Brand and creativity in B2B – Priority but how?
The world of B2B needs to have a greater focus on brand and awareness over demand generation. Strong brand propositions are overarching and single-minded – leaving a lot of room for big, emotional, and authentic ideas.
It’s the job of insights and creativity to deliver a brand narrative that is differentiating and disruptive. For there to be any future of creativity in B2B, agencies and clients must now challenge each other, make uncomfortable decisions, and have the conviction to follow them through.
But it’s uncomfortable.
It’s uncomfortable for agencies to step out of the poisonous rule of three routes: the safe route, the slightly brave route, and the good route. Agencies shouldn’t give clients the option of playing it safe. We’re consultants - we should never be showing a client work purely because we think it’s ‘buyable’. We should only offer creative ideas and creative that we believe will enhance the brand’s fortunes and, most importantly, deliver results.
It’s uncomfortable for clients to trust their agency and see value in creative that differs from ‘tried and tested’ approaches of the past. Instead of buying ideas they believe are an easy sell to stakeholders, clients need to be looking for the new, the different, and the unexpected.
It’s uncomfortable for boards to trust their marketing departments with changing their brand voice and direction. To get the board on side, it’s crucial that marketing teams and agencies work together. Because agencies are the consultants that can explain why the shift in direction is so essential to growth and success.
The point is, there are a lot of hurdles to navigate in order to make great creative work work. But one thing’s for sure - the most irresponsible thing a brand can do at this moment in time is continue doing the same thing on repeat.
Authenticity is key.
A brand’s personality is the single key differentiator and should be delivered with complete authenticity. Without it, that single point of difference is lost.
The trick is to keep digging until you uncover something that’s a point of difference. Then leverage the hell out of it. Find the thing that none of your competitors could ever say – no matter how small or trivial it might seem - and commit to it.
Andrew will be giving his thoughts on the role of creativity in B2B brand building throughout our time at Cannes. Stay up to date with all the highlights from the International Festival of Creativity on LinkedIn and Instagram!