Once upon a time there was a boring B2B brand – they weren’t born dull and their journey to success sure as heck wasn’t dull but years of unimaginative content delivered to an unengaged audience left them struggling to differentiate against their competitors and quickly losing market share.
To grab customer interest, there needs to be a clear narrative, tales of conflict and tales of success. That’s not a new concept – it’s just storytelling. Would Apple have been as successful if the story of Steve Jobs and his constant desire to demonstrate innovation over profit was left untold?
The truth is that in the technologically advanced world we are living in, customers have access to more information than ever before. If they wanted to buy something for the cheapest price, they could – if your company wants to make a profit, you have to differentiate yourself. The best way to do this is assign an emotion to your brand – a personality! If you’re failing to deliver emotion, you’re failing to understand the messages that truly resonate with your audience and the real personal reasons they need to buy your product/service.
1) Clear narrative
You cannot inprint your story on customer and prospects’ minds without a clear narrative. Start setting the scene of your business by looking at things like time, environment, culture, characters, identity and motivation. Ask yourself the following questions in order to build a solid context:
- Who are we? How are we different?
- Where have we come from and where are we going?
- What are we passionate about?
- Who’s part of our story?
Once you’ve answered these you’ll be able to demonstrate your brand’s place in the market and help differentiate from your competitors.
B2B brands tend to downplay any conflict they may have out of fear of looking inferior or unprofessional. But no conflict makes you look boring and pretty unauthentic. Customers relate to struggles, which in turn strengthens the connection between audience and brand.
Heroes and villains also play a critical part in conflict – the villain is that pesky barrier that your customers are facing. The hero of the story is your brand , your customers and an emotion. To help establish the conflict of your story:
- What stories are our customers telling about us?
- How do we learn from their stories?
- What do we want to do about it?
- How do we change the stories people tell about us?
Once you’ve answered these in your story, you’ll be able to pique interest in your brand from other prospects.
Providing solutions to problems is critical to wrapping up your story on a strong note – how do you help your customers? On a personal and professional level.
- What do we offer that no one else does?
- How are we culturally different?
- What’s it like to work with us?
- What makes us invaluable?