B2B brands have a problem: they’re not as likeable as B2C brands.
There are many reasons for this. The way that B2B companies are structured, the nature of their product and service offerings, and the fact that most have not made a significant effort to be liked. They have focused more on tangible attributes – like product features, rather than intangible attributes like trust and likeability.
It’s well-known that consumers buy from people they like. We often shop in stores or eat at restaurants because the staff are nice to us, even if the prices are higher. When we buy in a business-to-business context, it’s no different – except that the individual people behind the product aren’t always visible to us.
This means that the brand must do the likeability job. And having a likeable B2B brand is the key to customer trust, advocacy, and loyalty.
Likeability is especially important today, as we see a shift in the way that B2B buyers think and act. A new type of millennial decision maker is rising through the ranks, and they want you to be different. They aren’t as interested in macho, ‘alpha’ brands like Oracle and IBM – they want more emotional brands like Salesforce that are more in touch with their customers.
So how can your B2B brand be more likeable? Here are five tips:
1) Be authentic – don’t try to fake it until you make it! If you try to be something that you’re not, it will come across as insincere and fake – and customers will catch on quickly. Instead, focus on being real and genuine with your customers so they know exactly who they’re dealing with when they buy from you.
2) Showcase your personality – people love brands that have a sense of humour or show some personality because it makes them feel connected with them on an emotional level. Don’t be afraid to use self-deprecating humour where appropriate.
3) Make your marketing personal. You don’t have to talk about your business in a way that feels stiff and formal. Instead, try using language that feels more casual and conversational – that way, you’ll feel more like a real person than a machine selling something.
4) Use storytelling. Storytelling is an effective way of connecting with people at a deeper level and building relationships with them. After all, it’s always better to have an interesting story about your brand rather than boring facts about what it does.
5) Be a helpful brand. Be the kind of company that’s happy to help, even if it pays you nothing in return. Show your potential customers that you’re dedicated to their best interests and that you are a warm and personable company.
If you need help with your B2B brand strategy, book aFREE BRAND REVIEWand I’ll help you reboot your brand for growth.