It has often been said that winning new business is a lot like dating. You’ve got the first date nerves and research before you meet the client, the subsequent getting to know them stage and then finally feeling comfortable when a bond has been built, allowing the creativity to flow. At least, this is how it should work in an ideal situation.
By Adam Steele, senior account executive at technology PR firm Stone Junction.
Is there a perfect customer out there somewhere with the same ideals as yours, that you’d like to attract? Someone with whom you share a similar ethos and know that you won’t get bogged down in the little things, like whether all meetings need to be formal suited and booted affairs.
Of course there is, so why not get out there and look for some brand affinity?
Company culture and brand alignment have been hot topics in business news in recent years. However, there’s been relatively little discussion about using company culture as a marketing tool.
We give you brand affinity: this is when a business actively markets its company culture to attract similar thinking B2B customers.
As a business, if you market your personality and look for clients or partners with an attractive company culture, you will have a better chance of hitting it off.
Successful business partnerships, like strong relationships, are built on three things: communication, trust and understanding.
We’ve all been on dates where there’s been no connection; trying to achieve any of these three things is incredibly difficult. When looking for a new partner we look for similarities, connections, authenticity and it should be exactly thesame when a company looks to market itself.
At university, if you play the guitar, wear a leather jacket and hang out near the English department reading CharlesBukowski literature, you’re likely to attract a certain type of person. Not that we’re speaking from experience.
In the animal kingdom critters sing, dance and display their best attributes to attract suitable mates. What is culture if not one of your best attributes?
The word “positioning” was first used in a marketing sense in 1969 in the publication Industrial Marketing by Jack Trout, but only really took off in 1981 with the release of the bestselling book Positioning – The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout. What did people say in marketing meetings before this? We’re betting “synergy” was probably thrown around a lot more. *Gags*.
It’s about time for a new marketing term and it’s surprising in an age where many organisations are all about company culture that another term hasn’t popped up already. Although if it did, it would probably be something like “precising 4.0.”
By selling to companies with a similar culture – by creating brand affinity – you can enjoy a healthy base on which to build a blossoming business relationship, without the fear of getting lost in translation. So don’t be afraid to get those colourful business feathers out and start looking for brand affinity.