B2B brands reap big benefits when they put time and effort into the kinds of customer experience strategies that B2C brands are executing every day.

The speed and convenience of many experiences in B2C industries is upping the expectations in the B2B space. Customers today want better, faster experiences, and B2B brands reap big benefits when they put time and effort into the kinds of customer experience strategies that B2C brands are executing every day. We tend to think of businesses as these monolithic, logical profit machines, but they’re run by myriad people who can be anything but logical. Furthermore, business decision-makers are more likely to consider a B2B brand that consumers feel connected to -- 10 percent more likely. For so long, B2B brands have seemed like the serious older brothers of consumer brands. Those “serious” B2B brands must differentiate themselves from competitors. One powerful tool for doing just that is developing a distinct brand voice that does double duty -- a brand’s voice must make the brand stand out, but also forge an emotional connection with its audiences. Keep it casual. The first and most obvious lesson is to speak to people in layman’s terms. There is an antiquated notion out there that even contractions and personal pronouns are unprofessional and undercut the integrity of B2B communications. But just as “professional” doesn’t have to mean “corporate robot,” “casual” doesn’t have to mean “3 a.m. text message.” Be witty. Injecting humor into communications is the second lesson B2B brands can learn from the B2C space. It’s OK to be witty. It’s OK to slip in a clever turn of phrase or acknowledge an obvious irony, especially if you know that your audiences are already making the joke. Everyone appreciates humor -- especially “insider” humor -- because it demonstrates a certain self-awareness that relates a business directly with its audience and it brings them closer emotionally because they feel like they’re in on the joke. Stay relevant. A final lesson B2B brands can glean from B2C is an appreciation for the cultural moment. With supercomputers in almost every pocket, audiences are more plugged in than ever. Their awareness of what’s happening in the news, in pop culture and on the internet is another entry point into their hearts and minds -- an entry point B2C brands are clamoring to exploit and B2B brands are trying to understand.

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