October 23, 2018

B2B brand masters: 5 businesses and how they established their names

What if we told you that fun and creativity isn’t reserved for B2C companies? There are ways for B2B businesses to establish their names with the same passionate, innovative and engaging branding.

If you’re at a loss finding success in B2B branding and marketing efforts, you’re not alone. The Content Marketing Institute surveyed B2B marketers and found that while 89 percent of them use content marketing, only 34 percent feel their efforts are actually effective.

Don’t get too disheartened – there are B2B brands out there that are fighting the misconceptions and establishing their name with storytelling finesse.

Here are some of those B2B brand masters, along with reasons why they were so successful:


Cisco Systems helps IT professionals design, manage and maintain sophisticated and secure digital business platforms. They provide a practical service, but they tell a brand story that engages its B2B audience. In a recent campaign, Cisco highlighted real customer stories to let their voices explain how Cisco powers innovation, collaboration, productivity and efficiency across various industries.

What they did right:

  • Nailed the storytelling aspect of branding.
  • Enhanced content and brand advocacy with real customer stories.
  • Established authority and usability with Cisco blogs.
  • Created a sense of community with Cisco Social Rewards.

While not as flashy as Google or Apple, IBM is still a recognizable name and leading tech giant. With IBM Research, the company was able to establish its place as a thought leader in technology developments. IBM’s recent marketing campaigns got creative, borrowing the celebrity tactic common in B2C advertising. Just because they’re tech-savvy doesn’t mean IT directors won’t be engaged by Stephen King talking about storytelling, or how cognitive APIs can help businesses connect with audiences.

What they did right:

  • Created authenticity with genuine stories from real people.
  • Appealed to a B2B audience with authority as well as relatable humor.
  • Used social media to share stories about the brand’s culture, employees and products.

GE is a hybrid brand, working with both B2B and B2C audiences. That means the company has to tell a brand story that reaches both audiences. GE established its name as a leader in innovation and imagination, but the brand recently refreshed its efforts with more visual content. By keeping technology interesting, the company can increase awareness of the scope of GE’s services, as well as appeal to young engineers, business talent and potential shareholders.

What they did right:

  • Launched a podcast, refreshed social media channels and updated the website to keep the company relevant.
  • Appealed to a wide audience of technology lovers while maintaining brand consistency.

Founded in 2010, WeWork is a relatively new company with a strong brand identity. As a global network of workspaces, the company’s mission is to create productive, welcoming and collaborative communities. They carry that mission to Instagram, where they showcase their office spaces on a platform that anyone can access, from anywhere in the world. The efforts worked, earning the company partnerships with huge brands like Spotify, Microsoft, Sprint and HSBC.

What they did right:

  • Established a story of community to ground the brand values.
  • Expanded that community through growth and acquisition.
  • Leveraged social media to reach their audience of young, socially savvy professionals.

HubSpot is a leader in marketing software and insights, so it’s no surprise that the company practices what it preaches. The brand consistently publishes blog content, eBooks, infographics, webinars and other valuable content created by real marketing experts. As a result, sales and marketing professionals not only use HubSpot software, but they trust the company as a valuable industry resource.

What they did right:

  • Provided reliable tools and software.
  • Established HubSpot as a thought leader.
  • Created a good-looking, user-friendly and easily digestible website.
  • Showcased credible case studies, including work with Salesforce, Casio and InnerDrive.

If you’re ready to see success from your branding and marketing efforts, contact the B2B gurus at JK Design. Our goal is to make B2B anything but boring, giving you the tools to become a brand master, too.

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