Business-to-Business (B2B) companies are slowly waking to the fact that they are also dealing with human beings and they need to stop being boring in their communication. The old way of communicating with business is not working for them anymore. Just sending some press releases and mailing a few updates now and then to businesses are not fetching good results. It’s time for B2B companies to wake up to the need of the business and be there for your businesses in the way they expect you to be.
The (B2B) companies that have adapted to this trend early are a few and far. If you feel that your brand is lagging behind in this league, worry not, it’s never too late to pull up your strings and make the right communication that connects with your business. Start with crafting your communication keeping your customers at the centered. Write as if you are speaking to a person, make the language more conversational and natural, avoid jargon and always prefer simple language over marketing lingo.
Let’s look at some of the easy ways to humanize your B2B brand.
1. Create customer oriented content
Create all your content whether it is announcements, news updates, press releases, information for shareholders/vendors/partners keeping the users at the center. Highlight the benefit for your users rather than talking about the company/brand. A common question that your user/business will have when reading your content is what’s in it for me? Make sure your communication has an answer to this question. Talk to your business directly, use you more often than we in your communication to connect with your business.
An example from State Street:
2. Highlight how your business is impacting lives
Your business exists for a reason and it is addressing some issues of your customers. Talk about how your business is enabling lives, how it is empowering, innovating, simplifying, and transforming people to lead a better/quality life. Create content around how your business is helping people. Add personal success stories to showcase your brand’s impact.
3. Show people behind your business
When you say your business, it’s the people behind the business that you are talking about. Generously showcase people behind your company, your leadership teams, employees, HR teams, your expert teams, etc. to come across as human. When you show people in your communication, it helps customers to connect with your brand and it also helps to build credibility.
An example from Morgan Stanely showcasing their people:
4. Highlight the Benefits
Humanizing a brand’s communication starts with showcasing how a brand/business is making a difference to people’s life. Focus on the ‘why’, why your business exists? Crafting content around the ‘why’ enables you to come up with communication that is more meaningful and useful to the business.
For example, let’s look at Facebook. Why they exist in business, they say, we are here for ‘connecting the world’, and all their content surrounds around connecting people, creating meaningful relationships etc.
Similarly, find what your brand’s larger goal /vision is and craft content focusing around the vision. The content should focus more on showing how the products/services help the business/world at large rather than how great the company is or what legacy it holds.
An example from BNY Mellon:
5. Highlight CSR activities
A great deal of money, time and effort are spent towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities but not many companies showcase it as their prominent content. This is one way of showing you care for the people and the world at large. The CSR activities are a great way of showing what you care for and the values your brand believes in. Go ahead and proudly share the good work that you do and how you have made a difference to the world at large.
An example from Citi Group:
6. Highlight employee friendly policies
How a company treats its employees, what benefits it offers and how they make them feel being part of a brand/business says a lot about a company. If a company is good for its employees, it is natural that it will be good for its stakeholders too. Include content about how your company is achieving work-life balance, what facilities you are providing to your employees and women employees, what is your stand on gender diversity, etc. Highlight the special programs like internship programs, student enablement programs or any affiliated programs. These are the areas that will help you establish your human side of the brand. Make sure to talk about in an elaborate manner and show the sunnier side of your business proudly.
An example from StateStreet:
6. Share success stories
Everybody loves good stories. No matter what business you are in, you will have stories that are unique to your industry. Share client success stories, employee stories, CSR stories, how your reports and insights have garnered response/action can also be made as stories. Stop being plain boring in your communication, don’t just report what’s happening, how you did it, what’s the process, but pay attention to what difference it has made to your customers/business, their life, how it simplified/improved their life. Start sharing your stories to connect with your business. Find your story now!
An example from CitiGroup:
7. Be present (be a part of your customer’s life)
If you are serious about humanizing your brand, then you must be available for your business/customers when they need you the most. You need to add value to their life while being with them. No matter what business you are in, find out what is happening in the industry, stay relevant and create communication around the trends to be part of your customers.
For example, if you are a financial firm, there is so much happening around Brexit and your business is worried about the Brexit impact, and what changes it will bring to the way the businesses will run. You as a financial brand need to help your business/stakeholders with the latest information about Brexit to ease the tension and help them deal with the changes.
Here is an example from StateStreet to show how they are being relevant to their business:
Hope these simple eight ways will help you to take the first steps towards humanizing your brand. If you start focusing on your users, the larger goal of your company, you will find innumerable ways to improve your communication. Go ahead and make use of these simple, yet effective techniques in your communication and enjoy the benefits.