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A Better Way to Market Your Brand & Accelerate B2B Sales Growth

- March 18, 2019 4:14 pm

So many companies make the same mistake: they lead with what they sell and why they’re good at it. While this may sound counterintuitive, leading with who you serve and what problems you solve resonates with prospects and customers in a far more powerful way – especially when you craft a compelling story around the needs of your clients.

Messaging that Doesn’t Put the Solution Before the Problem

The problem with the traditional approach to messaging is that it only works if the products, services and solutions you sell align exactly with what your prospects think they need. What if they don’t know what they want? What if they’re wrong? What if they’re not even aware your solutions exist?

Unless they are experts in your field, which is unlikely, your prospects are self-prescribing and are likely to be wrong, at least to some degree. It’s like prescribing your own medication without a doctor’s advice: you might be right, but you could also be disastrously wrong.

Brand Substance vs. Style

A different approach, built around classic elements of dramatic storytelling, is at the center of the book Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. Miller’s approach adapts the narrative arc of classic drama to create a compelling marketing message, complete with a hero on a transformative journey. But in this story, your prospect is the hero, not your company. Your company is the guide, clearing away the obstacles that stand between the hero and what he wants or needs to accomplish. It’s messaging that puts substance ahead of style.

When you make your company the hero in the prospect’s story, they lose interest. Have you ever noticed how an audience nods off when the first 5-10 slides are all about the presenter’s company?

Most companies only focus on style when it comes to their brand identities: the design of their logo, their color palette and a catchy tagline. It’s a creative effort disconnected from a coherent narrative and effective B2B marketing strategy.

Messaging created as part of this process tends to focus on features and capabilities of your solutions before making it clear to your target market what problems you solve – and why they should care in the first place.

Solutions, features and benefits have a place in your brand story – but the real story is the transformation they achieve.

The StoryBrand Process

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand lays out a simple process for creating messaging that resonates with prospects and customers by adapting the “hero’s journey” made famous by writer Joseph Campbell, which George Lucas famously credited as the inspiration for his Star Wars movies.

A marketing story that tracks this classic framework through the journey and hardships of the customers you are trying to help creates a compelling argument for your services and is a more effective way to generate leads, sales and company growth.

StoryBrand’s adaption of the hero’s journey looks like this:

Here’s how we adapted the StoryBrand framework to refine the messaging for a managed print services client:

  • The Hero: healthcare organizations in the Chicago area
  • Problems:
    • External: aging, hard-to-use office equipment
    • Internal: frustration of dealing with old equipment and the amount of productivity lost as a result
    • Philosophical: why are we spending so much money on office equipment that derails productivity instead of enabling it?
  • The Guide: the managed services provider
  • The Process:
    • 5-step implementation plan (ensures a pain-free change)
    • Support with the fastest response time in the area
    • Annual account reviews to identify further problems to be solved
    • Managed print services assessment
  • The Call-to-Action: start your transformation by requesting an office productivity assessment today
  • Success: healthcare providers can focus on caring for patients instead of dealing with old, costly office equipment

Help Tell Your Story

Just as you serve as a guide for your prospects, we can act as your guide to creating an effective brand story for your business, blended with proven B2B lead generation strategies, SEO-optimized digital content, sales messaging alignment and a tailored program of inbound and outbound marketing.

Once we’ve found your story, we’ll help weave it into your messaging with compelling original content optimized for improved search results:

  • Reframed home page content – and potentially a complete website redesign
  • Refined mission statement
  • New elevator pitch and PR boilerplate
  • Reworked About page
  • Rewrite of your main solution and vertical market pages
  • Retooling of your marketing and advertising materials

To learn how we can help you tell a more effective story, contact us to schedule a review of your sales and marketing messaging.