Three Considerations for Building Brand Consistency in B2B
If you thought coatings and membranes were boring, think again. The German chemicals manufacturer, Dörken, recently relaunched its website, and it is an object lesson in B2B branding.
On the home page, visitors aren’t greeted by the stereotypical man in a lab coat (it’s always a man!) staring intently at a test tube. Instead, Dörken has chosen to startle and excite us with an imposing D (for Dörken) that’s filled with changing images of the pigments and membranes it manufactures.
Up close, the chemistry is beautiful. And so is the site. Their slogan - Discover Expertise - emphasizes one of the company’s core strengths. The design is bold, simple and effective. Nothing on the homepage detracts from the brand message.
B2B brands typically aim to communicate three key elements to their customers. Trust, expertise, and reputation. Dörken evokes these with its slogan, imagery, and the confidence of its design. They succeed because they’ve remembered a vital marketing lesson: when it comes to branding, absolutely everything must be tailored to your message.
No matter how great the initial design, logo or imagery on your site, if you fail to control, reinforce and express your brand consistently across all channels, you’re not doing it right. This is why content management is such an important consideration when you’re developing your brand.
On its own, well-written content will never be enough. It also has to be distributed efficiently. After all, if no one is seeing it, it doesn’t matter how well it reads.
One technical aspect of distribution that is often overlooked is “headless” architecture. Headless architecture enables development teams to make changes to the presentational layer of a website without having to alter the back end. It also empowers marketers to create content that can be broadcast to multiple sites and across different digital devices.
Modern DXPs that utilize headless architecture make it easier and faster to introduce new content or launch marketing campaigns. At the same time, they also ensure that content is brand-consistent, wherever it is published.
While your brand should be stable and consistent, rather than agile, that’s not necessarily true for content. Content agility allows you to react quickly to the market and position yourself as a trend-setting leader in your sector. A DXP not only makes life easier for your site editors and marketers but also creates opportunities to strengthen your brand.
One manufacturer that leverages the power and flexibility of its DXP to amplify its brand is Essilor, the world’s largest manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. Essilor wanted to use its digital transformation to communicate its branding and health message more clearly to the millions of people who wear its products.
The company’s relaunched European sites kill two birds with one stone: it informs the visitor of the most beneficial lens type for them and includes a handy, up-to-date locator for the nearest optician stocking that lens. This is a win for the end-customer, who can now make a more informed choice. But it’s also a win for the opticians who, thanks to the new Essilor site, are attracting more customers.
Jeff Bezos summed it up succinctly when he said, “your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.” By this, he meant that your brand is not what you say it is, but how customers experience it. Consequently, you need to think about what your customers expect to experience when buying from you and how you can deliver that.
The main challenge for B2B sites is that there is not just one customer experience. Instead, there are many. Whether it’s partners, suppliers or distributors, various stakeholders intersect with the buying process at different stages of the customer journey.
As a B2B business, you need to ensure brand consistency across all channels and devices, as well as for all the various stakeholders. You also need to make your brand relevant to each of these stakeholders. That’s where segmentation and personalization come in. They enable you to optimize the customer experience by delivering relevant content and product recommendations to your target users in real-time.
A great example of this is DELABIE, the French manufacturer of taps and sanitaryware. Using Ibexa DXP, DELABIE can deliver relevant content to discrete groups of B2B buyers. One such group consists of the architects and design agencies that recommend DELABIE as part of their own projects.
These architects and designers can easily find and collate 3D files, personalized catalogs, technical specifications, and DELABIE installation instructions and effortlessly integrate them into their own project dossiers. This makes life considerably simpler for DELABIE’s partners. By backing its high-quality products with an outstanding customer experience, DELABIE elevates the perception of its brand.
The adhesives manufacturer Dymax is another example. Despite being a world leader in its sector, the company website’s dated design and convoluted search function blurred the contours of its brand. Ibexa DXP ingested the vast Dymax catalog (replacing its PIM) and made searching for product and product versions much more intuitive. At the same time, it also personalizes search results to match the regulatory environment of each of its markets.
Moving on from content management and customer experience, the natural next step is the ability to process online transactions. In today’s digital world, buyers demand a seamless shopping experience. That includes everything from selecting a product or service and configuring it to eventually buying it. The easier you make it for customers, the more satisfied and loyal they’ll be.
The B2B landscape differs from B2C, as B2B products and pricing are typically much more complex. If you plan on embracing digital commerce, having a DXP with commerce capabilities is of enormous value. Especially when it comes to retailing complicated products. The key advantage of a consolidated technology platform is that it integrates seamlessly with your business systems. It’s far trickier to build frictionless customer experiences when you’re running a separate Digital Commerce solution alongside your DXP.
Complex B2B product catalogs are also an important factor when creating memorable customer experiences. When customers view products, a fantastic (or terrible) online experience will have a big impact on how they perceive your brand. To this end, it pays to ask the following questions:
● Can your DXP integrate with your other systems such as ERP, PIM or CRM?
● Can you price differently per region, per audience or dynamically?
● Can you configure prices and quotes?
● Can you manage multiple inventories, multiple suppliers, and multiple warehouse and supply chains?
● Can you combine professional services with products?
Ideally, you want a DXP that ticks all of these boxes. It will help you successfully transform your traditional sales processes with frictionless digital commerce. And your customers will take note and stick with your brand.
Your brand is much more than the product or service you sell. Remember, the hard work of building your brand begins well before a customer chooses a product and continues long after the sale is finalized.
The growing number of B2C and social media marketplaces means businesses now struggle to distinguish themselves on price alone. Instead, the focus has switched to standing out by guaranteeing excellent customer experiences.
For B2B buyers, the distinction between customer experience and price is blurred. This is because the trickier the buying process, the longer it will take. And time is money. In B2C, researching that new set of headphones or that garden trampoline is part of the fun, but B2B buyers don’t look at it this way. They need to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The right DXP is a problem solver. It’s also ready for anything because every business is different. Bringing together all the features you need to express and enhance your brand, Ibexa DXP helps you spread your message, ensure brand consistency and deliver world-class customer experiences.
Considerations for Creating Rich Customer Experiences
If you are struggling with your B2B digital transformation efforts, why not reach out to us to discuss your project. Feel free to download and read Ibexa's eBook on Digital Experience Platforms and the four considerations for creating exceptional customer experiences.