B2B brands have stories to tell, too

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It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

Whoever said that, must never have been in business for himself. Because when it’s your business, it is personal.

Your business is your blood, sweat, and tears. It’s the food on your table and a roof over your head. It’s your hopes, your dreams, and sometimes, it’s your salvation.

The story behind one B2B brand

Remember back in 2009, how the global economy had collapsed and the job market was a demolition derby? Back then,experience was a curse because every hiring manager had younger, hungrier candidates willing to accept lower salaries.

Well, it was into that diaspora that Steven Husak found himself cast—laid off by an unappreciative employer who deemed his position as vice president redundant after their merger.

Steven was suddenly just another out-of-work Boomer
Despite business acumen and proven success, Steven was suddenly just another out-of-work Boomer. He knew that if he wanted to pay his bills he was going to have to innovate.

Fortunately, Steven’s experience allowed him to see a gap in the burgeoning e-commerce industry. And he started a business to fill that gap.

With hard work and determination, Steven grew his business from nothing to—well, I promised to keep the valuation private, but let’s just say it’s not nothing.

When you struggle to articulate your brand

I visited your website, but I had no idea that’s what you did!”

When a client says that to you after your sales presentation, you have a problem. And that’s what Steven was facing when we met.

There’s no doubt Steven’s business is hard to articulate. It’s unique—no one else does what he does. It’s also B2B and incredibly niche. It took 3 interviews for me “get” this business.

So it’s not surprising Steven and his team struggled to find the words to explain what they do. Here’s their original homepage copy, see if you understand it:

Yet when we spoke, Steven exhibited passion for his business and hard-earned industry know-how. He knew he had real value to offer his customers. He just couldn’t translate any of that into copywriting.

Telling a B2B brand story

My job was to rewrite everything on Steven’s website.

We started with the home page, simplifying the message, calling out the target audience, and highlighting the benefits of their offer.

Next came the sales pages: one for each of the two market segments Steven serves. Here again, the goal was to simplify the message and focus on benefits.

 

What do you think? Now, can you tell what Steven’s business does?

The B2B “About Us” page

My final task was to tackle Steven’s “About Us” page. On that page, the goal was to demonstrate that this isn’t a cold, corporate entity, but a team of real-life humans ready to support the customer.

Steven’s personal story and his values were integral in humanizing this B2B brand. So, after highlighting the business’s unique value proposition again…

 

I introduced the reader to Steven and his crew.

Now, remember what I said about business being personal?

When I submitted my rough draft of the “About Us” page for Steven’s approval, this was the response I received:

 

I can’t tell you how gratifying that is! To be able to help someone find their brand voice like that.

Because it’s not “just business.” Behind every business is a story. A human story. And those stories (including B2B stories) deserve to be told!

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