You’re unsexy and you know it

If you don’t love your B2B brand, no-one else will

When I first started out in marketing I went to a conference to hear the great and the good talk about the groundbreaking campaigns that they had run. A leading beer company shared the success of their graduate recruitment campaign, with the strapline “Love Beer? Work Here.”

My heart sank. Whilst I liked their approach, I was in a completely different space, working for a B2B FinTech business at the time. “Love Post-Trade-Pre-Settlement Trade Processing Solutions? Work Here” strangely didn’t have quite the same ring to it. How could I get people interested in the seemingly dull business I was in? (And more importantly how hard was it really, I wondered, to get university graduates to work for a beer company?!)

Over the years I learnt that every B2B business, no matter how apparently technical, dry or obtuse, offers something to get excited about. It’s just a case of finding your angle. And it has to start with the individual. If you don’t find an area of your industry or business that lights your fire, you’re either in the wrong job or you’re not going about it the right way. And if you don’t feel it, you can be sure that your clients won’t either.

Here are five tips that might help you uncover your business’ sexier side:

  1. Look at the macro angle. Is there a bigger benefit that your company is offering? Is it a leader in agile working for example? Is it helping to shape regulation? Try to go beyond your service lines to look at the bigger picture.
  2. Explore the micro angle. Does your B2B business trickle down to have a consumer impact? Is there an innovative approach that your business is using for a particular project – new tech or dispersed teams for example?
  3. Use plain English and evocative language. In a previous post I wrote about how we should use more emotive language to inspire and persuade. You’d have to live a very sheltered life to get excited about ‘synergised client-focussed solutions’, but you might want to find out more about a business that clearly demonstrates the precise value it brings.
  4. Uncover your story. I know, I know, you’ve probably heard more than enough about storytelling. But every business has an interesting story behind it – how it was founded, the challenges it faced to come to fruition, and the market it now operates in. Use it.
  5. Humanise your B2B business. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘People buy from people’, which is always worth remembering in B2B communications. Showcase your people, find a more human angle and give your brand some personality.