How do you adapt your brand for a post-covid marketplace?

Over the past two years, many B2B companies had to make strategic changes in order to adapt to fast-changing market needs. Consequently, many now find that their business offerings are out of alignment with their brand identity and messaging.

What’s changed?

Increased buyer inertia, extended buyer journeys, and rising expectations on value are all the result of the high levels of caution shown by buyers throughout the pandemic.

This has given many businesses cause to adapt their sales approaches and reorganize their teams with “people who are more strategic and insight-led – rather than those that rely on charm and a company credit card” (Source: HBR).

Companies have also expanded their offerings to include new “consultative knowledge and resources designed to help customers succeed during the pandemic.” (Source: Edelman). 

Increased investment  

The impact of the pandemic on the marketplace meant that product-led companies were catapulted to the forefront of investments: “PE dealmaking in B2B products actually rose 20% in 2020” (Source: Insight2Profit

There has also been increased product investment internally, with organizations recognising the opportunity to evolve or pivot their existing product capabilities in response to accelerated market changes.

All of which has resulted in a wave of newly-empowered companies ready to disrupt markets with high growth KPIs, while established brands have to find effective ways to navigate this aggressively competitive new landscape. 

Digital dominance

Adapting to life and work in a socially-distanced world meant that everything from discovery, sales, and onboarding through to customer service had to move online. 

With 70-80% of B2B decision-makers saying they now prefer remote interaction or digital self service, it looks as though the majority of these actions will be staying online for the foreseeable (Source: McKinsey)

B2B leaders that commit to digitizing their go-to-market models will therefore see a greater return in terms of customers and retention than their slower-moving competitors.

Marketing’s moment

With the rapid escalation of digital dependency alongside increased market and buyer uncertainty, customer experiences have become a top priority for decision-makers.

This is why marketing has been “elevated within the C-suite as a driver of digital transformation, a key leader of the customer journey and the voice of the consumer”, according to (Source: HBR

Expectations are certainly higher. But, as Harvard Business Review observes, this is marketing’s “opportunity to seize an ongoing central role in that dialogue, thereby driving the organization’s broader growth and innovation agenda.”

Bridge the disconnect  

All of these changes build towards experience-driven, customer-centric, consultative, best in class solutions. Which is great, but only if your audience hears about it.  

B2B buyers search anonymously online for up to 6 months whilst they’re making up their minds (Source: Vital Stats 3 ). This is why it’s vital that your refreshed, post-covid positioning needs to be expressed clearly across all of your digital touchpoints. Otherwise, you risk letting prospects think you haven’t kept up with their changing needs. 

To strength test your brand and find out if there’s a disconnect between your current offering and current identity, ask yourself these three questions:

1. What do we offer?

What is your core product or solution and what is the specific problem it solves? Who is it for and how do they feel about it? 

2. What do we say?

How do you talk about your product and business across all of your customer touchpoints? How do you describe the problem your product solves? 

3. What do they see?

How are you perceived in the marketplace? What do the latest analyst reports and customer reviews say about you and your offer? 

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(Photo by Ryan Wallace via Unsplash)

If your answers to these questions are not broadly the same answer, it’s time for a brand reboot. And not only do you now have the first inputs to your brief, but you also know an award-winning B2B marketing agency that would love to hear from you.

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(Photo by Ryan Wallace via Unsplash)