CEOs generally steer clear of making marketing decisions, deferring to the marketing department. Yet during the rise of the cyber age, one Silicon Valley CEO considered himself an adjunct member of the marketing team. Intriguingly, his company dealt not in computer chips but in staffing services — which, he quipped, made it “the lowest tech company in Silicon Valley.” He employed a hands-on approach to branding, and was involved in each new marketing campaign.
Today the company he stewarded, Adecco, is the global leader in providing human resource solutions. Coincidence?
This chief executive was unusual in his hands-on approach to branding, yet all businesses would do well to take a leaf from his book: B2B branding needs to start at the top. Why?
- Individual efforts dilute the brand. If left to their own devices, local managers will do the best they can, resulting in a random collection of logos, taglines, and packaging, which may be far less effective than what a professional team can create.
- Cohesive brand awareness can build market share. A consistent look and message can enhance client loyalty, buttressing your business against competitors.
This is where Reverse Focus shines as your B2B ally: by taking the guesswork out of what you need to know to build a successful reverse mortgage business. Our turnkey system of tools, training and technology, including an effective marketing package, puts you a quantum leap ahead in the industry.
What are the qualities of a successful branding effort?
- Business owner as storyteller. A reverse mortgage specialist who acts as cheerleader for the brand and delights in sharing the company’s history is a strategic role model for building brand awareness. Even if you’re a company of one, sharing the reverse mortgage back-story is enrolling for prospects; everybody loves a good story — especially when it can benefit them!
- Onepointedness. As in meditation, focusing on a single brand identity strengthens your company’s market presence more than haphazard marketing efforts.
- Measurability. A successful branding campaign will return more satisfying numbers to the financial team.
- Virtual consistency. In the cyber age, it’s imperative that your online presence (website, LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, email blasts, etc.) imparts the same logo, look and tone to convey a unified message to all audiences.
But suppose you decide to target a niche market such as the LGBT community (which has even created LGBT-centric retiree cohousing). Does B2B branding work when individual clients aren’t the ones buying the product? With bells on. Consider these examples:
- Dupont. People don’t buy a “Dupont”; instead, the company’s sub-brands are part of the American lexicon and lifestyle. Anyone who’s ever bought a shirt, bathing suit or cycling gear made with nylon or Lycra, for example, is responding to Dupont’s branding efforts. And the name synonymous with worry-free carpet? Stainmaster. They’re all Dupont brands.
- Intel. Nobody walks into a computer store and says, “I want to buy an Intel chip,” yet the company’s branding success has led to its inclusion in every PC on the market, with the Intel name advertised as the de rigueur component. If you’ve ever bought a Gore-Tex jacket or Teflon frying pan, you’ve similarly succumbed to Intel’s branding savvy.
- Accenture, which is a portmanteau of “accent on the future,” is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company that doesn’t sell direct to the consumer. But inviting key customers, employees, prospects and shareholders to events featuring a prominent sports icon certainly boosted brand awareness among the thousands of people working for the enterprises to which Accenture consults.
Bottom line: B2B branding is an ideal way to make a name for your reverse mortgage business, regardless of whether your prospect is a solo senior or an entire niche market.