The longstanding perception that consumer purchases are motivated completely by emotion and impulse, while business buyers are driven entirely by rational decision-making processes, is both an over-simplification and frankly not true. This conventional wisdom has driven a tendency to dehumanize B2B transactions, creating a fundamental misunderstanding of how to leverage the power of narrative when talking to business customers.
When brands possess a deep understanding of their customers, it gives them insight into how they fit into their customers’ lives. This level of understanding leads to lucid intuition, which provides confidence, direction, and a path to nurture a powerful connection with customers.
Technology lives in our world; not the other way around. But many of today's devices demand too much of us and sidetrack us from our natural selves. A new message on Slack breaks our focus on a time-sensitive report. An incoming email rattles the phone in our pocket and pulls us away from our companion across the table. Advanced technologies that are intended to serve us are actually competing for our attention. It raises the question: “When we consider the relationship between people and technology, who’s really serving who?”
I was recently asked to speak about the value of good web design at a digital marketing conference. As events like this often are, sessions were organized into tracks, in this case Science and Magic. The Science track was devoted to the numbers- and data-driven arm of digital marketing, while Magic described the role of design and creative. It's a common way of framing up the world; instinct versus evidence, gut versus data, numbers versus pictures.
A brand challenge is a tangible problem, born of human need, that ultimately defines the purpose of a brand. It’s the most foundational element of building a business that matters to people; identifying it requires thought, care, research, patience, and a good deal of humility.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued an ambitious charge—that we send an American safely to the moon by the decade’s end. This was more than a call to technological achievement; it served as a symbol of the enormous potential of focused human effort, and a rallying cry that played a role in unifying a government and nation. Kennedy’s speech and Neil Armstrong’s subsequent first steps on the moon remain defining aspects of America’s story—its “brand.”