The 13 stories every B2B brand needs to tell
Thirteen stories is a simple framework every brand can use to help them articulate and surface the right blend of rationale and emotion to influence sales and other positive business outcomes.
1. The how it all started story. Your customers and prospects like to get a sense of origin and history as it helps them understand the journey you have been on and the character of the brand.
2. The why we are here story. The past five years has seen an increasing amount of talk about injecting purpose and meaning into brands. Think of your purpose by answering the following question: “What meaningful difference do we want to see in our category, sector or the world at large?” And most importantly: “Why should anyone care?”
3. The how we are different story. For most B2B brands differentiation exists around a proprietary process, technology or increasingly around the customer experience. Be clear about the value your differentiation brings to your customers.
4. The what we do story. Here is your chance to tell the world about the magic of what you do. Whether it's a product, a stack of products, a bundle of services, a solution or even just an idea, let people know the technical detail and benefits your product/service brings.
5. The customer story. Key to your customer story is understanding the different personas that make up your customer mix. Developing a story for each persona and making sure you develop an emotional as well as rationale proposition is key to success.
6. The innovation story. Customers want to see you are committed to a journey with them and that they can trust you to be thinking about the future on their behalf.
7. The vertical market story. Many B2B brands often start by serving the needs of a niche audience. Therefore demonstrating and articulating your story and credentials within these sectors can help de-risk the process of winning new customers.
8. The we are a great company to work for story. Building a strong employer driven brand based on meaning and values can help create high performance cultures. You need to clearly set out a story for the kind of company you are, what you believe and why employees should care.
9. The we care story. Decades of CSR and environmental green washing are being replaced by a new and energised focus within modern businesses. Articulating the role you want to play in helping the societies and communities in which you do business is a hugely powerful.
10. The planet story. Another emotive story that brands need to tell is the one that connects the resources they consume with the impact on the environment and planet at large. Concepts like circular design are inspiring companies to come up with new ideas and processes that make them fit for the new economy.
11. The Results story. Every business is armed with stories that showcase the positive impact and outcomes they have helped achieve. These stories are economic and commercially driven and are designed to demonstrate clear ROI and financial impact.
12. The routes to market story. Many B2B brands companies have a complex mix of routes to market. They either sell direct or via channel partners or a mixture of the two. Be clear about your route to market story and the benefits to your customers of dealing with your brand.
13. The thought leadership story. By definition there can only be one market leader in any given sector or market category. This gives brands the opportunity to seed an idea in the minds of customers and prospects that shifts the conversation away from the dominant market leader.