The great David Ogilvy is known to have said, “Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand.”
A brand is not a logo or a catchy slogan, as many people often think. A brand is a story. And just like good stories, it’s the way they resonate with the audience that creates the magic.
Your brand is the entire identity of your company, and although branding has always been a vital part of any successful business, in today’s cacophonic environment, you need to work much harder in order to stand out. Any B2B company that doesn’t have cohesive branding isn’t going to stay in someone’s mind for very long.
Jerome Bruner, one of the most influential psychologists of the 21st century, found that we are 20 times more likely to remember a fact when it has been wrapped in a story, simply because a story triggers our emotions, helps us relate, and infuses an emotional connection. This is simply the way our brains work.
Storytelling is hardly a new phenomenon. It is an integral part of the human existence. From early cave drawings to oral stories passed down from one generation to the other, to the formation of language and print, stories have always been a central core of the human experience. Hardly surprising then, that storytelling has always been the central pivot of good marketing. From print ads to TV commercials, every brand has a unique story to tell, and the way brands choose to communicate their vision and values shapes the way they are perceived.
Yet too many B2B companies underestimate the power of storytelling in their B2B marketing strategies. Whether in cybersecurity, fintech or data analytics, more often than not, we see chewed up jargon wrapped in too many facts and data instead of creative, engaging stories. As Dave Harland notes, this commonly overused terminology does nothing for your marketing efforts.
Recognize yourself in any of these “famous five”?
- Our automated/AI/ smart/agile/ technology
(oh, as opposed to everyone else who is still drawing on cave walls. Phew!)
- We are experts/leaders/best in class/revolutionary platform
(good thing to differentiate yourself from all the others who are obviously amateurs…)
- The platform/solution/business you can trust
(now, think about who always says: “you can trust me” in movies. Yep, it’s the bad guy)
- We provide outstanding/groundbreaking/innovative service
(self-love is great, but let others be the judge)
- We are passionate about cybersecurity/big data/IT solutions
(Umm…maybe it’s time for a better life work balance? Be passionate about your partner, lover, or both. Your soccer team, your politics. Well… you get it)
Any B2B startup’s marketing efforts should first and foremost appeal to people’s emotions. That can only be achieved through the art of storytelling. Incorporating creative storytelling in B2B marketing gives your company a human feel, making it much more attractive, relatable, and memorable in customers’ minds. It serves to build a long-term relationship with your audience and turn them into loyal customers.
The irresistible power of storytelling is a strategic business tool, notes Harrison Monarth, a leading global marketeer and New York Times bestselling author. This is not to say that facts and figures are not important, but they alone will not create an emotional bond with your audience. Instead of hard selling through self-boasting tactics, B2B startups need to focus on the tremendous value that creative storytelling brings to their service or product, and how it will serve to build their brand. Think of storytelling as the sum of all parts which will serve to:
- Communicate your values, engage, and forge an emotional connection.
- Help your clients better understand your offering.
- Provide a competitive advantage that drives growth.
- Build a memorable brand.
At Sage Marketing, we specialize in creative storytelling for startups in the fast lane. From creating brand names to developing your brand strategy and formulating captivating brand messaging, we do it all.
Every great brand was once just an idea. What sets the best apart from the rest is not how good their story is, but how they choose to tell it.
Tell us your story, and we’ll spread the word around.