INSIGHTS

Fresh thinking on B2B brand positioning and marketing strategy.

OneSpan: Using B2B Brand Architecture to Signal a New Path

When a company makes a major strategic pivot, such as M&A or entering a different category, leadership often ponders a new name, design language, and messaging. These are all important considerations, but too often one of the most crucial underlying aspects of a customer’s experience is overlooked—the company’s brand architecture…

Branding Blogs You Should be Following

You can’t accuse B2B marketers of not practicing what they preach. For every content marketing recommendation that makes it into a client presentation, there’s an agency or independent consultant or news outlet with a blog to push. These sites can be invaluable resources for information and inspiration, but too frequently their content is…

The Top 6 Things on B2B CMOs’ Minds This Year

Learning from one another’s experiences can really help B2B CMOs to flourish. This is what motivated us to create Huddle, an annual, invitation-only community of B2B marketing leaders that addresses their most pressing issues while empowering them with stories of peer success. The event is moderated by DeSantis Breindel and headlined by an…

Brand Naming: An Art and a Science

“What’s in a name?” It’s not just William Shakespeare who wants to know. Companies have been pondering this question for years, trying to crack the code for the perfect name to gain recognition — and help their products sell. That’s because a name carries real weight. Brand naming has the power to reinvigorate…

Technology Brand Colors: Red, Bright, and Blue

As strategists and designers, we are always curious about the use of color in culture and business. Recently, we took a look at brand colors in the top 100 technology firms. While the range of colors and combinations is varied, we noted a few intriguing themes.
For tech company colors, blue is always true
Not…

The Best Ways to Build Brand Affinity

From the movies we watch to the friendships we develop, loyalty is a quality that plays out in culture, life, and, of course, business. In a crowded marketplace, brand loyalty is something that many companies strive to cultivate among their customers. But what if these organizations could take the concept of brand loyalty even further…

The Language of CSR: What Your Words Say About Your Company

The playwright Tom Stoppard once said, “Words are sacred… if you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little…” We took a look the annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports of several top B2B companies in an effort to observe trends and common practices, and we couldn’t…

Conducting a Visual Brand Audit

A comprehensive brand audit — an analysis of the current state of a brand and its position in the marketplace — is the foundation of any new brand or rebranding initiative. By determining the strengths and weaknesses of a brand in relation to its market and competitors, the audit helps navigate a clear path to a differentiated…

Aligning Brand and Culture: Where Should a Company Begin?

It’s the classic chicken or egg question — which element comes first when aligning brand and culture? Leadership teams often ask us this question during transformation initiatives. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are three critical questions that any leadership team must answer to understand how to begin optimizing the relationship…

EXL: A Case Study for B2B Challenger Brands

In some market segments, competition is so fierce, and offerings so similar, that creating a new brand isn’t enough to stand out. If your field is crowded with me-too competitors, and particularly if those competitors are larger than you and have bigger marketing budgets, you don’t win by playing their game. You…

Boost Team Agility. Maximize Marketing Impact.

Today, brands need to respond to market dynamics swiftly. And though they rarely have the luxury of lengthy planning and strategy phases, most marketing teams still aren’t built for speed — in decision-making or execution. So, how can teams infuse more agility into the marketing process?
1. Start streamlining at the C-suite level…

The Bottom-line Benefits of Branding

In today’s data-driven world, marketers are increasingly focused on measuring the impact of their efforts. The rise of marketing technology, or “martech,” has further enabled this emphasis on metrics — with the industry spending roughly $100 billion in 2018, according to the marketing intelligence firm WARC. From Hootsuite to Hubspot, Mailchimp to Moz, the…

GDPR: Compliance Challenge Or Marketing Opportunity?

There has been much hand-wringing among marketers over the European Union’s recently implemented data privacy rules. Yes, they have important implications for marketers doing business in Europe. And it’s true that failure to comply can result in significant penalties.

But seen in the right perspective, the European Union’s General Data Protection…

B2B Taglines: The Hardest Working Words in Branding

A thoughtfully developed tagline can be a concise expression of a brand, an effective way to quickly communicate its unique value proposition. Too often, though, B2B taglines are formulaic and predictable.

Case in point: Shopify created an online tool called the “Free Slogan Maker.” It asks you to “simply enter a term that describes your…

Building a Better B2B Brand Voice

In the past, B2B and B2C marketing existed on opposite ends of a spectrum. Where B2C communications were casual and colloquial, B2B materials were formal and professional. Where B2C ads built a friendly rapport with their customers, B2B campaigns often adopted a more serious tone.

But today a shift is underway. More frequently, B2B brands…

Startup Branding: Critically Important. Often Overlooked.

A few years ago, the CEO of a Europe-based technology startup came to us with a dilemma. His company had a great, first-of-its-kind product – an interactive presentation system that combined dazzling graphics, great flexibility and centralized control. But after some initial success among global pharmaceutical companies, the company hit a wall…

The Power of Visuals in Branding

Humans have always responded viscerally to visual communication, from the earliest cave paintings to Instagram. But there’s evidence that visual learning is actually more effective than written language, especially in how it’s retained.

Recent research at MIT has revealed a much greater ability for visual recall than previously thought. Which isn’t surprising…

Breaking Through with Brand Purpose

Mission, vision, values: if you’re of a certain age, when you hear these terms you might feel transported back to the 80s or 90s, to the height of the “planning school” and corporate jargon. In 1984, one influential business writer proclaimed, “everyone agrees they are necessary” — and the stats back this up. In 1991…