As a B2B marketer, referral marketing and word-of-mouth are crucial to keeping your sales up and strengthening your business assets. When consumers think about your “brand,” you don’t want them to think about a logo. You want them to understand your ethos, sparking a feeling or emotion.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a brand ambassador. Your brand storytelling needs to be enticing, concrete, and consistent, building that reputability with your customer base. Understand how to incorporate your brand identity into your content marketing tactics to ensure your brand tells a story that sparks that emotional connection. Telling a compelling brand story is the foundation of your brand identity.
What is Brand Storytelling, And Why is it Important?
At its core, brand storytelling is about creating an emotional response. Your brand story is the foundation for your brand identity. It’s the crux of who you are, why you do what you do and how you do it differently. When you’re selling complex solutions to business problems, you need to spark that genuine connection to land your messaging. Nothing communicates emotion like storytelling.
B2C marketers often use brand storytelling in their communication flows. However, many B2B marketers fail to see the actual value in storytelling, hindering their potential growth in the market. Engaging with a B2B audience requires a different approach to traditional B2C marketing, making establishing a brand identity all the more critical.
Today’s economic downturn and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on sales only reaffirms the significance of brand storytelling. Market leaders use stories to author the future, challenging the status quo to establish a presence in the market. In times of trouble, humor, nostalgia, price, and value are paramount.
What is Brand Identity?
We’ve established that brand storytelling refers to your reason for being. Consider it the foundation of your business. Your brand identity refers to the tools you use to communicate this story—representing your ethos across various channels. Your brand identity is your personality translated into a corporate identity. Feed this into your content marketing strategy for a fully rounded approach.
Taking the time to craft a unique and intriguing brand identity ensures that you remain consistent across all channels. No matter where you’re communicating, customers need to recognize your brand immediately. Whether it’s basic styles, brand colors, creative assets, or copy lines, it feeds into your reputability across the board. Setting up a step-by-step CI Guide is crucial as you start to tell your story.
How To Tell An Effective Brand Story As A B2B Marketer
Your strategy should always revert to the sales funnel. When you think of your content pieces, try to bundle them into the appropriate buckets. Ultimately, your storytelling needs to cover awareness, consideration, and intent.
Your overarching brand story falls into the awareness bucket, using your narrative to connect with potential customers. Audience-centered storytelling falls into the consideration bucket with individual interactions driving decision-making and retention. Think of the funnel as different chapters in your brand book, building a narrative that supports your customer journey to drive sales success.
If you’re wondering where to start, follow this structure:
- Set The Scene
Like any story, you need to establish your starting point. Describe the status quo, treating your brand as the protagonist in your narrative.
- Highlight Your Conflict
Your brand was born out of a need or want in the market. Treat this as your conflict in the narrative, the big-picture concern you’re going to fix.
Remember, successful storytelling revolves around overcoming adversity. While your brand story isn’t the next novel, think of your “conflict” as an essential pillar in your very existence.
- Find A Resolution
If your brand is the protagonist, it’s the hero of your narrative. Unpack why you’re able to fix the problem, restoring the status quo to where it should, or could, be.
While this may seem like a simple approach, these are the fundamental values for storytelling. Bring it into the marketing arena with the sales funnel at the top of your mind, and you’ll put together an unforgettable story in your content.
The Significant Impact of Brand Storytelling And Brand Identity
Businesses can no longer afford to be faceless entities. To survive and thrive, companies need to connect with audiences. It’s about effectively pulling at heartstrings, engaging on a deeper level. In reality, there are a lot of businesses providing similar solutions. What sets you apart from the rest? Your brand story and your brand identity.
The various advantages of compelling brand storytelling and brand identity include:
- Community Development
Consistent and effective brand storytelling builds a brand following. Users who are fans of your product or service buy into your ethos, becoming marketers on your behalf. In the B2B space, word-of-mouth is everything.
People retain 70% of information through stories, with only 10% coming from data and statistics. Our human nature draws us to narratives. Generate a positive emotional response with your storytelling, and you’ll hit the jackpot for retention. Build yourself a tribe.
In the past, B2B brands have struggled to connect with their audience on a personal level. Authentic narratives and transparency are a silver bullet in today’s marketing landscape. Use successful storytelling to build rapport and trust for your brand.
- Boost Sales
Positive experiences translate into sales. By creating a network of trust, your business will thrive. Spend some time building a brand story internally and externally, crafting a genuine belief in what you do and why. If in doubt, come back to your “why” and make sure it’s abundantly clear to your consumers. Your “why” defines the solution you’ve created. If you can communicate that, your growth will be exponential.
Start Telling Stories
Stories create a powerful connection between brands and consumers. Understanding the fundamentals of brand storytelling and feeding this into the creation of your brand identity is crucial. Use these tips to tell your story, building a tribe of loyal B2B consumers. Ultimately, you have to sell your purpose and your identity, along with your product or service.
Emma Dittmer is the Marketing Manager at UCOOK, South Africa’s leading dinner-kit service. Working in a start-up environment means she’s well versed in the fast-paced, exciting world of e-commerce and all things digital.