Tips for B2B Startups: A Process to Develop Your B2B Brand and Messaging Strategy
Are you a business-to-business (B2B) company that needs to create or revamp your brand and messaging strategy?
I specialize in helping B2B startups and small companies do this, and one of the most difficult things to explain is the process. I recently wrote a blog post called 4 Easy Tips to Develop Effective Messaging to give folks a starting point for what to think about and consider, but that’s just philosophy. When the rubber meets the road there’s more to it.
If you decide to hire a consultant or facilitator to help you shape your brand and messaging strategy, you need to prepare.
- You and your team will need to participate in the process…a lot. There’s much to think about and decide. Be prepared for the time commitment.
- Trust whoever’s helping you. People who are good at figuring out a brand story and message probably use a tried-and-true process that works. Also, it is likely to be completely unfamiliar territory, particularly if you are a B2B company. Be prepared to listen, participate and be open-minded.
- Follow the process and try not to jump too far ahead. Much of what you’ll be asked to do won’t make sense or you will not appreciate because you can’t yet see where it’s leading. Be prepared to trust and follow (while also leading).
- Discovery – Collect insights, intelligence and data about your business goals, target audience, value proposition, the industry and competitive landscape, etc.
- Synthesization/analysis – Hone in on your brand story and biggest opportunities to connect with audiences.
- Framework/starting point – Create a framework that serves as a launching pad for discussion and decisions.
- Brand strategy – Decide how your brand will be perceived in the marketplace; what you stand for; your values; your differentiation; your look
- Messaging strategy/approach – Decide how you will position and talk about your value proposition
- Messaging toolkit – Decide key messages and angles that everyone in the company will use to guide their communications (whether written or spoken).
The process to develop a compelling brand and messaging strategy can seem daunting to those new to strategic marketing principles, but it’s worth the investment and will result in a tight, compelling framework that gets everyone on your team in sync and gets you results.
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