Think about your favorite brand. Why are you drawn to it?
Chances are, it comes across less like a company and more like a person. Similar to people, the best brands have personalities that make them relatable. There’s something that resonates with you and even feels familiar.
Organizations must strategically communicate their brand to stand out in today’s highly competitive B2B HealthTech market.
Differentiation and buyer-centric messaging are crucial. You need to understand the real problems facing your buyers, and speak with empathy about how you help solve them.
Psychology also plays a critical role in how buyers perceive and respond to your brand.
The Truth about the B2B Buyer
Dipanjan Chatterjee, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, says that in B2B, a brand’s worth is based on the fulfillment of its promises and the emotional resonance it strikes. In other words, the more a brand resonates with the audience, the higher its perceived value.
He also says that the notion that brand matters more for B2C has been soundly dispelled. In fact, it’s the opposite. Marketing research firm Motista discovered that, on average, “B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers.”
The Role of Emotion in Buyer Decision Making
People don’t always make decisions based entirely on logic. Like consumers, B2B buyers often choose according to how a brand makes them feel, their confidence in the brand, or whether they believe the company is genuine.
They want to engage with brands that feel human. So how do you create brand messaging that’s authentic and resonant?
Look to the Wisdom of Archetypes
Applying archetypes is one of the most effective ways to craft authentic brand messaging. You’ve probably heard the term. But what exactly is an archetype?
An archetype is a universally familiar character or theme that audiences can relate to, regardless of culture, place, gender, identity, or age. They appear in every culture throughout art, literature, myth, folklore, rituals, pop culture, and even business.
- NASA shines as “The Pioneer”
- Pixar delights as “The Visionary”
- Mayo Clinic leads as “The Sage”
- MTV rocks as “The Rebel”
Archetypes permeate our world and help tell compelling brand stories that inspire, intrigue, and move audiences.
Here are four ways archetypes drive audience connection with your brand:
1. Archetypes Tap into the “Collective Unconscious”
Based on Jungian psychology, archetypes are common to humanity. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines an archetype as embodying “…some essential element of ‘universal’ human experience.”
Deep-seated in everyone’s psyches, archetypes influence our thoughts and feelings — without us even realizing it. That’s why they’re so powerful.
2. Archetypes Uncover Your Brand’s “Why?”
Differentiation and communicating your brand soul — who your company is at its core — are vital to standing out in a saturated market. Archetypes empower you to explore your brand’s roots and articulate why your brand exists, your motivating factors, strengths, challenges, and more.
In Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, author Simon Sinek advises companies to begin with the “Golden Circle,” clarifying why they do what they do before diving into the “how” and the “what.”
Uncovering the “why” helps you discover the unique gift your organization brings to the table. It’s highly effective because it leverages how the human mind works, reflecting the “fundamental biology of human decision-making.”
3. Archetypes Offer a More Human Way of Doing Business
Buyers want to engage with brands that feel like people, not corporations. Archetypes in Branding authors Margaret Hartwell and Joshua C. Chen agree that archetypes provide a more human, authentic way of being in business by “enabling greater humanity within all stakeholder relationships.”
Archetypes can also help build trust by establishing a consistent brand story and creating a cohesive understanding of your brand for your team, buyers, and prospects.
Note: Archetypes should never be used to manipulate an audience. They are not stereotypes, which any good marketer knows to avoid. Stereotypes such as “soccer mom” are limiting and attempt to put people in boxes. Archetypes like “Caregiver” open a world of possibilities and offer richness and dimension that stereotypes lack.
4. Archetypes Set the Stage for Brand Expectations
A brand is the promise of an experience, and according to branding veteran Marty Neumeier, a brand is also “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”
Archetypes also help us make sense of the world. Preeminent archetype expert and author Dr. Carol S. Pearson says, “Archetypes represent patterns, and patterns represent predictability. This makes us feel safer when we can predict what will happen.”
When applied to branding and messaging, archetypes create a level of predictability that helps potential buyers quickly make sense of your brand and know what kind of experience they can expect from you.
Harness the Power of Archetypes in Your Brand Messaging
At Ratio, we apply archetypal wisdom throughout our branding and messaging process, helping your organization authentically communicate your brand and connect with buyers.
During our Brand Foundation Workshop, our team begins to uncover your brand’s “why,” your primary archetype, key themes, differentiators, and more.
After gathering insights, we create a Messaging Platform that includes top-line language to connect with your market, describe your offerings, and compel buyers to engage and convert.