Looking for brand love in B2B...

Posted on November 21, 2016 by Lauren Greatorex

“I love Google!”

“I couldn’t live without my iPhone…”

“Amazon is awesome!”

 Certain brands create true evangelists and top the lists of most-loved brands time and time again.

… but can we really expect to create brand love in B2B?

love candy

It’s hard to imagine a buyer feeling real, passionate love for business banking, packaging or industrial machinery, for example.

It’s certainly true that we should strive to create an emotional connection, appealing to our audience’s ambitions, fears, hopes, pressures etc. However, I’m not sure love is necessarily the emotion we should be aiming for.

Instead, we should be ensuring people understand and like us, helping them to differentiate our company from the competition.

Up close and personal

To do this, we need to make audiences feel something by making our branding and ideas relevant to them.

B2B audiences are not as coldly rational as you might think and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of an emotional and personal connection. As in the consumer space, B2B brands need to speak to ‘the buyer’ as a human being.

Consider this:

  • Is your content relevant to your audience’s sector, business demographics and individual company?
  • Ideally, is your content hyper-relevant? Does it relate to the individual? To their hopes and fears? How can it play a role in realising their career and personal ambitions?

What’s love got to do with it?

Those big-love brands that we are all trying to emulate have created must-have products, targeting (or creating) specific ‘tribes’ with a consistent, coherent brand identity. We can certainly take inspiration from this by communicating our brand more clearly to the right audience.

B2B products are often highly complex and we need to ensure we make sense externally. As any consumer brand knows, we need to communicate the benefits that we can offer, all packaged up into an easy-to-understand, easily recognisable, and easy-to-buy, name, story or narrative.

Your brand identity, and your external comms, should harness your organisation’s unique expertise and knowledge to promote what you enable, not what you sell. The aim is to offer a consistent experience to customers, and a coherent educational message across all of your channels. For a B2B example, check out IBM’s much-loved ‘Connected Business’.

A compelling, unifying, big idea can help ties your comms campaigns together. More insights and tips on generating ideas can be found here. Essentially, we need to make sure we are positioning our communications as forward-thinking and tapping into consumer mega-trends and the issues shaping the business future.

If B2B brands can crack this, we can help our audience to understand and buy into what we do. In an ideal world, we’d create an attractive package that they start to like, or maybe even, learn to love.


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