Just like in consumer marketing, the voice of a B2B company is an essential component of that brand’s identity. It steers all company communication – in person, in print and online – and gives the brand consistency across multiple messaging platforms. Consistency isn’t the only goal, however. Your brand’s voice should resonate with your customers.
So, when your customers are other businesses, do you have to keep your messaging “corporate”?
Absolutely not. According to a 2013 study by Google, CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council and marketing research firm Motista, the emotional connections involved in B2B purchasing decisions far surpass those in B2C purchases. Individual consumers may regret a purchase or two without major implications, whereas an employee making a purchase on behalf of a company has a lot more riding on every vendor selection and purchase order. The study also concluded that B2B products and services are 50 percent more likely to sell when the purchaser sees a personal advantage, such as pride, recognition or career advancement – and that buyers are eight times as likely to pay a premium price for a product that offers personal value.
B2B companies have to remember that they’re talking to people – not faceless corporations – and people want to connect with brands that relate to them on a personal level.
3 ways to find the right voice for your brand
- Listen to the leadership team. Many founders and executives have been honing their companies’ voices unofficially for years. If you have an outspoken leader whose voice resonates with your customers, use that information to shape the official brand voice.
- Define a brand character. If your brand was a person, what would it look like? Would it be a man or a woman? What kinds of things would he or she say to your customers? Picturing your brand as a person can be a fun way to pinpoint what behavior and messaging aligns with the brand identity.
- Find common interests. Learn more about what else resonates with your customers by looking at respected industry brands and content. Find similarities and differences between your brand voice and what your customers are used to. Is what makes your voice unique sending the right message?
What inspired your brand voice? Let us know in the comments below.