B2B marketing has traditionally focused on promoting the features and technical advantages of products and innovations. The concept of branding has often been dismissed as too superficial and only relevant in the B2C sector.
However, this viewpoint overlooks a crucial fact: ultimately, people do business with people, and whilst most B2B technology businesses do not need a cuddly mascot or annual Christmas TV advert, they do need to tell compelling stories that create both rational and emotional connections and help their audiences feel an affinity to their brand. That way, when an opportunity or need for new technology arises, their brand will be top of mind instead of a competitor.
The power of storytelling in branding
Branding originates from when farmers used to mark their cattle as a sign of ownership. Since then, a business’ brand has become a unique signifier that lets buyers know who they are buying from and, increasingly, what to expect from that experience. Brand development in B2B deep tech is about evolving a uniqueness that differentiates one technology provider from another. It helps to define who you are, what you stand for, and what you can offer.
Storytelling is a compelling way to do this. In a B2B setting, it means taking big, complex ideas and simplifying them into an easier-to-digest narrative. From there, it is possible to create content that is informative and actionable by the end-user, therefore positioning the brand as an ally or partner ready to help tackle whatever challenges they’re experiencing. It helps to differentiate, and this can be further achieved by ensuring you’re clear on the value proposition and what you bring that others can’t.
Answering the “so what?” question
Turning the messaging from “we” to “you” helps customers understand how the technology will benefit them and what problems it can solve. How can it improve their working life for the better? Having a clear answer to such a pertinent question helps you become more customer-centric and builds a stronger connection on a much deeper level.
Also, creating more relatable and human stories will help drive longer-term brand affinity, loyalty and more positive sentiment, which ultimately helps to boost sales by becoming front of mind when the end-user is ready to buy.
Bring real people to give life to your brand
An inward-looking approach rarely resonates with a customer, so avoid being too focused on your own company. Share stories direct from customers who have used your technology to overcome business challenges, along with best practices of how others can do the same.
Consider sharing a meaningful brand purpose and vision if it is aligned with the target audience’s values and compel them to be part of your journey. How do you improve the lives of others? What positive difference do you make in their world?
Share the brand story internally
Another effective way to communicate the brand story is through employees, so share it through every aspect of the business, from those on the factory floor right through to customer support and the sales team. They need to keep the thread going and ensure the story is consistent. So, train engaged people to become brand ambassadors to keep the story going and encourage others in the company to do the same.
Brand maturity boosts engagement
Developing your brand through content marketing, case study development, and PR activities is an effective strategy to keep your brand in mind when your potential customers are ready to buy. It keeps the drum beating, even when there is no new technology to shout about or campaign activation happening.
While it may be tempting to focus on the tactical activities that bring immediate financial results when budgets are tight, it is important to remember that the brand provides a platform to launch new products, innovations, and initiatives in an impactful way. Neglecting branding could mean effectively starting from scratch every time you try to introduce something new.
Strong brands achieve better results
So, creating brand affinity as a deep tech company is possible. It requires powerful storytelling, customer-centric connections, and consistent communication at all levels. Done well, building brand affinity can transform an organisation – resulting in stronger, deeper and more meaningful business relationships over the long term.