A toast to the future of B2B marketing…
Storytelling in B2B
Here at The View, we were excited to read an article in Marketing Week recently that we strongly nodded along and voiced our support for. The article’s standpoint talked about how B2B organisations need to be getting more creative with brand creation and storytelling when pitching to and working with their target markets.
While we loved the article, something irked us, too, because we’ve held this view about brand storytelling for the B2B sector since we set up nearly 10 years ago. It’s how we do it, and here’s why.
Storytelling is the most natural form of engagement in any walk of life, and whilst brand engagement through storytelling has arguably been around forever in the B2C sector, to think that it doesn’t, can’t or won’t apply to B2B is a little confusing. It’s almost as if it’s believed that, because the client may be wearing corporate garb and sitting behind a desk, rather than wearing jeans and perhaps flicking through a magazine, they’re closed off and robotic. This is simply not true, and though we’re sure there’s an exception to every rule (we all know one), business people are still very much human beings too.
We thought we’d give you a glance into our back catalogue to show why we know storytelling works in the B2B sector. Plus, as we’ve recently relaunched our website, it doubles up as a good time to shed new light on an old favourite case study from The View.
When The View won the pitch to work with Champagne brands, Perrier-Jouët and G.H. Mumm, we’d looked closely and creatively at their brief to ‘drive reappraisal and establish distinct positionings amongst influential industry ‘gatekeepers’, in a market of high spending, highly regarded competitor marques’. We won the pitch based on the strength of our strategic thinking and creativity, and it was certainly a Champagne moment for us when we came out on top against some of the UK’s leading marketing and PR agencies.
The View pitched the concept of ‘The Champagne Assembly’, a day-long event taking attendees through a journey of thought-provoking lectures, debates and interactive workshops relevant to Champagne and luxury.
The event was immensely hands-on and really played to the senses of the hand-picked invitees: trade media and bloggers, top wine buyers, sommeliers and executive chefs plus movers and shakers across the world of luxury, from property developers to art dealers to models. All of whom interact with and influence each other. But they often don’t get out of bed for less than £10K – unless there’s a compelling story they simply wouldn’t hear about anywhere else.
The Champagne Assembly allowed them to learn about – and discover for themselves – the challenges of blending raw ingredients to come up with an entirely new sensation (and not just with P-J’s chef de cave; they also played with tea and fragrance too, for comparison). Perhaps most popularly, they also learned not only what foods to pair with different Mumm styles – but how, using a gas chromatograph to identify food and fizz synergies, on a molecular level, then utterly intoxicate the palate with unlikely combinations.
Experts led everyone through an array of other experiments and demonstrations from vineyard to vintage, grape to gastronomy, art to assemblage. We wanted to show that, like Champagne, the Assembly was to be greater than the sum of its parts.
We love this case because it’s a fantastic example of The View’s key – and trademarked – psychological storytelling tool: Believability™. One of Believability’s core tenets is that for deepest memorability and credibility campaigns should appeal to hearts and minds, by stimulating multiple senses. For this B2B audience it did that, in Champagne bucket-loads. Michelin star listings followed and long-term, influential brand relationships and opportunities were forged.
Storytelling in the B2B sector? To create a glass that’s already half full, we’ll drink to that!