What Does Your Brand Say About You?
One of the most common questions I used to ask during customer interviews is, “Does Brand X have premium value?” Of course, the typical response was, “What do you mean by that?”
For B2C clients, it was whether the brand attracted higher income customers, had repeat customers, and had a strong reputation for quality. When I think of premium-value brands I think of Apple, Mercedes-Benz, American Express, etc.
In the B2B world, what does that translate to? Every company wants a strong reputation for quality or having a class-leading product. But what exactly qualifies as a premium value brand in the B2B world? Here are some of my thoughts.
5 Must-Have Qualities of Premium B2B Brands
- Excellent Customer Service: In most of the customer/prospect interviews I’ve had in the B2B space, customer service is something that always comes up. This is not limited to the sales relationship, but also the technical support they receive.
- A Product that Doesn’t Compete on Price: In the technology world, companies often struggle to ensure their product doesn’t get commoditized. The best products compete on functionality, value add, etc.
- The Ability to Attract Significant Buzz: Awareness is key to any startup getting off the ground. Part of it is building a cutting-edge product, but even the best products languish if no one knows they exist. Even though the B2B buyer may not be the direct consumer of your product, he or she still has a stake in it succeeding.
- A Focus on Building Relationships: One of the biggest concerns I hear on customer/prospect calls is, “What do we do if this company goes under or if we are forced to make a change due to poor service?” When I ask buyers to elaborate they typically clarify that they are looking for a partnership with their provider, not just a transactional relationship.
- A Dedicated Point Person to Contact: This is a corollary to customer service. I put this separately because the point of contact your customers have with your firm is one of the most crucial components to becoming a trusted partner. That point of contact needs to serve as an adviser and proactively suggest solutions that can help your customers with their business.