Ideas and insights > How to tell—and sell—your B2B brand story.

How to tell—and sell—your B2B brand story.

Our thought leader:

Chris Milan
Chris Milan
Director of Branding and Messaging

Spoiler alert: Emotion is key.

Turning leads into B2B customers is no easy feat, as their needs and your markets are constantly in flux. How can you create conversions in a sea of change? By ensuring your brand messaging is solid as a rock. 

We’re seeing a shift in B2B companies from traditional advertising to a focus on brand-building. Tom Pepper, Senior Director of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions for EMEA AND LATAM said it best:

No matter what B2B space you’re in, your brand story needs to be value-focused, unified, and—just like any good book—it should keep people hooked by engaging, inspiring, and reaching them on an emotional level.

Keep reading for three steps to ensure your team is telling the right brand story, so they can turn prospects into loyal customers.

1. Use emotional storytelling to seal the deal. 

Emotional storytelling is the art of using your brand story to evoke emotions that align with your brand purpose and goals.

Product specs have their place, but to make strong connections with your leads, you need to reach them on an emotional level. After all, they’re not just prospects, they’re people—and people make decisions based largely on emotion, not logic. According to a LinkedIn global survey of more than 1,600 B2B marketing leaders, many agree with the sentiment: 

In order to start creating emotional connections through brand messaging, you need to:


Know your audience deeply.

Your customers have distinct purchase motivations known as emotional triggers, like the desire to build a better future or stand out from the crowd. Consider what makes them tick, then create personas for each segment. This will ensure your messaging is focused on solving their challenges. 


Understand their journey.

Your prospect’s emotions change as they move through the funnel. You can get a leg up by showing empathy for your buyer from stage one. Create a messaging map that plots their questions, concerns—and feelings—at every stage. Be sure to include touchpoints and channels.


Talk with your sales team.

Your sales team is a gold mine of customer insights, including what is and isn’t working. Talk to them about their challenges, successes, the stories they’re telling, and how well they’re connecting with customers.

2. Empower your storytellers (aka employees).

Building an effective story is one thing. Telling it effectively is another. It starts with your storytellers: your employees. When you empower them to effectively communicate your story, buyers will remember and trust your brand. This is what Professor John Dawes of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute calls a memory link. Their recent report explains:

Read on for our proven methods for empowering your team to tell your brand story, and tell it well:


Provide a brand playbook.

A single source of truth will keep everyone on the same page, helping them tell your brand story consistently across all touchpoints. Your brand playbook should include a tagline, brand position, and brand messaging guidelines for your top content types and customer segments. Include examples to make it as intuitive as possible. 


Give your team guidance.

You could email your brand book to employees and call it a day, but that doesn’t guarantee they will read—let alone open—the attachment. Set up guidance sessions to ensure everyone understands and is using the playbook. For added motivation, tie effective use of your brand guide to performance reviews. 


Share successes—and lessons.

Encourage early adopters of your brand playbook to share their wins. This can be a powerful way to convince employees that your new messaging connects with customers. But remember: Mishaps will happen. Treat those like opportunities to strengthen your guidelines, as a brand playbook should be a work in progress. 

3. Put the right tools and tactics to work.

Once your brand story, brand playbook, and employees are ready, focus on making it easy for your team to create marketing and sales materials, generate leads, and drive conversions. From reaching customers with the right content to keeping your brand resources accessible, these tools and tactics can come in handy:


Deliver the right content.

Tempt prospects with content they’re most likely to respond to at each stage of the funnel. Use the questions they’re searching to guide your content.

Here’s a refresher on the three stages of the customer journey and recommended content types:

      • Awareness: Provide relevant information and build trust. Social media posts and ads, infographics, short videos, and quizzes or surveys all fit the bill.
      • Consideration: Prove that you’re the best option. In-depth materials like email campaigns, e-newsletters, and blogs work best. 
      • Decision: Showcase the value of your offering. Case studies, demos, and webinars will help you hit that goal you’ve been working so hard at: a sale!

        According to DemandSage:

Involve sales and marketing teams.

Keep both groups in the loop from the start, so they can provide input for your brand story. That will also ensure they create the most effective content and collateral, leading to—you guessed it!—conversions. 


Create a toolkit with key collateral. 

We recommend doing this for each customer segment and stage of the funnel. Be sure it’s easy to find the right resources to address the needs of your leads, solve specific use cases, and support marketing and sales.

Now that you know the impact of brand messaging on customer loyalty (and their emotions), you’re ready to capture leads with captivating content—no matter what changes arise.

Want an extra hand in crafting brand messaging that resonates with your audiences? We’re here for you. Let’s talk about your B2B brand story—and how to tell and sell it.

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