B2B Brand Differentiation

Innovation: Show Don’t Tell

Innovation. It’s been a recurring theme in almost every one of our conversations with B2B companies looking to refresh their brands. From the CMO to the CEO, B2B executives have been laser-focused on building brands that convey innovation.

When did this word become so ingrained in our lexicon? According to Google Ngram, the…

Seven Principles for M&A Branding Success

From a business perspective, few things are as critical to get right as a major merger or acquisition — and few things are as challenging. On the long list of considerations during M&A activity, merger branding is one of the most crucial. Not getting brand right is a key reason that, according to the…

The Great Divide: Brand Architecture vs. Information Architecture

In today’s digitally-driven B2B marketing environment — one which offers buyers easy access to access to an array of information and a plethora of opinions — companies no longer control exactly where or when customers or prospects encounter their brand. And with 68 percent of B2B buyers preferring to conduct independent research online, it’s…

Cutting Through the Sea of Sameness: Creating a Stand-Out Law Firm Brand

For decades, law firms went to market with stale messages that did little to create compelling impressions in the minds of their audiences, let alone lasting ones. To a large extent, they got away with it — relying on the strength of their bench, their personal relationships, and the knowledge that big companies had big budgets…

A B2B Engagement Strategy Designed to Differentiate

For a business to be successful, it’s no longer enough to just have the best offering or most talented employees. These have become table stakes thanks to players like Amazon and Airbnb that have reinvented what it means to be customer-centric. Now, customers can order almost anything with the click of a button…

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…

Archetype Series #3: The Ruler, the Caregiver and the Creator

In the second post of our archetype series, we looked at how a brand team can successfully identify which archetype their brand is and why. Once they’ve aligned around the role the brand plays in its customers’ lives, that information will serve as a guide as they develop brand strategy and express it through…

Great Expectations: Why Customer Experience Should be Brand-Driven, Not Technology-Driven

It’s a topic on the mind of every B2B marketer these days: customer experience, that elusive moving target. Specifically, how to meet customer expectations when, as a brand, you are competing against every (predominantly digital) interaction your customers have ever had.

For many B2B marketers, keeping up with customers, not competitors, has become their…

How Can a Corporate Brand Minimize ‘Key Man’ Risk?

Much has been written about ‘key man’ risk — the danger for corporations that rely on one or a few individuals — and its impact on business value. Fashion firms with a celebrity designer, for example, or asset management firms with a star investment manager, are particularly vulnerable. Yet, even large, global firms can be exposed.

In…

Beyond Math: Why the Lowest Common Denominator Applies to Advertising

The lowest common denominator (LCD) can be defined as “the broadest or most widely applicable requirement or circumstance.” It’s often difficult to acknowledge, but LCD can be a valuable tool for marketers when selecting what format their online advertisements should take. Larger ad sizes allow for more images and more text for the viewer…

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…

Archetype Series #2: The Sage, the Explorer and the Innocent

As we noted in the first post of this series, brands are similar to people — they’re driven by unique personalities that help create their identities. To help our clients tap into their own archetypes, we’ve developed an interactive exercise that guides them through an exploration of nine Jungian archetypes. We challenge workshop participants…

Brand Strategy: From Tangibles to Intangibles

A competitive review is an important part of any brand strategy initiative. It helps answer questions critical to a successful branding effort: How are competitors positioning themselves? What are the messages that consistently rise to the top? What is the white space that can be “owned” by a brand?

For dataxu, a client in the…

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…

Professional Services Branding Goes Beyond

In professional services, people are the brand. If consultants, accountants and attorneys don’t walk, talk and think their firm’s brand, the brand may never amount to more than a catchy tagline or an attractive logo. But professionals are a tough audience to convert to brand ambassadors. They work long hours, often billing for…

Archetype Series #1: Magicians, Heroes and Outlaws

A brand is much more than a logo or a tagline. It’s the cohesive combination of what the brand stands for, what it says and what it does. To truly come to life, a brand needs dimension beyond the 2D world of its verbal and visual identity; it needs to live in the everyday…