Opinions, best practices and research into B2B marketing strategy and practices

Why ‘should’ can take a long walk off a short pier

swimming pool ladder bright blue yellow

Hot on the heels of an exceptionally hot European summer and CNN naming Copenhagen as the best city in the world for swimming, the nearby beaches and harbors are still teeming with people cooling off in the open water. When I complain about the heat, I’m often told, ‘You should go for a dip!’

The only valid reason I can see for swimming is to avoid death by drowning – but that ‘should’ stops me in my tracks. It carries a sense of obligation, judgement, pressure and, most of all, guilt.

I don’t like to swim, but I should.

Should is for things we don’t want to do. Should is based on the expectations of others. Should is inconsistent with our own values and how we want to behave. Continue reading

Branding workshops 2/3 – Your next team-building event?

team sitting around campfire team-building

As the demands swirl around high-performing teams, it gets hard to keep the Big Picture in focus and easy to lose inspiration – particularly with the long-game nature of B2B marketing. Stepping out of the everyday and breaking the routine can be the antidote and team-building events can bring back some of the magic.

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Branding workshops 1/3 – Big Ideas and picking winners

neon slot machines in a row in a dark casino

I’ve run plenty of B2B branding workshops over the years. Big Ideas come out of them, whether they’re team-building or educational exercises for corporate marketing departments or brand creation/makeover projects of all sizes – but it’s all about picking the winners.

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What’s a B2B visual identity worth?

Recently, an industrial client asked a question I had never considered before: What is the value of a company’s visual identity? The request came as part of an acquisition process, and he was involved in discussions aimed at determining this value, partly as a component of the acquisition price, and partly to assess whether to continue with or drop the acquired company’s visual identity.

While coming up with a definitive answer to the question is probably beyond any consultant’s capability, I was able to help him think about the issue – and some of those insights are shared below… Continue reading

Powering up your value proposition

Is it time to get clearer on exactly why customers should prefer your company?There can be many attributes for which a product, service or entire company wants to be known: Fastest, cheapest, best quality, most features, most reliable, perfect for a specific situation, trusted, great customer service and more – the list of possibilities is endless.  Continue reading

How to lose a B2B sale in 4 ways… and how not to!

Like all relationships between people, B2B relationships require trust and credibility to work.

In fact, we could liken a prospective B2B buyer to a sophisticated partner who is well-educated, has high expectations and is generally intolerant of mistakes. And like in all relationships, there are certain behaviours that strengthen bonds, and critical mistakes that turn people off.

Take your website, for example. In B2B, missteps can sow enough seeds of doubt in the minds of potential or existing customers to make them lose faith in your brand, question your professionalism, or simply click away from your site. Once you lose that credibility, it can be as hard to get back as convincing a cheated-on lover to trust you again. And the result of lost credibility? Lost sales.

So what can you do to make sure you hang onto B2B prospects?

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Jyske Bank playing “stupid smart”? Really?

There is upheaval in the Danish banking and marketing sectors. One bank’s ill-judged campaign has opened it up to humorous and not so humorous criticism from competitors and the public, and the commentators are having a field day. Continue reading

CASE STUDY: 9 ways to improve your B2B brand story with emotional branding

Case Study - Reson

[CASE STUDY] B2B is rarely considered sexy or even exciting, yet for B2B buyers, great solutions radically improve their day-to-day working environments and hold the potential to make or break their businesses. Why, then, shouldn’t it be possible to create a strong emotional connection with your buyers through B2B marketing and communication? After all, your services or equipment is part and parcel of their professional aspirations, challenges and ultimately their business’s success in the marketplace and beyond.

This case study offers 6 ways to check whether your brand story is off target and 3 takeaways for how to improve your connection to decision makers with emotional branding. Continue reading