Business strategy creates an offering. Brand strategy creates customers for that offering. Marketing strategy creates demand for that offering. The youngest of companies often move from business strategy directly to marketing strategy—from building the offering to entering that offering into the marketplace—only to find the customer is missing. The customer is everything.
There are three key critical success factors for a B2B brand:
- Simplifying purchasing decisions: Product offerings proliferate and disruptive technologies persistently enter the marketplace. Customers gravitate towards simplicity.
- Organizing markets for customers: B2B buyers don’t have the financial resources or the technical knowledge to systemize the numerous markets from which they purchase products and services.
- Establishing Leadership: There can be only one leader in each market. Leadership is a primary source of sustainable competitive advantage. B2B customers associate leadership with best-in-class. And leaders command a price-premium.