That’s where it gets confusing. Yet it’s a relatively common situation, especially in B-to-B, where strong industrial companies see opportunities to develop new product lines to satisfy unmet needs outside of their normal area of expertise.
Let’s say you spot a great opportunity to sell a new filter technology to distillers, for example, but your corporate brand is known more for specialty ingredients. You usually don’t have the budget to build a new brand from the ground up. So what do you do? There are two broad approaches you should consider.
At the opposite extreme, if you decide your corporate brand really isn’t much help in pulling your product through, then you’re going to have to rely on the intrinsic benefits of the product itself. This is where you have the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Roll the dice and try a different approach to your marketing. Create a campaign that breaks all the rules for your category. Take a chance with some bold creative. This way you can turn the apparent disadvantage of a weak brand identity into a positive: since most large corporate B-to-B brands tend to be conservative, now you have an opportunity to try riskier ideas that the big brand police would hesitate to endorse.
Large corporate brands can be both a blessing and a curse. They’re great for giving you instant credibility with an audience. But they can also hinder you from taking a bold, strategic move that might seem out of character with the brand’s established identity. It’s your job as a marketer to weigh the pros and the cons and make the call that’s best for reaching your marketing objectives.