Entries Written By Ranjan Roy
While the quote below from this NY Times piece might border on cringeworthy, our team self-consciously observed that we proudly wear non-fashion consumer (and even b2b) brand logos on our clothing. It’s worth reading this and taking a serious look at “the strategy of using emotion and ‘shared values’ to build relationships with consumers — and to sell them more stuff.”
To put it plainly: B2C brands act differently, and there’s a lot they can get away with that your B2B brand can’t. However, the difference is dwindling, slowly.Consumer-facing brands focus on emotional appeals and speak to today’s devices, as we noted in our last piece, and this encourages consumers to think the brand is their go-to for whatever product or service. The image as the go-to is the focus even if the service/product isn’t the end-goal.Consumers are investing in brands, and they place a significant value in the what the brand stands for in a larger context. This is becoming more common in the business space, but that’s largely to satisfy a consumer play in the supply chain.When a brand like Walmart develops sustainable partnership requirements — which you need to advertise so you can be considered — the ultimate push is to tell B2C audiences that the company is green. This impacts marketing on all sides, but the buyer at Walmart doesn’t have the same emotional connection to environmental sustainability; it’s still a business goal.The intertwining of multiple stakeholders, marketing goals, and pitches highlights how B2B is becoming more like B2C, while some barriers have not been crossed. Keep reading for one specific example and a couple of lessons to include in your B2B marketing.
Business-to-business marketing seems to know a lot more than just our names these days, and it’s also offering a lot more than we’d normally expect.Not only does it tell us about a high-quality product and service, but it also offers to answer our questions and nurture us through each step of a funnel, with plenty of social and articles to help drive us back to a website.B2B marketing is essentially becoming an arm of sales and customer service, and today’s best practices make it feel a lot more like walking into a boutique flower shop than flipping through an office supply catalog.The experience is much more enjoyable for most customers and has greater potential to be profitable for most businesses. We believe that technology and simpler touch points are the two biggest reasons for this push and that it gives us one extremely valuable lesson.