26 Oct Episode 5: Does Branding have a place in B2B eCommerce?
In this episode, Justin King walks through the importance of branding in B2B eCommerce. Marketing studies have found that when customers first picture a product they need, they then picture where to purchase it. By leveraging branding, manufacturers and distributors can help shape the picture in customers’ heads. Marketing tools like search engine optimization, digital advertising, and social media can help connect your products with your business.
- Branding is critical for manufacturers and distributors
- Brand awareness is when a customer thinks of a problem they’re trying to solve or a product that they need, and they think of your company or product
- People can’t always picture the right product; you need to help them find it and then purchase it from you
- It only takes 2-3 times of someone purchasing a product from you to change the association in their head
Branding is a core part of building your company’s customer base. It ensures that customers picture your product in their heads when they need something. Remarketing is an incredibly important part of this, slowly replacing the picture in a potential customer’s head with images of your products. B2C uses branding tools to drive customer awareness and engagement. Distributors can use these same tactics and learnings to connect solving work problems with your business.
Hey, this is Justin King, and today we’re going to talk about something just a little different. We’re going to talk about why branding is important inside of any distributor or manufacturer. Hope you enjoy it.
So, I want to take a little break from our normal scheduled programming of eCommerce and talk about something a little different. I want to talk about branding and why branding is very important inside of distributors and manufacturers. So, let me start here.
When you think of a light bulb, what do you think of? When I think of a light bulb, the first thing I think of is a traditional light bulb. The traditional light bulb that I grew up with, right? When my kids think of a light bulb, they think of the new light bulbs, the new fluorescent light bulbs or LED light bulbs.
When we think of a product, when we think of a light bulb, the first thing we do is kind of picture it in our head. What that product is.
The second thing we do, is we typically think about where we purchase it.
So, when I think of the word light bulb, I first think of the traditional light bulb, then I think about Lowe’s. Lowe’s is where I always get my light bulbs, doesn’t matter what lights bulb it is, I just go to Lowe’s to get my light bulbs. I can even picture where that light bulb is on the shelf, which row it’s in, which shelf it’s on, way before I get into the store. So when we think of a product, we first think of the product in our head and we think of where to buy it.
Do that exercise with yourself in your head. Let’s think about other products: Electronics, books, monitors, TVs, office supplies. When I think of paper and office supplies, I immediately think of Staples. When I think of the pens that I use in my job – I’m kind of a pen geek, I love a really really good pen, I love a really good notebook – the first thing I think of is either Michael’s or Staples, one of the two. I picture a product in my head, then I think of where to buy it. I actually know where my notebook is in Michael’s and where my pens are in Staples. Actually, that’s why it frustrates me so much when I go into Staples and they’re not in the same place.
We do this same exercise whether we’re buying stuff for our house or we’re buying stuff in our work. When we think of a product, we think in our head, “What does that product look like?” And, we think of where we buy it. That is why branding is so important. Did you know that you can actually shift and change that picture in someone’s head? That picture [is] of what the product is as well as the picture of where they buy that product.
When we talk about branding, when we talk about brand awareness, this is typically top-of-the-funnel stuff, right? The reason we do branding is so when they think of something, when they think of a problem they’re trying to solve or a product that they need, they think of that product that we have [and] they picture where they can buy it from us.
Now, there are a lot of situations where someone can’t picture the right product. In that case, the user or customer will typically go to Google and search and try to find out what that product looks like. That’s why search engine optimization – that’s why Google – is important to any manufacturer or distributor.
You might have a contract with that customer. You might even have a contract with that customer to sell that product to them, [but] they don’t know you carry it. They don’t remember you carry it. You might have even told them last week you carry that product, they just don’t remember this week. That customer goes to Google and searches in the way that they want to search, and they find that product on your detail page, with a good image, description, and attributes. They now have a picture in their head.
Now, your job is to simplify the transaction so they purchase it from you. They can purchase it online, they can come into one of your branches, but they picture where they buy it. It only takes two or three times for someone to buy a product from you to change that image in their head of, “here’s the product, and I bought it from them. Here’s the product, I can picture it on the screen on your website.” That’s why we do branding. That’s why we do Google. That’s why we do paper click ads. That’s why we do re-marketing.
Re-marketing is when a customer comes to your website [and] looks at products on your website. A logged-in customer or a not-logged-in customer. And then they go to another website. They go to Facebook, and they’re checking out pictures of their kids, right? Looking at friends’ posts, and then all of a sudden they see an ad with your product, the same product they were looking at on your website inside of Facebook. Are they gonna buy right then? Maybe, maybe not, [it] doesn’t matter. What you’re doing is you’re changing the picture in their head. It’s your product, it’s your images, that’s why I love the idea of creating your own images on your own website.
Even if you just take an iPhone and take a picture with your top 100, 500, 1000 products. Take your own images so when they picture that product, they think [of] your images. And they remember buying it from you, they picture buying it from you off your shelves or off your website.
Re-marketing also plays another [part] not just on Facebook, but it can be re-marketed across lots of different websites. You’ve seen this yourself. When you go check out someone’s website, or you go to your e-mail, or you go to another website, and they show you a banner image of the product you just checked out. Again, that’s not just so that you’ll purchase right away, it’s so the brand image shifts in your head. It doesn’t matter if you’re a distributor or manufacturer, sophisticated or unsophisticated. Branding is a core part of building your own digital properties.