B2B Brand-ism #2: Emotion: A Stronger Driver For B2B Brands Than You Can Imagine.
Emotion is a decidedly stronger driver in B2B branding when compared to B2C for one very simple, but very important reason: the stakes are much, much higher for the B2B buyer.
Marketing skeptics might argue that emotion, or branding for that matter, has no place in B2B marketing, naively claiming:
- B2B buyers are rational decision-makers, unmoved by the emotional impact of brands.
- Almost exclusively sales representatives influence B2B purchases. The salesperson’s character, persuasiveness and persona essentially determine the brand.
- B2B brands lack aspirational attributes commonly found in consumer brands, with price being the decisive factor.
- Decisions in choosing B2B products and services are more complex than their B2C counterparts, making them difficult to distill to simple core brand messages or expressions.
- B2B organizations tend to have more fixed and finite buying audiences, so delivering broader brand awareness and identity efforts seems wasteful.
These non-believers are wrong. As long as human beings make B2B buying decisions, emotion will always dominate and blow the detractors away. Here’s why: 90% of buying decisions, both B2B and B2C, are decided subconsciously. Simply put, brands that evoke emotions will always win over brands that take a strictly functional messaging approach.
Consider this: You’re out grocery shopping one evening with a mental list of items that includes toothpaste for your daughter. Upon arriving home, you realize that you happened to grab the wrong brand. It’s a mistake that set you back about $4, and you have a slightly annoyed daughter.
In contrast, imagine you’re the person responsible for purchasing a new high-speed toothpaste-filling machine for your company. You do all your research; make the best possible selection, and as it turns out, the brand of equipment you purchased doesn’t run your product properly. This mistake can potentially result in lost production time, re-engineering of machinery, disruptions to production schedules, material waste, missed customer orders and more. It could set your company back hundreds of thousands of dollars. More importantly, it may cost you your job.
Clearly, emotions do matter for B2B brands, because the stakes are always so high. By building the right emotional connections into your brand, you’ll stand apart from competitors in the decision-making process and be the preferred choice of prospects that share your brand’s emotional attributes and values. Most importantly, you’ll have the advantage by positioning your company as the brand-of-choice before the active sales process even begins.
Want to deliver your brand with emotions that inspire, engage and attract high value and high quality relations? Delia Associates is here to help.
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Just in case you missed our Brand-Ism #1, or simply want to read it again, please click here.
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