Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

B2B website — Do you need to show the product? Or the plant?

In most cases, no. No way.

When you’re marketing your products online or in print, is it important to include a glamor shot of the product? How about that aerial photo of the plant? Nuh-uh.

Why? Because you’re not selling a drill, you’re selling the hole it makes.

A glamor shot in the middle of your B2B website home page showing the big blue box that’s the heating system doesn’t tell anyone how warm they’ll be when they install that particular model. Or featuring that little box of technology with the wires and antennas sticking out doesn’t tell prospects how well that technology will maintain communication in tough conditions.

And in most cases, what the product looks like doesn’t tell the prospect anything about how it functions, or why it’s a better choice than the next blue box or next techie gadget.

If you’re not Apple computer — whose products are designed to be beautiful, desirable and inspiring, (and sold to consumers) — don’t bother showing your blue boxes, bristling antennas or complicated control panels to your prospects … UNLESS, they reinforce the benefits your products deliver to the buyer.

How about the building?

Many manufacturing companies want to include an aerial shot of their plant. Why? Maybe for credibility? Yet you see roof (usually not very attractive) and parking lot (even more attractive).

What does that tell the viewer about the business? The products offered? The value provided? Not a heck of a lot. It does nothing to support the brand. It just verifies the company has a place with a big roof and a parking lot. Whoopee.  Don’t clutter your B2B website with images that don’t support your message.

Audiences don’t care what your products look like. They want to know “what’s in it for me?”

What's in it for me?

She doesn’t care if you have a giant manufacturing plant with a big parking lot. She wants to know if your products are going to deliver.

How to get prospects to say “tell me more!”

It starts with positioning. Understanding — from your audiences’ point of view — what you offer that’s important to them. How do you explain what your products do so that audiences get it? Today’s B2B website must entice and encourage a B2B buyer to learn more, to understand what to look for and why your products are the best choice.

Positioning is holding a place in the mind of your prospect. Defining what you stand for. What audiences can count on. What makes your product or system or technology better, different, special, unique. A great B2B website is built on a solid foundation of positioning.

Keep your B2B website simple, avoid industry-speak

Once you have defined your position in your industry and against your competition, create messages and stories — from your target audience’s point of view — that will communicate “what’s in it for me?” Avoid jargon. Resist using industry acronyms. Eliminate long, convoluted explanations. This is another area where Apple excels. Keep it simple. One central idea that people can quickly understand.

Use our positioning worksheet to start the process. Get a clear picture of your audiences and their relationship to your industry, products and brand. What do they know? What do they expect? Use our worksheet — 5 steps to defining your audiences — as a guideline for discussion.

Ready to see a new level of response?

Are you ready to go beyond “we offer great quality and service,” and replace those boring product pictures with something more meaningful? We should talk. Give me a jingle toll-free, 866.363.4433.

You’ll be amazed at how much more effective and productive your B2B website — and all of your marketing — can be when you know what your audience wants, tell them the benefits you and your products deliver and leave out glamor shots of big blue boxes.


About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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