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Business to Business (B2B)

The Age Of Human-Centric B2B Brands

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The Age Of Human-Centric B2B Brands

B2B enterprise has always felt like a second cousin to popular consumer brands like Pepsi, Apple, Nike and Beyoncé. B2B markets are more niche, their budgets typically smaller and B2B products and services are not always influenced by popular media. This has resulted in B2B brands assuming a second class status that is not always accurate.

In truth, the wall between consumer and B2B has been dissolving for years. Blendtec threw ridiculous objects into their industrial blenders and chopped weird stuff to smithereens on YouTube. Salesforce — as B2B as it gets, had Neil Young playing at company events for years. Clearly work life has been creeping into home life since the introduction of the laptop — and WFH has pushed it forward.

The Age Of Human-Centric B2B Brands

These days, “All you need is an idea and good taste,” quips Mark Andeer, global head of sales and marketing at data analytics company Rawcubes.

Andeer just produced what is possibly the first television commercial to make data analytics come alive via a thoughtful and compassionate human story. The 30-second spot was created for YouTube and tells a visual story of a woman growing from youth to an old woman — and of the ability of Rawcube’s data analytics to predict, among other things, Alzheimer’s.

What makes the spot especially brilliant is how Andeer (with help from a terrific film editor) took stock photography and stock film footage to build his idea. The same spot might have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to shoot using a conventional director and film production company, but Andeer pieced together the still shots and footage for far less.

Andeer spearheads an innovative new class of CMO that understands technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and design — and how to punctuate all three

Quality did not suffer. Comments from industry CMOs on the spot, simply titled “Alice”, range from “Wow” and “super compelling” to “this spot is beautiful, captivating, and definitely accomplishes your goals of making a cold subject more human.”

Andeer spearheads an innovative new class of CMO that rises from the surge of new social, digital and traditional media options that sometimes overwhelm conventional CMOs. They understand technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and design — and how to communicate across all four. Andeer’s background in developing award-winning work on the agency side and on the corporate side is powerful.

“Cutting out agency creative and production teams streamlines costs,” says Andeer, “and makes a tech-savvy subject like data analytics perfect for in-house teams.

Creativity tools have been around since Photoshop was developed by a Pixar employee as a side project. More recently, sites like Unsplash, Dissolve, Artgrid.io, Getty Images and more (what do you use?) help professionals build social and digital content. Squarespace helps build websites, Shopify builds online retail, Beautiful.ai builds presentations, BrandPad.io builds brand guidelines. New artificial intelligence tools will even write marketing copy. Mark Andeer used Envato Elements for his visuals and used some editorial wizardry to DX two scenes of a woman standing on a precipice overlooking a mountain skyline.

B2B + B2C = B2P (Business To People)

Although B2B marketers don’t like to hear it, B2B faces the same challenges as consumer products, influencers and political candidates: people need to see you in at least five different places before they fathom that you exist, and it takes about 100 hours to make a friend. Everything else is built on top of these base points. The heavy lifting is how to make people care and believe in you.

The ability for B2B to be creative and capture imaginations has always existed. The time to leap forward has arrived.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Patrick Hanlon, Author of Primal Branding

The Blake Project Helps B2B Brands Craft Their Stories In The Strategic Brand Storytelling Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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