Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Leap for B2B Branding

Does anyone really believe that B2B buyers are robots?

When you stop to think about it, people who make business-to-business purchase decisions are still people.

They may look stiff and formal in a navy blue business suits with collar and tie, but I'm willing to bet there are multitudes of B2B customers who like to sing in the shower, drive their kids to school and help those same kids look for monsters under the bed.

However, for some strange reason, B2B executives find it difficult to appreciate the qualities people find most appealing in B2B brands are human qualities. Instead they drain any semblance of humanity out of their company with stoic, politically-correct corporatebabble that dominates most B2B websites:

"XYZ Industrial is comprised of many organizational elements with a single purpose: to enable, support and expedite our mission-critical objectives. We provide customized systems and solutions for businesses, organizations and individuals. We work with our valued customers in the creation of synergistic solutions that accurately reflect their operational requirements and our core values of honesty, teamwork, caring, humility and creativity".

If you're a B2B company that wants to be noticed, heard and respected, maybe it's time to consider making a bold leap into creating human connections with people you hope to do business with.

One of the best recent examples, is a company selling virtual phone systems that used chocolate covered grasshoppers, 5,000 FedEx packages and Homeland Security that generated nearly a million YouTube hits and a stir in the marketplace.

The most compelling aspect of the re-brand is the lack of focus on the standard "features, advantages, benefits" language, proving that even in B2B environments you need to win the heart before the mind will follow.

And the results are still pouring in.

Turns out, business buyers are just as human as the rest of us.

They may need to be persuaded in different ways, but there will always be a time and place to make an emotional argument that will separate any B2B company from the many competitors who will only ever appeal to logic. Nevertheless, many make the flawed assumption that B2B buyers assume a hyper-rational persona that drains all emotional influencers, leading to dull as dishwater print ads, websites, trade show booths and other marketing collateral.

Do you truly believe people can just "flip the switch" and turn off what makes them human once they walk into the office?

Or do you think B2B companies like have identified emotional triggers that help customers take notice and then buy? Could a leap like that work in other B2B categories?

Or would it be safer to pretend B2B customers really do think like robots?

"You can be professional while also ‘keeping it real’ with your customers. By interacting with customers in a less formal way, you’ll build a strong human connection that helps build brand loyalty"


You can learn more about Gair's seminars and speaking programs at In the meantime, his book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" waits patiently for you at and

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