It’s the perception which people buy into

Brand marketing is important even in technical business to business sectors. You’ll be more than aware of this if you’ve ever frustratingly lost a sale to a better-known company, despite believing you were offering better price-performance. The problem with branding is that it needs to have a purpose. Just doing it to make people more aware of the brand’s existence is not enough.

Think back to the scenario of losing the sale to the bigger company. Did the customer opt for the better-known name solely because it was a better-known name? They did not. They opted for it because the name was associated with something. That something might just have been ‘being a big company’, but it could also have been the company’s association with quality, longevity, having a large user base or simply not letting its customers down. Some people in marketing laugh at businesses that persevere with slogans like ‘building widgets since 1867’. That message can imply a lot of good things though.

The association of a brand with a particular attribute might not be a deserved one. But it can tip the balance anyway.

So when you look at branding, which can be driven home in everything from websites to magazine coverage, from trade shows to logo design, think about what message you want to associate that branding with. It’s the perception that people buy into.