INSIGHTS

Fresh thinking on B2B brand positioning and marketing strategy.

The Dangerous Myth of the Rational B2B Buyer

As B2B marketers know, when it comes to customer buying behavior, there’s a big difference between a considered decision and an impulsive one. However, the difference in the mindset of the business buyer compared to the consumer is not necessarily as black and white as rational versus emotional. This is a common misconception. Though…

The Language of CSR: What Your Words Say About Your Company

The playwright Tom Stoppard once said, “Words are sacred… if you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little…” We took a look the annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports of several top B2B companies in an effort to observe trends and common practices, and we couldn’t…

Aligning Brand and Culture: Where Should a Company Begin?

It’s the classic chicken or egg question — which element comes first when aligning brand and culture? Leadership teams often ask us this question during transformation initiatives. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are three critical questions that any leadership team must answer to understand how to begin optimizing the relationship…

EXL: A Case Study for B2B Challenger Brands

In some market segments, competition is so fierce, and offerings so similar, that creating a new brand isn’t enough to stand out. If your field is crowded with me-too competitors, and particularly if those competitors are larger than you and have bigger marketing budgets, you don’t win by playing their game. You…

Boost Team Agility. Maximize Marketing Impact.

Today, brands need to respond to market dynamics swiftly. And though they rarely have the luxury of lengthy planning and strategy phases, most marketing teams still aren’t built for speed — in decision-making or execution. So, how can teams infuse more agility into the marketing process?
1. Start streamlining at the C-suite level…

Archetype Series #2: The Sage, the Explorer and the Innocent

As we noted in the first post of this series, brands are similar to people — they’re driven by unique personalities that help create their identities. To help our clients tap into their own archetypes, we’ve developed an interactive exercise that guides them through an exploration of nine Jungian archetypes. We challenge workshop participants…

GDPR: Compliance Challenge Or Marketing Opportunity?

There has been much hand-wringing among marketers over the European Union’s recently implemented data privacy rules. Yes, they have important implications for marketers doing business in Europe. And it’s true that failure to comply can result in significant penalties.

But seen in the right perspective, the European Union’s General Data Protection…

Brand Strategy: From Tangibles to Intangibles

A competitive review is an important part of any brand strategy initiative. It helps answer questions critical to a successful branding effort: How are competitors positioning themselves? What are the messages that consistently rise to the top? What is the white space that can be “owned” by a brand?

For dataxu, a client in the…

Color Series: The Proportional Color Palette

The visual aspects of a brand are what creates the overall “brand identity,” a way for audiences to create perceptions about your brand based on the consistency of images, language, font, design, and of course, colors. Color plays a crucial role in both the creation of an identity and a logo as it creates consistency…

B2B Taglines: The Hardest Working Words in Branding

A thoughtfully developed tagline can be a concise expression of a brand, an effective way to quickly communicate its unique value proposition. Too often, though, B2B taglines are formulaic and predictable.

Case in point: Shopify created an online tool called the “Free Slogan Maker.” It asks you to “simply enter a term that describes your…

Building a Better B2B Brand Voice

In the past, B2B and B2C marketing existed on opposite ends of a spectrum. Where B2C communications were casual and colloquial, B2B materials were formal and professional. Where B2C ads built a friendly rapport with their customers, B2B campaigns often adopted a more serious tone.

But today a shift is underway. More frequently, B2B brands…

Startup Branding: Critically Important. Often Overlooked.

A few years ago, the CEO of a Europe-based technology startup came to us with a dilemma. His company had a great, first-of-its-kind product – an interactive presentation system that combined dazzling graphics, great flexibility and centralized control. But after some initial success among global pharmaceutical companies, the company hit a wall…

The Power of Visuals in Branding

Humans have always responded viscerally to visual communication, from the earliest cave paintings to Instagram. But there’s evidence that visual learning is actually more effective than written language, especially in how it’s retained.

Recent research at MIT has revealed a much greater ability for visual recall than previously thought. Which isn’t surprising…

Breaking Through with Brand Purpose

Mission, vision, values: if you’re of a certain age, when you hear these terms you might feel transported back to the 80s or 90s, to the height of the “planning school” and corporate jargon. In 1984, one influential business writer proclaimed, “everyone agrees they are necessary” — and the stats back this up. In 1991…

Professional Services Branding Goes Beyond

In professional services, people are the brand. If consultants, accountants and attorneys don’t walk, talk and think their firm’s brand, the brand may never amount to more than a catchy tagline or an attractive logo. But professionals are a tough audience to convert to brand ambassadors. They work long hours, often billing for…

Archetype Series #1: Magicians, Heroes and Outlaws

A brand is much more than a logo or a tagline. It’s the cohesive combination of what the brand stands for, what it says and what it does. To truly come to life, a brand needs dimension beyond the 2D world of its verbal and visual identity; it needs to live in the everyday…

Five Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Agency Partnership

As a CMO, you’ll likely work with a variety of agencies — from brand and advertising to public relations and digital. Each of these relationships has the potential to be a true partnership that strengthens your work and business. But even with this understanding, these partnerships can still experience their fair share of challenges — often…

Navigating Disruption in Financial Services: How Brand Can Help

Depending on your outlook, the financial services industry is either an incredibly scary or extremely exciting place to be right now. More than any other industry, financial services companies are facing a paradigm shift brought on by the perfect storm of digitalization, increased regulatory scrutiny and changing demographic profiles and preferences of both clients and…