One of my happiest and proudest moments in my career as a B2B marketer is with Oneflow. And it’s not because of our new brand.
Sure, I’m super happy and proud to represent probably the only B2B brand in the world with cute bunnies and wonderful pink things.
Life with a B2B brand sprinkled with bunnies
Being in the marketing field for a little over two decades, I get so much love and compliments from my friends in the field with the launch of the Oneflow new brand. Many are curious about how we got to using bunnies in our brand. It’s a B2B brand after all?
This makes me feel nice. I love the attention. But a new brand identity is not the reason I’m happy and proud. It would be naive of me to think that this is it because the attention is short-term. And there are so many more reasons to be happy and proud that take place behind the pink brand.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m completely in love with our brand. I’m obsessed with our imagery. Our sound, our tone of voice is every copywriter’s wet dream. Our main idea surrounding the magic of flow gives us the license to have fun. Be bold. Be creative.
Any marketer would be crazy happy and proud to work with the Oneflow brand.
B2B brands made boring by committees
The truth is we are getting all the attention right now because we are considered “not boring” at this moment. Because there are simply not many B2B brands out there that wear their personality on their sleeves. Not yet.
It’s because in our world, when it comes to a point where we need to make that final decision on the brand direction, it’s often a decision made by a committee. An uninformed committee incapable of making marketing decisions however being given the platform to do so because of their job titles.
Sad but true.
In these meetings, no one wants to “lose face” by being the first one to champion for an emotional-led B2B brand. What if it fails? What if we appear as not serious enough?
Let’s play it safe.
Or in other words, let’s play it bland. I mean, why would you want to go through the whole rebranding process just to end up looking like everybody else? Committees make watered down decisions.
Humans in B2B are humans too
I believe that it’s only a matter of time before we see more “human” B2B brands. This is because we are all selling to the users and users are humans too. 70-80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote interactions or digital self-service to in-person interactions, citing safety, ease of scheduling, and a faster buying experience as their top three reasons why.
Self-service B2B is here to stay. And they are not just for small deals anymore. McKinsey’s latest insights show that 99% of B2B buyers claim they will make a purchase in an end-to-end digital self-serve model, with 70% (!) very comfortable spending US$50K or more online.
And we will all soon realize this. Even C-level executives in larger B2B enterprises and investors will. Because soon enough, Gartner or similar authority will formalize this by calling it “humans in B2B”. If they haven’t already.
We are witnessing this hype around “product led growth” being coined in our world today. It is simply B2B “transforming” into B2C. We are selling to humans who happen to be at work. We have always done this. So why is it so hyped these days? Some digital agencies are beginning to sell this transformation as one of their services. Even courses in “product led growth”. The only reason there are businesses making money out of any transformation is because there are always skeptics who are reluctant to change. Or that they are crippled by the complexity and lack of education within the organizations to make the change even if they believe in it. That’s why we must sell the change in every B2B transformation. When a new term is made up by some authority, it seems to make it more legit. It’s more “serious”.
My point is, in a few years time, every B2B brand will realize this and make the change, too. Every B2B marketer will “get the license” to be human and have fun too. Speed is the only variable factor. The winners are the ones who transform now… before everyone else does the same. Don’t wait for it.
But a “human” B2B brand transformation is not magic. The team is.
With that said, by only transforming your B2B brand today, you’re starting on the right track but that’s just the beginning. Letting your brand do the work is setting the bar too low. The magic isn’t in the brand. The magic lies in the people behind the brand.
The brand no matter how pink it is means nothing without the people behind it. Let me elaborate.
Contract magic comes from team effort
The idea of “contract magic” is not something the marketing team made up.
It would feel superficial if we would have simply used the term “contract magic” without any substance behind it. We want our brand to feel organic. It should articulate what we do and who we are today.
In fact, contract magic wouldn’t even have been possible without the hard work our product and development teams have been putting into the platform over all these years. Every single feature has been crafted to make the user experience feel like magic. That’s the number one reason we are at peace with bunny content.
Without our sales team’s seasoned skills in selling the platform, the term “magic” wouldn’t even have surfaced. When users experience a wow moment in our demos, our sales team would often reply with pride “that’s the magic”. The term “magic” is coined first in sales demos. Marketing picks it up.
And it doesn’t end there. Every single Oneflow user is well taken care of by our success team. From our user research, the benefits our users appreciated the most are the freedom and creativity they felt by using Oneflow. This is only because we have a dedicated team who inspires, educates and helps our users so that they experience the magic our brand promises.
Make marketing relevant to humans, not personas
So what marketing really does is to articulate it. Our job is not to create a new look and feel of our brand. It’s not to define the color palette nor the logo design. It’s about uncovering the truths of our people. Bringing out the best in them. Creating a space where people can be their best selves. So that we can continue to grow together in what we already are best at.
And the marketing team at Oneflow takes this a step further. Perhaps the hardest step of all. Make what we do and who we are relevant to the market.
Make Oneflow relevant to our life, our culture. Not to personas. But to us humans.
Give your B2B brand the license to make magic
Now this is why one of the happiest and proudest moments I have in my career is at Oneflow. I’m genuinely happy and proud to be working with not just a few people in marketing, but an entire team of smart people in all departments who believe in the magic of B2B branding. People who are passionate about delivering nothing short of magic every single day.
Because of each and everyone of you at Team Oneflow, we have a license to make magic with our brand.
Experience contract magic yourself. Get Oneflow free here.