Customers today are looking for faster, more rewarding experiences, and that expectation of speed and convenience in B2C industries raises expectations in the B2B space. Your B2B brand will reap many benefits if you put generous time and effort into the types of customer experience strategies successful B2C brands employ every day.
In the past, B2B companies were expected to be serious about their branding and marketing strategies. However, recent trends show that the kinds of branding B2C companies have traditionally used are also attractive to B2B customers. In fact, decision-makers looking for a product or partner are more likely to choose a B2B brand that they –and consumers – feel a connection with, so it’s important to develop a unique brand voice that not only makes your brand stand out from your competitors but also, forges a strong emotional connection with your target audience. Here are some tried-and-true B2C branding strategies that can help you develop a winning brand voice.
Keep it Casual
While you may need to get technical when speaking directly to a customer about product specifications, the key to broad brand appeal in marketing is to speak in layman’s terms with a more casual tone. The simplest example is language — get rid of antiquated ideas about personal pronouns and contractions in your marketing materials and communications. Walk a confident line between professional and casual, while being transparent, straightforward, and reassuring, for the most credibility. Strike a casual tone in correspondence, while also providing clear, useful information.
Unlike the stuffy years of B2B marketing past, it’s okay now to be witty with your branding. Injecting humor into communications is something a B2B brand can learn from B2C branding successes. Everyone enjoys humor, especially if it is insider humor. If you know your audience will recognize and appreciate the joke, feel free to acknowledge a humorous irony or slip in a clever turn of phrase in your marketing messaging. Humor regarding your company or industry can make your business directly relatable with your target audience, and since they’re in on the joke, it can bring them closer emotionally.
Be conscious of the type of humor you use and the topics you touch on, though, because while a light, witty tone can quickly warm up communication, humor can be risky when facing different languages and cultures. Aim for a chuckle or appreciative smile rather than a full-blown guffaw that can alienate or cause eye-rolling.
Successful B2C brands with engaging marketing campaigns know the power of appreciating the cultural moment of now. Audiences are plugged in constantly and are keenly aware of what’s going on in the news, in entertainment, and in pop culture through their phones, TVs, and laptops, and the internet is a never-ending source of what is important, happening now, and trending. Launching a B2B campaign that keeps abreast of current trends is crucial, but not at the expense of sincerity. The younger, tech-savvy crowd is rightly suspicious of corporations appropriating cultural moments for their own gain, and it’s one of the reasons some B2C brands fail. Good, easy-to-integrate bets are subtle, appropriate, popular internet syntax, and text-based memes commonly used in social media posts.
In conclusion, as a B2B company, you can learn how to develop a winning brand voice from B2C’s focus on customer experience, as long as you don’t try to be someone you’re not, and as long as your messaging rings sincere.