Tag Archives: Brand management

B2C Lessons that Can Improve B2B Brand Experiences

15 May

I recently read The Experience Effect by Jim Joseph.  It’s about creating just that, an ‘experience effect’ that will drive consumers to a brand.  As I read Jim’s book, it seemed to me that many of his lessons on B2C branding translate to the B2B world. A strong brand offers many benefits to business.  It can make it more difficult to be displaced by a competitor, get you invited to the discussions by the customer, justify price premiums, even attract top talent.

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How to Rise Above the Noise and Be Heard

21 Feb

In today’s marketplace, there is more ‘noise’ than ever before. The number of companies (all sizes and levels of resources) and volume of content competing for customers’ time is staggering thanks in large part to social media, the Internet and mobile technologies. How can your company rise above it all and be heard? Tell Your Story.


People remember a good story.  Every business has one. If you think you don’t, take some time to remember why you started your business. What is your vision? What does your business stand for? What are your core values?  What do you want to be known for?  What are your customer successes?

By creating your story and consistently telling it again and again, your business develops a persona that customers identify. Story telling isn’t new.  In this day of sound bites, tag lines, and elevator pitches, telling a story may seem a bit long winded.  But, an effective narrative can tell a memorable story that has impact and matters more to your customers than advertising jargon.  Be truthful and authentic in your story and customers will develop trust in you and belief that you will deliver on your promise.

For the B2B Company:  A Great Story Can Rise Above the Noise

For B2B companies, customer successes are a great way to tell a story. How did your company help solve a problem for your customer or your industry? What did you do that sets you apart from the rest?  An employee success story can confirm your core values with customers and serve as a guide to employees in their decision making and interactions with customers to ensure consistent customer experiences.

Best Media to Tell Your Story

The best media to use when telling your story is always the one that most effectively reaches your customers and best fits your story.  Video is an important part of Cisco’s product offering so, it isn’t surprising that Cisco uses video for its story-telling and launched the Cisco YouTube channel in September 2011. Video is a powerful way for companies of any size, not only the largest, to reach and engage with customers as an alternative to standard text.

Businesses don’t make buying decisions.  People inside businesses make decisions.  Make the connection with them through your story.

Resources:

Name that Brand Story… by Rob Marsh, http://www.brandstoryonline.com
The Power of a Good Brand Story, Mark Thomson, the BrandChannel
The Importance of Story-Telling in Lead Nurturing,  Jeff Ogdon, Fearless Competitor
Are You Telling Your Brand Story, Steve Woodruff , Small Business Branding
Strategy:  Story’s More Powerful than the Brand, Tom Peters, You Tube

Make an Emotional Connection with Your Customer

17 Oct

By Susan Lowe

Recently, I received an email from Larry Baer, the President and COO of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.  Ok, the email also went out to millions of other Giants fans but, it felt personal.

Larry Baer’s letter was heartfelt.  It reached out and grabbed at my emotions. As I read, I felt the incredible excitement of last year’s season and the World Series Championship win – the anticipation of doing it again this year -Saturday afternoons watching the Giants play at one of the most beautiful major league baseball parks. And I felt the disappointment of this year’s season that started with Buster Posey’s horrible injury.

The letter connected on an emotional level and brought Giants Fans together one last time this season. It is an example of great marketing that reinforces the Giants brand and fan loyalty. This was a season ending that didn’t meet expectations making it all the more important to reach out to the fans on a deeper emotional level.  In the book, The Marketing Power of Emotion, the author, Nicholas J. O’Shaughnessy states “Emotion is the adhesive that, when mixed with trust, equals loyalty.”  In his letter to the fans, Larry Baer provided that adhesive.

The take-away here is find ways to connect with your customers’ emotions.  Brand loyalty is more than providing great products or services at the right price.  There are almost always emotional factors in a buyer’s decision. You need to determine what emotions you want your product or service  to evoke with your customers and then incorporate these into your branding strategy and messaging.

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