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B2B Branding Matters

This article was contributed by our exhibitor MAB. Learn more about their business here.

Branding is the first impression a company has on a prospective client. It is the look, the feel, the guarantee, and the personality that makes it stand out (or not) to a particular person. This personalized appeal taps into human nature and ultimately guides a decision.

So why then is B2C branding afforded the luxury of creativity and storytelling, while B2B branding is often minimal, rushed, and colorless?

It’s time to balance the scales of importance between branding for B2C vs B2B business. 

Make a Great First Impression

First impressions are so important because they happen fast and often set the tone for the relationship that follows. So, in the same way that a friendly hello or thoughtful comment captures attention, your company’s brand is the gate for people to explore your product or service in more detail. 

A prospect’s first interaction with your brand should reveal your personality and make you memorable. Your brand should tell people who you are, what you care about, and the value that you bring to your particular industry. Your brand should show people they can trust you.

People buy from people, especially in the B2B world. An article from Marketing Week put it like this, “Businesspeople do not park their emotions and personality in a cardboard box when they come to work and buy products and services.” It’s a fact that people interact with B2B brands in much the same way that they interact with B2C brands. 

How Narrative Creates Personality

It’s not enough anymore to say “we sell insurance” and leave it at that. You have to instead think of your offering in terms of the story it tells about your company values and mission. 

You see, much of people’s lives are spent telling and hearing stories. It is a culture-building phenomenon that connects us to our humanity. You want a story that attracts and engages customers. 

Your story should say who you are as a company, why you exist, and what makes you unique. Your brand story must also reveal a shared purpose. This shared purpose is the outcome that you and your customer are working toward together. 

Our client, Goodwill of Orange County faces the challenge of telling a clear story about their impact on the community. As an organization with nearly 100 years of experience serving people in need, the common misconception is that they are a place to donate goods. And they are, but they are more than that. Those goods donations turn into jobs for people with disabilities or who are facing other barriers. 

A couple of years ago, we worked with Goodwill to craft a digital presence in the form of a website that more clearly told this story. By adding content that showed their work and giving users a clear path through the website, it is more evident that their brand personality is about providing purpose, pride, and dignity rather than just a place to buy and sell used goods. Read the full case study here. 

When crafting your narrative and brand personality, remember that like any good story, the language and plot points need to be easy to follow. Be sure to avoid jargon and marketing buzz words. Instead, use the narrative as a chance to really connect with people on a personal level and share your bigger purpose for the product or service you provide.

These elements combined together in a unique way will reveal a personality that customers can and will relate to. And if your brand personality naturally stands out from the rest, customers will choose you — and they will do it in a heartbeat.