written by
Carsten Pleiser

Why is design important when building a B2B brand?

5 min read

In a digital age, where over 65% of the world’s population is online, great design is a must.

Potential customers form an opinion about your brand in just 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) using the company website. And, according to Adobe, companies with strong design outperform companies with weak design by 219% over the span of 10 years.

So, why is it that some B2B business owners overlook the value of design?

Good design is an integral part of building your brand, B2B, B2C or otherwise. It’s the gateway to attracting and converting new clients; it’s your calling card and a way to convey what your company stands for in a hyper-competitive market.

An in-house design team might be out of budget and you might be looking to launch as leanly as possible with minimal spend, but design for B2B brands can’t be undervalued — and not investing in design could be a costly mistake!

The importance of design in B2B

It’s true what they say: success in the B2B space has a lot to do with your network; meeting the right person at the right time can lead to a huge new client.

But what will you hand over with your contact details on? A business card. And what happens if that business card design is sleek, sophisticated and well-considered? Then your new contact will transfer those positive perceptions over to your business, too.

That’s the power of design for B2B brands in action, as design allows you to:

Make emotional connections

Design is rooted in making emotional connections. Visuals are steeped in semiotic meaning — red makes us think ‘warning!’ while an image of someone smiling can boost our serotonin.

Now, if you’re looking to build a trusting relationship between businesses, surely branding is the influential tool that you should be utilising?

Increased conversions, faster purchasing decisions and a higher level of trust among your audience are just some of the positive behavioural changes a good brand image can make.

So, for brands working between businesses, where people are involved at every level, honing in on that humanistic connection is key.

Rise above the competition

How many direct competitors does your business have? Now how many indirect or adjacent competitors, too? Chances are you’re looking to break through in a very busy sector and the benefits of good B2B design can be the golden ticket to success.

Take technology companies for instance. Tech is arguably the most competitive market in 2022, and the companies in this space all offer a pretty similar line of products. When competition is rife, differentiation is the only solution to success. And how do you differentiate yourself in tech? It has to be great design.

What is your brand personality? What are your ethics and values? Do you want to empower startups or support established enterprises? The answers to each of these questions will influence your B2B brand design — showing the world, and potential customers, who you are and why they should work with you over another alternative.

Be memorable

The marketing world follows a rule of 7: that customers have to interact with a brand 7 times before they convert. Those 7 interactions might be seeing a post from you on LinkedIn, coming across your company name and branding at an event, being recommended your Instagram page, or landing on your website.

One common thread runs through all of these interactions, and that’s design. When your B2B logo and visual identity is eye-catching and memorable, you help make these 7 interactions count.

Design for B2B brands: 3 businesses doing it right

Slack

Stewart Butterfield and his team launched Slack in 2013, bringing to the market a messaging app for business — and transforming the way that teams communicate. Understanding the value of design, Stewart and the Slack leaders enlisted a design team to make their software the most stylish yet.

design for B2B brands
Photographer: Muhammed Abiodun | Source: Unsplash

The app and website are both now filled with little interactions and playful touches; the logo animates in a burst of colour as it loads, the modals slide down from the top of the screen. It’s unlike any other B2B interface, injecting personality and meaningfulness into the market.

The result? Slack now has a valuation of nearly $25 billion and is the fastest growing business application of all time. Yes, part of this is down to the innovation of the idea itself and the proficiency of its service, but fundamentally, they’ve got their design right.

Zendesk

Zendesk is another example of a B2B brand doubling-down on design to yield the best results.

Focused on building better customer relationships, this CRM company boasts a slick, simple, vibrant visual brand language. Add to that images of happy-looking sales associates and it’s clear what Zendesk is offering: no stuffiness, no hassle, just straight-talking, relationship-driven service.

design for B2B brands

“Zendesk has always been a design-centric company. Our look, feel and voice are an integral part of our brand and the products we make.” – Design Programme Manager, Alexa Herasimchuk.

Pleo

Anyone who leads a business will agree that team expenses can become burdensome — not to mention costing more time and money to manage and monitor, than the amounts being reconciled!

That’s what Pleo exists to solve. The brand is super modern and almost minimalistic, with plenty of white space and simple, sans serif typography. And yet it still retains the trustworthiness that a finance partner requires. The visual language embodies exactly what Pleo stands for: to make business expenses effortless for everyone.

design for B2B brands

Does your B2B brand need a refresh?

Here at Design Buffs, we can help you soar above your competition and really rewrite the rules of branding.

No more flakey freelancers balancing limited bandwidth, and no need to invest in an in-house design and marketing team. Get your B2B brand designed at scale, better and faster without adding headcount or breaking the bank.

We’ve got a team of creative, dedicated design professionals who can take your B2B brand and transform it into an industry shaker. A brand that turns heads and converts customers.

Sound up your street? Get in touch with our team now and book your free consultation today.

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