Are you feeling overwhelmed by the time-consuming tasks involved in B2B sales, such as analyzing spreadsheets and reports for quality leads? Despite your efforts...
Reflect on your recent laptop, clothing, or grocery shopping experience – did you opt for the cheapest option or did you choose a pricier item with appealing packaging and a recognized brand? The sway of brand recognition is evident.
It is often stated that a company’s offerings constitute only 25% of what it sells, with the remaining 75% attributed to the emotional connection customers have with the products. Purchases extend beyond mere functionality, as consumers consider the feelings associated with the items they buy.
The intriguing aspect is that there are myriad ways to cultivate a brand, all centered around enhancing the customer’s life. This goes beyond the product itself, focusing on the narrative and impact the product has on their lives.
While a generic list of the top 100 brand-building strategies may lack value, practical examples illustrating how a brand can connect with customers offer insight and inspiration for further development.
Therefore, here are several strategies to foster a meaningful connection with your customers and transcend mere transactions, ultimately becoming more than just a sale.
#1 Selling Experience: Make a Promise and Deliver It
A pivotal aspect of successful branding lies in the ability to make promises and, more importantly, to deliver on them. This commitment is not just about the product but extends to embodying a set of values and aspirations that resonate with consumers.
A notable B2C example is Nike, a global leader in athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories. Nike has built a powerful brand by making promises centered around performance, innovation, and inspiration. The company commits to providing high-quality, cutting-edge athletic gear that not only enhances sports performance but also reflects a lifestyle associated with athleticism and achievement.
Nike’s iconic slogan, “Just Do It,” embodies its promise to inspire and motivate individuals to pursue their athletic and personal goals. The company consistently delivers on this promise through the design and functionality of its products, athlete endorsements, and impactful marketing campaigns that celebrate the spirit of sportsmanship and determination.
The success of Nike illustrates how aligning brand promises with consumer aspirations and values can create a strong emotional connection. Consumers often choose Nike products not only for their quality but also for their association with a brand that represents motivation, excellence, and a commitment to pushing boundaries in sports and lifestyle. This example underscores the importance of building a brand that goes beyond products and resonates with the aspirations and values of the consumer.
#2 Selling experience: Tell Stories
Effective storytelling is a powerful tool in shaping the perception of a brand, influencing consumer choices, and creating lasting connections. By crafting narratives that resonate with customers on a personal level, businesses can go beyond the functional aspects of their products or services and tap into the emotional elements that drive purchasing decisions.
Mailchimp is a well-known name in the marketing world, celebrated for its ability to streamline email marketing processes. Beyond producing compelling content through blogs, podcasts, and case studies, Mailchimp stands out by incorporating a unique approach. Their content consistently features success stories of customers who have achieved remarkable results using their platform, creating a sense of intrigue around the product and enticing potential users to explore the platform.
Furthermore, Mailchimp has left a lasting impression by releasing a video that cleverly plays on variations of its name, such as “Mailshrimp.” This video, a humorous take on product storytelling, goes beyond the conventional approach of simply selling the product. Instead, it appeals to the human side of the audience, showcasing Mailchimp’s creativity and sense of humor while fostering a connection that goes beyond the functionalities of its service.
#3 Selling experience: Share a Lifestyle
A compelling selling experience involves more than just transactions; it’s about sharing a lifestyle that resonates with the audience. Brands that successfully integrate their products into a broader lifestyle narrative create a connection with consumers, going beyond mere functionality to embody a set of values and aspirations.
HubSpot, an inbound marketing, sales, and customer service platform, is another noteworthy example of a B2B brand effectively sharing a lifestyle narrative. Beyond its suite of tools, HubSpot positions itself as a champion of inbound marketing and the philosophy of attracting, engaging, and delighting customers.
Through events like INBOUND, HubSpot fosters a community where professionals can come together to learn and share experiences. This not only promotes their products but also reinforces a lifestyle centered around staying informed, adopting best practices, and fostering meaningful customer relationships.
#4 Selling experience: Make a Connection
Establishing a connection with the audience is fundamental to crafting a compelling selling experience. Brands that succeed in creating meaningful connections go beyond transactions, tapping into the emotions and values that resonate with their audience. This connection is not just about the product; it’s about aligning with the consumers’ desire to make a positive impact or showcase their values.
A great example in the B2B realm is Salesforce’s 1-1-1 model. Salesforce commits 1% of its product, 1% of its equity, and 1% of its employees’ time to charitable causes. The impact on specific individuals or communities may not be traced with absolute precision, but what resonates is the broader connection – a commitment to social responsibility and making a positive impact. This approach creates a connection with businesses that prioritize not only their success but also their contribution to societal well-being.
#5 Selling experience: Share a Moment
Brands that excel in delivering surprises and delights not only build customer loyalty but also foster a connection by associating their products or services with positive and exciting experiences. Sharing these moments goes beyond traditional transactions, creating a lasting impression that resonates with the audience.
Slack, a business communication platform, excels in sharing moments with its users. Beyond being a tool for team collaboration, Slack creates a dynamic and engaging user experience. The platform regularly introduces new features, celebrates user achievements through personalized messages, and hosts virtual events like webinars and workshops.
By continuously sharing these moments, Slack goes beyond the functional aspects of a communication tool. Users not only appreciate the efficiency of the platform but also associate it with positive and enjoyable experiences. Slack’s emphasis on community building, feature announcements, and user recognition creates a sense of connection and excitement among its users, making the brand more than just a communication tool but a partner in fostering a collaborative and vibrant work environment.
In conclusion, building a brand and selling experiences is a long-term commitment. For those selling products, relying solely on price or specs isn’t enough. The key is to sell a compelling experience, allowing businesses to command higher prices and create satisfied customers. People value experiences, so the focus should shift from selling things to delivering memorable and emotion-driven encounters.
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