Why B2B brands need to get emotional
posted on 5th Jul 2018
No matter the industry or sector, business to business brands seem to have a deep-rooted aversion to emotion. The idea of it simply repulses them. It’s like some kind of highly contagious virus they’re afraid to catch – even talking about it could put them at risk. All that “fluffy stuff” as they so kindly put it, is simply not for them nor for their industry as a whole. They’re so very tied to the products and services they offer, listing functional benefit after benefit, yet never thinking of the end result – the benefit they deliver on an emotional level.
But it’s in this sickly sweet candyfloss that millions can be made. And I hate to break it to you, while emotion may sound scary – it’s already built into your brand whether you like it or not. Every customer or client has a personal relationship with your brand and by ignoring it, you’re simply missing out on opportunities to bring them closer and enhance your business proposition. Still not convinced?
Five reasons why B2B brands simply can’t ignore emotion
- Emotion is what drives action. Every B2B customer is a consumer first. When we go to work we don’t just slip on a pair of loafers and wave our personalities goodbye. Not yet replaced by drones, we are all human. And while we would love to think we’re rational beings, the truth is that we are rather deluded. Time and time again, emotion overrides the rational thinking, inspiring choices that transcend logic – it’s just in our nature. As neurologist and author Donald B. Calne put it “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that reason leads to conclusions while emotion leads to action”. And as brand owners, that’s exactly what you’re looking for
- Emotion is what differentiates. Talking through a long list of functional benefits does not – it ’s unexciting and uninspiring, quickly becoming wallpaper. Integrating emotional messaging is an opportunity to cut through, establish a niche and get ahead of the rest. A study from CEB and Google found that B2B brands get twice the impact when they connect with buyers through an emotional approach versus focusing on business value
- Emotion is what will embed you in your customers’ businesses strategy and build relationships that stand the test of time. Trust and belief are the cornerstones of any relationship – it’s what reputations are built on. And clients and customers who connect with a brand on an emotional level are much more likely to believe. And whether it is talked about or not, this belief powers an assumption or confidence in reduced risk, in turn, building loyalty and long-term relationships. The same Google study found that B2B buyers with a strong emotional tie to a brand are thirteen times more likely to purchase products/services and thirty times more likely to pay a premium
- Emotion is what builds culture. It’s so important to remember that the brand lives and breathes through each and every employee you have. Developing a brand with an emotional side not only gives staff a sense of purpose but ignites conversations and also bolsters your reputation as an employer of choice
So to conclude, it’s not about tear-jerking meeting requests or love sonnets and valentines cards, emotion is a real, everyday element of your brand that you simply cannot ignore. Rather than simply listing product benefits again and again, consider pushing your brand into new territory and approaching communications from the customer perspective. Think through their eyes and respond to their everyday pains using storytelling and brand narratives that will make them feel respected, appreciated and empowered.
SOFIE ROONEY, BRAND STRATEGIST
Sofie’s obsessed with what makes brands tick – a desire to uncover the little nuances that make them unique. Having worked client and agency side at home and abroad, she’s delighted to bring her strategic skills to brands like Drover Foods, Franciscan Well, Slane Irish Whiskey and Adare Manor over her two years with Neworld. Whether it’s brand development workshops, qualitative research, developing tone of voice or copywriting, Sofie looks forward to collaborating with many more Irish brands!