Albert Einstein once said: "I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university."
Applying this to the world of brand and communications, it's amazing the number of people that think you must communicate and operate differently while interacting with people in B2B environments vs B2C environments - because it’s business.
Some argue business-to-business decisions are much more complex than consumer decisions — more rational, more complex products or services, with constantly changing decision-makers, driven often by different motivations — therefore, a different approach is required.
The most important thing in all businesses are relationships. Communication is really about P2P - person to person. Add to that, we live in a world today with mass transparency and more importance on advocacy and word of mouth than ever before given the advent of social media.
In the context of B2B, you want to have a partner or product you know you can trust, will listen to feedback, will deliver for you, take accountability if something goes wrong, and help make you, your team, and your company ‘successful’. Functional information is necessary, but emotional dynamics are also hugely important and influential - if a brand displays characteristics of being more 'real', that's ok - good actually.
The most successful brands in my sphere have managed to become meaningful in my life. They have delivered on promises. They were reliable. They may have made me laugh or fed my curiosity. They have earned my trust and my loyalty.
While it might be true that purchasing decisions are made for different reasons in business, does the way we relate and communicate, and earn trust and respect from people need to be different?
Think about how you connect with the people that are important to you and your business - your customers, your employees, your partners. Focus on your values and strategy – and don’t lose sight of the people side. After all, we are all still human.
Ashley Walker is Founder & CEO at Culture Engineers, and has led communications in both B2B and B2C brands.