brand collateral

Seven Ways Brand Collateral Enables You to Grow Your B2B Business Profitably Even in a Hostile Market

You wouldn’t travel abroad without your passport, so why send your brand into the world without the vital identifying elements contained in strong, congruent brand collateral online and offline?

At a time when businesses face unprecedented pressures, brand collateral helps you stand out from the crowd and give customers confidence that your brand is a smart use of their constrained budgets. 

By streamlining how your brand communicates and appears across all your different channels, on and offline, you can ensure that you get maximum return on your investment. This is even more important in a time of extremely hostile trading conditions for most businesses when budget focus is sharper than ever before. 

Brand collateral is an essential tool that enables a B2B company to impact the market compellingly in a way that cuts through the noise and customer anxieties so they can see the value of what you offer. 

Related: Leading in Adversity – 10 Practical Steps to Make Your Brand Work Harder to Grow Your Sales

Powerful branding requires a well-considered, evidenced driven framework which uncovers the essence of your brand DNA. Brand collateral is your collection of assets which enables you to bring this to life in the manner that’s most relevant and impactful for your ideal customers across all of your brand communications.

Brand collateral is a very practical and essential tool which, when strategically developed based on your brand strategy, enables you to grow your B2B business. 

branding strategy

© Persona Design

To help you make more informed choices and get a measurable return on your investment in your brand collateral we’re sharing with you seven ways in which to do this effectively.

1. Online and Offline Branding is More Consistent Using Brand Collateral With Brand Guidelines

While a lot of thought often goes into offline branding for things like newspaper adverts, event stands or brochures, online branding is sometimes done on the fly. For example, someone will be responsible for updating the company or brand social media accounts using their own judgment — working without using any proper brand guidelines

This typically results in very inconsistent or offbrand outcomes e.g. a B2B firm whose tone of voice is usually serious but appears jokey or irreverent on their social media feeds. This brand inconsistency typically confuses customers or clients which in turn undermines their trust in your brand and when customers don’t trust your brand they don’t buy.

Effective branding requires as much consistency in brand communication as possible for both B2B and B2C, product or service. That is true across all channels as well as within a given specific channel. In truth, one of the most common problems we identify when conducting brand audits for clients around the world is brand inconsistency across their brand collateral — all of which does untold damage to the organisation or business.

Strong consistent brand collateral driven by your brand strategy is one of the most effective ways to ensure that “everyone is singing from the same song sheet”, whether it is online or offline. By providing an agreed menu of brand communication elements such as visual brand identity elements, signature language, personality, straplines and sales scripts, it acts as a template so that the brand message communicated does not change depending on the media channel.

Related: Online Branding and The Fundamentals of Getting it Right so You Thrive in Adversity

Note that this does not mean that branding is the same everywhere. For example, what you print on t-shirts you sponsor for a charity event will probably be different to what you have in your sales brochure. 

The key point is that although the exact articulation or representation may be different, it will be consistent because it has been generated using the same set of brand guidelines. In this way, well developed brand collateral taking its direction from your brand guidelines acts a bit like a lookbook – users can browse it to decide what elements of agreed brand communication they want to use for a given brand communication opportunity.

brand collateral

Image via Sky © Sage

A case study on this point is the accountancy software provider Sage. Even though they have a wide variety of solution types and operate across diverse markets like many software providers, their brand communication remains clear, consistent and simple across all media. That is what results from having good brand collateral centrally controlled and managed through brand guidelines.

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

  1. Build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona 7-Figure Business Building & Brand Strategy Mastermind here. This is a 12 week face-to-face, fully interactive, live online programme for non-competing peer groups. You work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Within 12 weeks your brand strategy is fully developed, with implementation already making a difference in your business. Alternatively, join our half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass
  3. Want a DIY solution? check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here
Branding Building Masterclass

© Persona Design

brand strategy“We participated in the Persona 7-Figure Business Building & Brand Strategy Mastermind 12 week online course. The 12 week program suited us as the weekly accountability spurred us on to get work done between sessions.

We found the flow of the course appropriate for the development of the brand through the various areas of the business. Already, we have developed our Customers Persona’s and our Brand Persona adding value to the business.

The course has helped us make more astute decisions in the business such as restructuring our product offerings so we grow more profitable lines and remove those with lower margins.

Lorraine is very helpful and accessible as a tutor with follow up after each working session and the half day masterclass. Most of all the clarity achieved has been most invaluable.

In the first two weeks of March 2020, before Covid-19 required us to close, we were 300% up in our online sales compared to the whole of March 2019 and after reopening April 2020 we were back to 108% by the end of May 2020 — results achieved from applying our brand strategy.”

Sinead Heffernan

Managing Director

Thunders Bakery

Sinead Heffernan

2. Brand Collateral Forces You to Evaluate Your Value Proposition

A key factor driving effective brand collateral is clarity around your value proposition because it forces B2B businesses to evaluate their differentiators from an external perspective — your ideal customers’ or prospects’ perspective.

Questions to consider are; is this look and feel consistent with our brand architecture and how does it compare to other brand communication we have seen in our competitive space? 

While B2C firms often engage in “voice of customer” exercises, they are less common in B2B firms. For example, reflecting on the value proposition you offer your customers, and want to communicate in your brand collateral, will be a useful trigger for you to re-evaluate your own value proposition to that of potential competitors and figure out what strongly sets you apart — if anything. 

Related: 7 Key Branding Trends in 2020 to Grow Your Business

For example, if you find that your brand collateral is bland and undistinctive, it may be a symptom of the fact that your overall brand architecture and value proposition lacks standout strength or message clarity.

This isn’t necessarily about changing your business model. It’s about using brand collateral as a tool to see your business and brand through the eyes of outsiders such as potential clients or customers. You then need to ask yourself whether that brings your brand to life in a way that customers find compelling and staff energizing.

Related: 6 Ways to Develop and Nurture a Successful Brand Culture With a Limited Budget

2. Achieving the Right Price Point is Easier with Strong Brand Collateral

Perhaps you’re wondering why brand collateral matters at all. Unlike B2C, a lot of B2B firms generate their business from personal relationships, or proprietary technology that a customer feels compelled to buy, so brand collateral might not seem that important. Sometimes, people suggest that instead of putting resources into producing and using brand collateral, it would be better to invest in a tactical move like increasing sales bonuses.

Branding is about differentiating a product or service so that you can command a pricing premium. Brand collateral enables you to communicate all of the key points of your brand strategy which support that premium in an efficient, consistent way.

Related: Profitable Lessons from Luxury Brand Leaders, Brand Positioning for Premium Pricing

Branding collateral is about more than just items with brand logos. For example, it will sometimes contain key messages which can be used in sales or pricing conversations. So even in a face to face pricing negotiation, the brand collateral is an invisible support tool a professional can use to justify the brand’s price point.

brand collateral

Image via Business & Finance © Flipdish

Consider as an interesting case study, the restaurant ordering app Flipdish. Without branding, Flipdish is a piece of tech which a lot of restaurants might think they could develop themselves. 

The consistent Flipdish branding works to support the company’s pricing. But to ensure that the branding works as hard as it can on an SME budget, Flipdish needs to make sure that the brand conveys itself consistently ‘on brand’ whether seen on the app, its website or a point of sale advertisement in a restaurant. That is where strong brand collateral controlled by coherent brand guidelines helps ensure consistency.

“An exceptionally talented individual. Lorraine Carter, Persona Branding and Design has a wonderful ability to ‘horizon scan’ for any business and then bring them on a journey that delivers value to their Balance Sheet.”

Dave Feenan


Technology Ireland & ICT Skillnet

Dave Feenan

4. Brand Collateral Helps You Coordinate Across Multiple Sites in a Professional Network

For a lot of B2B companies, there are multiple branches or locations which all have some responsibility for brand communications. Sometimes they’ve originated through acquisition, for example when a manufacturer buys a smaller specialist manufacturer in a nearby city or when an accounting practice owner retires and sells his practice to an existing accounting chain. 

Often different offices or branches have their own way of doing things which may not be consistent with brand guidelines. For example, they may use their marketing budget to sponsor a local sports team, or have a column on the local website. In fact because of this, the branding across different parts of a B2B enterprise can often seem more disjointed than in a slick B2C operation with its laser focus on executing branding strategy the most effective and congruent way.

This can be a challenge especially in organisations where branding strategy and marketing isn’t highly valued, so people might not see the need to operate from a consistent set of brand collateral across the company. But part of the benefit of being a big organization, or having a networked offering, is that the brand architecture is communicated consistently no matter which part of the organization someone is touching. That is true for internal branding as well as customer-facing branding. Strong brand collateral is the tool to ensure that all of the sites communicate in a consistent manner. 

That doesn’t mean that each site can’t also use its own messaging if appropriate. For example, in some industries it is common to operate a network model where local branches operate under their own name, but with some common elements of corporate branding. In such a situation, brand collateral helps individual branches by providing standardized brand assets for shared parts of brand communication, freeing up more of their time to develop any localized assets which aren’t part of the overall network brand collateral.

brand collateral

Image via The Times © Countrywide

A case study is Countrywide estate agents. They are a national network of estate agents in the UK – as the name clearly communicates – who use the same backend systems and common branding elements such as tone of voice and key visuals. But the local members use a variety of fascias and some local branding to benefit from historical strength in key markets. 

Related: The Impact of Company Brand Culture On Driving Performance and Increasing Sales

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can use the right brand collateral to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding masterclasses because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium. 

In fact, the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, agile branding strategy process using professional big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively. 

The programme enables you to make your brand highly visible, different, credible, trustworthy, memorable and much loved amongst your ideal customers so you can become more profitable and leave your competitors way behind. Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand of preferred choice commanding a premium.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide inhouse bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724

“I really appreciate Lorraine’s energy and passion. Although good branding includes so many facets, Lorraine is able to simplify the process and make it so much more tangible for any company to put into practice.”

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

Marketing Communication Specialist

The Switch

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

5. Your Customer Experience is More Effective Using Strong Brand Collateral

Brand collateral is an easy way to ensure that your business provides clear, unambiguous communication about your brand and your value proposition. Customer experience can be a critical mode of communicating the brand for many B2B firms. How things look, the tone of voice and language used by the brand and the ways in which the brand manifests itself can create engagement and loyalty.

Related: Top 10 Brands for Customer Experience and What You Can Learn From Them 

In this way, brand collateral is an easy and often low-cost way of improving your customer experience to make it more consistent and connected to your brand outcomes, for example, in sales conversion.

brand collateral

Image via © Howdens

A case study is provided by the chain of joiners’ trade suppliers Howden Joinery Group. That company organizes regular local “expert meetings” for tradesmen to learn about a subject and swap experiences amongst themselves. With meetings at different Howden facilities across its markets, brand collateral helps ensure that the way the brand is presented is consistent both across the meetings and also as between the meetings and company depots.

“Lorraine’s depth of knowledge in branding is immense. I have attended some of her courses and also see first hand the benefits Persona Branding & Design can bring to a business. I am always happy to recommend Lorraine.”

Ruaidhri Prendergast

Co-Founder, Author

Pinpoint Local

Ruaidhri Prendergast

6. Brand Collateral Gives the Right Message in Selling Situations

A lot of B2B staff can be involved in sales situations informally even though they’re not part of your core sales team. In truth, all your team should actually be your secret sales force because you’ve empowered them to represent and champion your brand through effective brand induction and training. 

Strong brand collateral provides support to all your team to represent and champion your brand, even in an informal sales capacity. It can operate at as simple a level as making sure there are contact details on business cards and company stationery, emphasizing the company’s USP in its brochures, and ensuring the website doesn’t conflict with anything the person has said ‘face to face’ in person, on the phone or meeting online.

Strong supportive brand collateral helps mitigate risk against the wrong thing being said. It supports consistent sales situations or outcomes because each individual in your team has a strong central reference tool in the form of your brand collateral to draw on. 

brand collateral

Image via © Deloitte

Professional services practice Deloitte provides a good example of this. Their “green dot” branding brought all of Deloitte’s diverse practices together under a single identifiable set of visual brand identity principles centred around a green dot. This green dot is a simple, flexible device which means it can have relevance across as large and diverse an organisation as Deloitte, while still providing a common set of brand assets for communication. 

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

  1. Schedule a chat — we can meet in person online
  2. Let’s consider a customised plan for you
  3. And perhaps implement the plan together 
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

Lorraine Carter is a branding expert and international speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy expertise that solves problems — using agile branding strategy underpinned by professional big-brand know-how — so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.

 She enables you to Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand — commanding a premium with 7-figure growth.

Ask about the Persona 7-Figure Business Building and Brand Strategy Mastermind — live, interactively, face-to-face online.

Brand Identity“Lorraine Carter has been the catalyst and an inspiration for MGI Learning to clearly define our brand.

Working with Lorraine has been both enlightening and enjoyable. Her blueprint for defining a brand is extremely comprehensive and challenged us to think very deeply about what we offer to our customers and really understand what underpins our success.

Lorraine is extremely knowledgeable, very focused and supportive and leads you through the process and ensured we got maximum benefits from the investment we made.”

Shona Cooper


MGI Learning

Shona Cooper

7. People Can Focus on What They Do Best if they Have Brand Collateral to Use

It’s not unusual to find that a lot of B2B staff do not see themselves as marketers and often don’t want to be involved in ‘marketing’. The discipline is not always as highly valued in, say, traditional accounting or legal practices or even tech firms compared to consumer goods companies. However, many staff are involved in marketing-related activities whether they want to be or not and strong consistent brand collateral enables them to be more effective.

Instead of unintentionally leaving them unsupported, and by default, forced to generate PPT templates, marketing taglines, design cover sheets for proposals or create their own value proposition give them direction through strong brand guidelines for all your brand collateral so they have templates, formats and a signature style to replicate. This will ensure they can perform at their best, increase sales and help drive brand growth. That frees them up to use their talents best which is what you originally hired them to do. Aside from being a far more efficient use of resources and management in any B2B firm, it’s especially attractive in a more traditional fee-earning environment.

Related: How to Build a Powerful Employer Branding Strategy so You Attract and Retain Top Talent to Grow Your Business

Final Thoughts

A strong business is enabled by a strong brand and effective brand strategy. Brand collateral is an essential practical tool which helps ensure your brand strategy is brought to life by an organization aligned around and using common brand identity elements. 

It also helps ensure consistency, reduces time wasted reinventing the wheel and prevents unintentionally sabotaging your most important asset — your brand. Brand collateral supports your people in crucial sales and marketing conversations. 

Perhaps consider reviewing your brand collateral now using a brand audit health check so you can re-evaluate how effective it is, or is not as the case maybe, and whether it could be re-envisioned to work harder for your business?

Hostile trading conditions can be challenging for a B2B firm but with a strong brand strategy underpinning your baseline it also presents opportunities to thrive — to Be The One, unstoppable in uncertainty.

brand strategy“For anyone who has a well established business I would totally recommend working with Persona Design because it will provide them with a new perspective on how to think of their brand. You see in different markets and industries that are overly competitive what makes the difference is knowing what exactly your business is all about and why people would choose you instead of any other competitor.

What makes you different from all the other service or product providers in the market because that’s what’s going to make your business be the No.1 choice in the range of those specific products or services that you’re providing. Also that’s what’s going to make your brand stand out and have a long lasting life and thrive in the context of where you’re operating and delivering value. So totally go for it!

This framework provides you with a lot of insight and more than that, with a systematic process that’s easy for you to understand, easy for you to grasp, easy for you to work with so you finally nail what makes you different in your business, and what you are about and what those key points are that resonate with your audience.”

Camelia Păduraru


Crafting Minds 

Camelia Păduraru

Questions to Consider

  1. How consistent is your brand collateral across online and offline channels?
  2. Does your current brand collateral help you achieve the price points you want?
  3. How consistent is your brand collateral across different parts of your organization?
  4. Does your customer experience reflect a disciplined use of brand collateral?
  5. Do you have digital and hard copy brand collateral which frees up your team’s time to focus on other elements of their roles?
  6. Do you perhaps need to re-evaluate and perhaps refresh some of your current brand collateral online and off?

Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
  3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
  4. Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
  5. As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment

Get in touch today because we’d love to enable you to re-evaluate and build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can Be The One — increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind. 

Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Re-Evaluation.

If you’re interested in the brand strategy that will take you to the next level, that will put you on the market in a premium position, Lorraine Carter is the person to assist you in getting there with specific elements and with specific tools that simply work.

All you have to do is focus and know what you want — she provides the tool kit you need to accomplish your goals.”

Adina Iacob

Founder, PR, Communications & Media Relations Consultant

Adina Iacob