B2B Brand Strategy

A Blueprint with 13 Case Studies for Building, Maintaining, and Evolving a Strong Brand

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About This Report
This report breaks down the essentials of B2B branding and provides best practices and case studies for B2B companies of any size, young and old, across sectors.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Even as B2B marketers become more precise and targeted down the funnel, brand strategy will remain the starting point for a company’s overall go-to-market approach.

Why is branding important for B2Bs?

B2B companies that don’t take an active role in crafting their brand are leaving perception up to chance. Having a defined brand allows companies to guide their narrative and the public’s opinion. Branding also builds awareness and establishes credibility with prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

Who are the stakeholders in a B2B branding exercise?

Internal and external stakeholders should have a voice in crafting the brand. Internally, marketing leaders are the brand stewards who need to engage leaders across the organization and gauge general employee sentiment. Externally, customers, analysts, investors, and partners should be consulted when conceptualizing and testing.

What is brand differentiation?

A brand needs to attract attention. There are many ways to do this, but it should start with how the company’s product and service stand out in the market. From there, differentiation can take on many forms through unique brand voice, look and feel, position, purpose, or mission. Distinction from competitors is key.

What metrics should be used to assess brand health?

While companies have holistic attribution models, measuring brand health isn’t as precise or scientific. Still, there are ways to get quantitative and qualitative feedback and build metrics on brand awareness, relevance, and equity. This is typically done through a brand tracker, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and customer surveys.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report breaks down the essentials of B2B branding and provides best practices and case studies for B2B companies of any size, young and old, and across sectors.

KEY STAT: Roughly a third of US B2B marketing and sales professionals said they struggle to implement brand identity consistently because they cannot ensure standards, there are no uniform guidelines, and brand importance is undervalued, according to February 2021 data from market research firm Provoke Insights.

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28expert perspectives

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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. What’s in a Brand?
    3. Building a New Brand: 2 Case Studies
    4. Ensuring Brand Relevancy Over Time: 4 Case Studies
    1. The Branding Challenge for Acquisitions or Mergers: 3 Case Studies
    2. Maintaining and Evolving a Heritage Brand: 4 Case Studies
    3. Key Takeaways
    4. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    1. Read Next
    2. Sources
    3. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Daniel Avital
    Cheq
    Chief Strategy Officer
    Interviewed January 6, 2021
    Kipp Bodnar
    HubSpot
    CMO
    Interviewed January 6, 2021
    Linda Boff
    General Electric (GE)
    CMO
    Interviewed January 13, 2021
    Clive Downie
    Unity Technologies
    CMO
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Daniel K. Golden
    DeSantis Breindel
    Managing Director
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Bethany Hale
    Cedar
    Head of Marketing
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Dave Kasabian
    OneStream
    CMO
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Justin Keller
    Terminus
    Vice President, Marketing
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Jamie Kieffer
    Edelman
    Managing Director, Enterprise Branding
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Joseph Kingsbury
    Edelman
    US Managing Director, Business Marketing
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Udi Ledergor
    Gong
    CMO
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Jon Lombardo
    LinkedIn
    Global Lead, The B2B Institute
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Michael Mitchell
    Mailchimp
    Director, Global Brand and Content Marketing
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Milena Oliveira
    3M
    CMO and Vice President, Transportation and Electronics Business Group
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Jesse Purewal
    Qualtrics
    Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing
    Interviewed January 19, 2021
    Raja Rajamannar
    Mastercard
    CMO, Chief Communications Officer, and President, Healthcare Business
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Juliette Rizkallah
    SailPoint Technologies
    CMO
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Sara Spivey
    Braze
    CMO
    Interviewed January 13, 2021
    Derek Stewart
    Stein IAS
    Chief Strategy Officer
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Adryanna Sutherland
    gyro
    COO, US
    Interviewed January 8, 2021
    Alicia Tillman
    SAP
    Global CMO
    Interviewed January 11, 2021
    Susan Vobejda
    The Trade Desk
    CMO
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Leah Walters
    Monday.com
    Head of Communications
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Simon Ward
    Stein IAS
    Director, Brand Strategy
    Interviewed January 12, 2021
    Lauren Weinberg
    Square
    Global Head of Marketing and Communications
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Kirsten Allegri Williams
    Optimizely
    CMO
    Interviewed January 15, 2021
    Lewis Woodward
    JLL
    Global Head of Brand and Communications
    Interviewed January 13, 2021
    Jeffrey Bumbales
    Credibly
    Director, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships
    Interviewed January 13, 2021

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    authors

    Jillian Ryan

    Contributors

    Daniel Carnahan
    Jeremy Goldman
    Principal Analyst
    Nicole Perrin
    Principal Analyst
    Victoria Petrock
    Principal Analyst
    Melissa Rosenberg
    Senior Researcher
    Debra Aho Williamson
    Principal Analyst