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The Digital Business

3 Ways To Tell An Eye-Catching Visual Story

Image driven websites and social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest are driving B2B brands to deliver more visual and engaging content. Gone are the days of IT departments creating the corporate website or relatives of the management team designing the company logo. B2B companies are becoming much more serious about how their brands are perceived by their customers.

How do B2B companies become more visual and engaging?

There are three important things every B2B company must do to prepare properly…

  1. Create a strong visual identity. Take a page out of Cisco’s playbook and update your corporate identity. Then support your identity with a solid brand platform that stands for one thing and one thing only. Develop visual themes, icons and typography that can be used in multiple mediums in a consistent manner. After Cisco updated its identity, the company established a much more visual and engaging brand message.
  2. Define a compelling visual message. Every company has a unique personality and tone. Identify yours by strategically planning your most important brand asset: your content. Plan your photography, copy writing and graphic design well in advance so that your content does not end up becoming a stale afterthought. Then drive a stake in the ground with a bold voice that only you can own, like GE does with Data Visualization.
  3. Tell an engaging visual story. Become fanatical about capturing compelling moments that show off your brand in unique ways (past and present). Large images help your brand stand out and “pinable” images will ensure they are seen by pinning tools like Pinterest. Intel does a fantastic job telling compelling visual stories on their website and getting them pinned on Pinterest.

Case Study: SAP Uses Visual Storytelling to Simply the Complex.

A good B2B example is SAP. Although SAP provides many complicated and highly technical solutions, they have adopted a simple and cohesive visual brand image to create eye-catching visual stories that set themselves apart from their conventional, boring and jargon-saturated competitors. In other words, SAP simplifies the complex through visual story telling.

And it’s working. According to Millward Brown’s BrandZ, SAP rose from 8th in 2010 to 6th in 2012 in their Top 100 Global Brand Report (Source: Millward Brown Optimor, including data from BrandZ, Datamonitor, and Bloomberg), beating out HP and Oracle.

Why does this visual approach work?

  • Because a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Because every picture tells a story.
  • Because behind every business are people.
  • Because even business people hate reading corporate mumbo-jumbo and technical jargon.

For more information, check out Nick Westergaard‘s seminar over at MarketingProfs: Six Ways to Turn Your Brand Into Eye Candy for Your Consumers.

Have any visual storytelling insights or thoughts to share? Let us know below or on Twitter (@SterlingKlor).

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