Does your company have
a personal brand?
We’re so focused on creating our own personal brands–our street
cred so to speak–that sometimes we forget that a business, especially if it
sells to other businesses, needs a personal brand.
Personal branding is all about self-promotion and building
your reputation. It’s the difference between being a nobody vs. being a
somebody that appeals to your target audience. One is a blur; the other stands out. The same concept
applies to a business-to-business company.
Think about it this way. You don’t wake up in the morning
and say, I need to get the latest process
software for my company, like you might say I want an iPad. A B2B
product/service doesn’t have the instant gratification of many consumer
products. You buy it because you need
it, not because you want it. For that
reason, before you make a B2B purchase, you want to know about the person you’re buying from. Fact sheets, white papers, case studies, ebooks can all influence your decision to buy and distinguish one company from another.
All of which leads to the importance of a Business Personal
Brand for a B2B company–the triggers that will encourage you to buy from one
company over another.
To help our clients define their Business Personal Brand, we
typically begin with a messaging workshop, a two- to three-hour session to help
them better position themselves and spell out what’s special about what they’re
doing and why anyone should care. In the workshop, we focus on 4 questions,
what we call the 4Ws.
Who are you? What can you talk about that your prospects want to hear? Who do you want to reach? What makes you special?
Answering those questions helps tease out what makes the
client different and how it adds value. You need to do it, however, in a way that makes someone
want to sit up and pay attention. It’s the difference between saying, “I make
widgets to saying “I make widgets that make our customers lives safer.” One is
factual; the other adds value.
Once you define your key messages in a messaging workshop-type
exercise, you need to insure that all your marketing collateral speaks to these
messages so you’re amplifying your voice. There’s nothing worse than having one
part of your company emphasize certain features and benefits and another part
have a totally different message. All you end up doing is confusing the
Once your marketing materials are in place, you’re ready to
get the word out. Today that means becoming in a sense a publisher. We’re talking
white papers, ebooks, case studies, and any and all content that makes what you
do and your industry more accessible to your audience. One can cross-promote
the other and together establish a crescendo of influence.
Do all of this and I guarantee you will have a company personal brand that people care about. What are you doing to provide a business personal brand?
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Wendy Marx, B2B PR and Marketing Specialist, Marx Communications
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