Maybe it's time to look at those who've lived -- and learned to thrive -- in such dire circumstances. B-to-C, meet B-to-B.
The price-based sale has always haunted the B-to-B world. It's accepted wisdom that specs drive needs and costs decide contracts. "Branding" has amounted to the premiums salespeople buy with liquor at tradeshows, generally speaking. Reality has always mattered more than image.
|Jonathan Salem Baskin is the author of 'Branding Only Works on Cattle' and blogs about marketing at |
Suddenly, that binge at Hooters doesn't cut it as branding anymore.
B-to-B marketers are instead building smart, complex brand models that are based on the very business behaviors that are changing their companies. Lacking the language (and expensive gurus to properly brand the branding), these companies are:
What's most notable is that they never lose sight of reality, whether of price or functional specs. It's the nature of their businesses, ultimately, and it requires that they find ways to add tangible value in both how they do things and what they say about it.
So before you embark on your next B-to-C experiment that requires a de facto suspension of disbelief regarding any efficacy in working toward a tangible business goal, maybe you should take a look at how the B-to-B folks are quietly reinventing the very concept of what constitutes a brand -- and making money with it.
Questions to ask about: B-to-B marketingCREATIVE: How do they stay focused on customer needs, not simply aspirations?
EXECUTION: Do the distinctions we make between channels matter to users?
ADAPTABILITY: Can brands stay relevant without changing somewhat -- or perhaps a lot?
METRICS: What's so bad about measuring branding in terms of sales and profits?