effective branding and positioning can really help you take advantage of this and tap directly into your buyer’s emotional needs.
4. LOYALTY – Successful Brands Benefit More From Repeat Business
B2B transactions often involve lots of money, complexity and people. Corporate teams sell to corporate teams. OEM engineer or professional services clients interact with an array of supplier professionals (sales to marketing to senior management to support). Customers who have a brand experience that is integrated, consistent and easy are more likely to become customers again. Loyalty drives brand economic value and will continue to do so for a long time. For example, Caterpillar has educated and trained over 10,000 employees through its “One Voice” programme on how to communicate and demonstrate CAT’s singular brand personality and values to the marketplace.
5. VALUE – Brands Produce Economic Value In The B2B Marketplace
Some of the most valuable brands in the world are largely B2B-focused. IBM, GE and Intel are a few prime examples. They are huge brands that have successfully targeted sophisticated enterprises and “technical buyers”. Their intangible asset of “goodwill” drives billions of dollars in value and market capitalisation. Their brands, not their products, are what differentiates them from similar companies and gives them that all-important competitive advantage.
Intel is currently making massive investments in Electric Vehicle technology, and is sure to be a major future player within the Automotive sector. However, before the 1990s, Intel was a faceless second-tier electronics manufacturer – lagging well behind Texas Instruments in microprocessor sales. In 1991 that all changed when they launched the famous “Intel Inside” brand campaign with PC-makers to differentiate computers built with its “ingredient” chip. At the time, Intel’s market capitalisation was $10.2 billion. By 1998, this had grown to $208.5 billion. It is estimated the brand alone contributes about $2 billion annually to Intel’s market value.