For B2B firms, empowering people with a suite of tools to tell their stories quickly and easily makes sound business sense says Richard de Hoxar, Creative Director,  STORMBRANDS.

A successful brand is brought to life by its people. They channel its proposition and defined point of difference, confidently and creatively. So, providing them with the right materials and guidance to do this, visually and verbally, is key.

When communicating on behalf of a business, there are infinite possibilities to make an impression across so many touchpoints. Using distinctive visual equities and tone of voice elevates the brand experience and makes more emotive connections. And when this vibrates consistently across all channels, the results are powerful.

The problem of disjointed messaging

But many B2B marketing leaders are struggling to bring harmony to their brand’s performance. In a recent survey by Forrester’s, many marketing leaders acknowledged that their brand messaging fails to connect with all audiences and that different messages from across the organisation confuse buyers.

Empowering employees with a suite of tools to tell their stories quickly and easily can support more connected messaging and brand experience. The most effective corporate branding comes about through people internally being fully engaged in its activation. Everybody inside should be a touchpoint for that business or that brand, even if it's just a small part they play. They need to be aware and confident, and understand their role in doing that.

A complex range of interactions

Corporate branding and communications are complex in terms of the variety of people involved; what they are buying into from that brand or service; and the diverse type of interactions that happen. The audience could be investors, customers or clients, or prospective employees. In contrast to typical consumer communications – where you've got a couple of seconds to get someone's attention – if you’re talking to an investor, there may be a long lunch with somebody, and maybe a presentation, but a lot of it's just dialogue. So, knowing how to talk about the brand in different scenarios is key, drawing on a clear messaging framework and unique tone of voice.

Bringing harmony across all touchpoints

When STORMBRANDS’ worked with private jet firm Jetcraft, we onboarded its people in how to verbally communicate its intense and confident new proposition – the 'Speed of Life' – and write in an ownable and consistent manner. This helps the team convey the passion of the business and the ‘can do’ nature of their global network. In tandem with the activation of visual assets, the harmony created across all the different touchpoints succeeds in articulating the brand in a compelling way, elevating the offer and defining a point of difference in the market.

Strong visual equities can support the full range of interactions by creating truly distinctive brand expression. In STORMBRANDS’ recent brand refresh for Invicta Finance, we took a creative approach based on the idea of ‘Partners in Ambition’. It’s a boutique asset finance firm for business jets, yachts and high-end real estate. An entrepreneurial meeting of minds and convergence of skill sets informs the new logo, language, design system and iconography. We created a dynamic brand system fit for both digital and physical touchpoints, with a personality that is empowering, empathetic and ingenious.

The common thread to both these brand challenges was a unique understanding of the client’s business and needs. We conducted vigorous stakeholder interviews to understand what keeps them up at night. Drawing on insights from these interviews, and alongside in-depth category research, we defined opportunities for both brands to develop distinctive value propositions to differentiate themselves in the crowded marketplace.

Intuitive application of flexible assets

As a creative partner, it’s our job to develop a suite of flexible assets, both visual and verbal, to carry the company forward. And a crucial phase of any brand refresh is onboarding people on how to apply the new assets, empowering them to breathe new life into the business. The whole system works best when it is intuitive and simple to apply.

There's no point in rebranding the facade and expecting that to magically live out in the world. But when everyone in the company is clear on its proposition, proud of its visual identity and can easily access tools to tell their part of the story, it can supercharge the business. You have an army of brand ambassadors, equipped and inspired to create irresistible experiences, across multiple interactions, every day.