The B2B Brand Differentiator
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Being fun in B2B marketing is about being confident and honest. Sure, you can squeeze yourself into the traditional mould if you really want to. It’s safe in there and you know how to act.
The companies that make a lasting impact, however, are those that know they’re different and embrace it. We’ve put together a list of five fun B2B tech companies that played the game like marketing pros.
In the interest of full disclosure, Sophos is an occasional client of ours, but this isn’t a show of favouritism. Sophos, experts in online security, already knew how to have fun in B2B long before we got involved.
A prime example is when it announced its new product: Sophos XG Firewall. The software connects your network firewall to your endpoint security and was the first of its kind. But Sophos didn’t want to do the same droll press release that you’d expect for such a tech-y announcement. No, they did something just a little bit different.
Everyone in business, at some point in their career, will experience a bad conference call. Jeff from accounting doesn’t realise he’s on mute, his colleague Sarah loses connection every two minutes and Steve’s camera has frozen.
No one understands this frustration better than Zoom. Rather than create a white paper about it, however, they decided to create this video:
Zoom takes the unexciting topic of conference calls and frames it in a fun, relatable way. This video alone has more than 250,000 views, and its sister video A Conference Call in Real Life has far exceeded 11 million views.
Kinaxis is a B2B tech company that sells cloud-based subscription software in the supply chain industry. Similar to Zoom, Kinaxis chose a problem that its business-minded customers could relate to: unsuitable, high-maintenance supply chain software. The company then talked about that problem using the relatable and more human scenario of bumping into an ex-girlfriend.
The result is this video right here.
IBM is a global organisation that deals in data - the kind of data that’s incredibly important to businesses, both big and small. With the right insight, a company can predict events that might create an impact on their day-to-day operations such as seasonal fluctuations or current events.
The scale of IBM’s corporation is massive. It spans more than 170 countries and has around 20,000 employees. While it may not be fun in the same way as the B2B companies listed above, IBM has something special – humanity.
This documentary was one of the first of its kind to focus on brand storytelling and IBM strikes the perfect chord. It makes the company appear more human and considerate by focussing on the importance of educating children; an issue everyone can relate to.
Intel is all about innovation in computing. At Articulate, IT companies are our thing – we get them. The difficult thing about being fun in IT is that not everybody understands the humour. It requires a certain kind of knowledge that can alienate those without it.
Intel’s Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign took this issue and flipped it on its head. They didn’t shy away from their unique sense of humour; instead they made a joke of it that everybody could laugh at.
Here's to the fun B2B tech companies
If you take one thing away from this post it should be this: the companies listed above are all highly respected and successful in their industry, so if they can get away with being a little playful then you have nothing to be scared of.
So gather your forces, fun B2B tech companies of the world, find what makes you different and do everything you can to wear those peculiarities with pride. If you need help - of course - contact a marketing agency!