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Heroes behind the Logo: B2B Company Storytelling, Part 2
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Digital B2B 19 October 2023

Heroes behind the Logo: B2B Company Storytelling, Part 2

When you think of B2B companies, great emotions or even storytelling rarely come to mind. The products are often technical or complicated and therefore, at first glance, not at all heart-warming or captivating, as you would expect from good stories. However, we have already shown in part 1 of this series that B2B brands also have absolute narrative potential. But as you know from parties, if you only ever talk about yourself and your exploits, you often end up alone. That’s why in part 2 we reveal the (even more important) role companies should play in B2B storytelling.

Changing Roles: Empowering B2B Companies as Mentors

Brand Storytelling Mentor Archetypen - Heroes behind the Logo: B2B Company Storytelling, Part 2
Source: Mashup Communications

“Do good and talk about it” – probably one of THE guiding principles for corporate communication since 1961. But the (media) world has changed, with more brands vying for the public’s attention than ever before thanks to social media & co. The problem: Of course, everyone talks about how great he or she is, how revolutionary the product is, how unique the approach is. Not exactly credible in the masses and hardly any help for potential customers to choose a really suitable partner.

To stand out from the competition, you need real and approachable stories that create identification potential for the target group. In addition to corporate plots in which the company reports on its own hero’s journey, storytelling also encourages B2B brands to take a step out of the limelight and bring the true heroes of their work to the fore: Their customers. They become mentors for them and make their business adventure possible in the first place!

No matter how seemingly cold, complex or technical a B2B solution is, in the end it makes everyday life easier for its users and ultimately supports them in pursuing their individual vision or, to put it more beautifully, in living their dreams. If that’s not emotional! And who better for potential clients to identify with than those who are in exactly the same boat, facing the same challenges and fighting for similar goals? We have collected some great examples of B2B storytelling from a mentor’s perspective:

Great Cinema: Apple as a Mentor for Fictitious and real Customers

Who hasn’t experienced it before: somehow stuck in a job, lots of dreams but few opportunities. And then the big chance, the breakthrough is within reach! Now the work has to be done, time is pressing, everything has to be right… It’s a good thing that our troupe of lovable underdogs has exactly the right mentor at their side: without the unbeatably smart Apple products, this work adventure might have turned out differently.

And it’s not just their fictitious customers that the tech giant skillfully showcases. Under the collective term “Apple at Work” contains countless stories of real users from a wide range of industries. Of course, they also explain why Apple is the perfect company for their day-to-day work, but always on topics that other companies in this sector can also identify with. If UnitedAirlines can connect the global team via iPhones, iPads & Co., overcome logistical hurdles and promote inclusion, then other transportation companies can too – time to invest in Apple equipment!

Salesforce: Heroic Image Films that inspire

Anyone who has read Part 1 of this series will know that Salesforce definitely has what it takes when it comes to B2B storytelling. They have already masterfully staged their own hero’s journey for their 20th anniversary. A look at their “Customer Success Stories” proves that they have also fully understood their role as mentors.

In addition to a lot of information about their customers that you would also find in a classic case study, the small, lovingly designed Trailblazer stories in video format stand out in particular. Like real image films, the stories do not start out as promotional at all, as in this example of the traditional company Zwilling. Dramatic music, sparks, the clink of blades… We see how knives are made and listen to a true master craftsman as he describes his passion for his work, for his craft.

“The special thing about craftsmanship is that you can create something. You can see that you are producing something and can hold a finished, beautiful product in your hand afterwards.”

Martin Schlöndorf, knife sharpener

The communications manager then explains the traditional history of the classic retailer: the first stores in 1818, the reputation as one of the first German companies to cross the pond to New York… But the hurdles that these classic providers face in the Internet age are also part of her journey. Sales channels must be digitized and the range of products and services must also be made available online. You need a good mentor to make this possible and connect the old and new worlds in an individual way. If that’s not exactly the inspiration that the numerous traditional German companies need to embark on their hero’s journey into the digital adventure…

Short & Sweet: Shopify on Instagram

Of course, you don’t always need a Hollywood-worthy 3-minute piece to create identification potential with potential customers. E-commerce software manufacturer Shopify, for example, uses its Instagram channel to shine the spotlight on its heroes, aka its users. The team calls itself “The Entrepreneurship Company”, so what could be more fitting than to proudly present these diverse and creative entrepreneurs and their individual e-commerce dreams?

True to the motto “short & sweet”, we read about Christina from Toronto, who founded her start-up out of a crisis and now runs a store for curated Asian products. We listen to the likeable German founders of Duschbrocken soap products as they reminisce about their backpacking trip, which set their entrepreneurial dream in motion – and also learn that the two men didn’t really know the difference between shampoo and shower gel beforehand.

Speaking of listening: In addition to their beautiful Instagram channel, Shopify also has a podcast where Shopify merchants get another stage for their impressive founder stories. The channels for B2B storytelling are therefore diverse!

Small budget, big impact: the Dropbox Blog

And if you’re thinking: Who’s going to pay for all this? Don’t worry! Good B2B storytelling is not necessarily a question of budget! The last example proves that it also works without all the bells and whistles:

B2B Storytelling von Dropbox Screenshot - Heroes behind the Logo: B2B Company Storytelling, Part 2
Screenshot Dropbox

Cloud pioneer Dropbox has dedicated its own blog to its customers and shows here that even a small flame can have a big impact. On “work in progress“, the team introduces a wide variety of users and skillfully presents their individual stories to show how diverse the product portfolio of the company, which is primarily known for cloud storage, has become.

One is video producer Matthew, who uses Dropbox Replay to edit feedback in videos. Founder of a marketing agency JinJa, the services Dropbox Capture help her to take screenshots and Dropbox Sign to add digital signatures to contracts. The days when the company with the blue box was simply a cloud repository are definitely over.

What all the articles have in common is that we are not simply reading an advertising show for Dropbox. The products take a back seat to the authentic hero’s journey of the users. Funny anecdotes, honest insights into the stumbling blocks of everyday life, but also motivating happy endings create sympathy and compassion. For example, Matthew once wanted to become a magician and JinJa was punished as a child for asking so many questions, whereas today she is paid for it. Many creative people can certainly tell you a thing or two about this…

And in the end, that’s what B2B storytelling is all about. While only a fraction of potential customers will be able to identify with their own hero’s journey, those of their fellow campaigners will usually click immediately. Similar problems usually require similar solutions and why not rely on the good experiences of others? So find your medium and then shout them out, the stories of your heroes!

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