The way it’s always been done is a losing strategy.

One of the biggest challenges in the B2B space—besides lean budgets, limited resources, long sales cycles, varying customer segments and extremely tight timelines—is the number of decision-makers who need to weigh in on a purchase. A decade or two ago, brands solved for this by hard selling in one or two sales channels with a barrage of rational features and benefits—hoping that facts and figures would reign relevant to all. Today that’s no better than lighting money on fire and watching it burn. The reality is that B2B brands aren’t only fighting for share of voice amongst the competition—that, by the way, is spending more money year-over-year—they’re fighting for engagement amongst dwindling attention spans and 5,000-10,000 daily contending brand messages.

U.S. 2017 paid media spending was $206 billion B2B ad market is dwarfed by total ad spending in the US digital is 20 times larger and total media ad spending is 20 times larger
Play like B2C. Leverage truths.

Forget what you think you know or what others in your category are touting. You must wrestle your brand to the ground and find truth through the eyes of your target. What you stand for. What you mean to people. Who you are. Who they are. Then leverage those truths and infuse them into every aspect of your business.

FUJITSU

BRAND CAMPAIGN

The IT services category is filled with sterile, faceless communications that are heavily weighted toward the rational. Fujitu’s branding efforts were no exception. Despite being the third-largest IT services company in the world, the name Fujitsu meant little or nothing to most people.

Challenge

Strike a balance between the emotional and the rational to transform the Fujitsu brand into one that is meaningful to actual human beings.

Solution

Instead of speaking in binary code, we used metaphors to quickly and clearly communicate the benefits of Fujitsu. These benefits resonated with our audience on both an emotional and rational level. By showing a clear understanding of the IT challenges companies are facing and empathizing with the plight of key decision-makers—all while detailing the many ways that innovations from Fujitsu solves these problems—we brought out the soul of the brand for all to see.

Hayward Industries

OMNILOGIC CAMPAIGN

We worked with Hayward Industries to revisit its brand position. The goal was to evolve from a provider of reliable, after-market products to a recognized global leader in the most innovative and intelligent backyard solutions. The problem Hayward faced was believability. They couldn’t just tell people that they had changed. They needed to prove it.

Enter OmniLogic™. We leveraged this new product launch to catapult Hayward’s new brand position and substantiate it with a taste of things to come. We tapped into the pool professional truth—they want a partner that helps them sell more pools, features and enhancements over everything—and connected that truth to Hayward innovation.

Up to this point, pool controllers came with limited features and were difficult, confusing and complex to use for both the pool professional and consumers alike. OmniLogic offered a sophisticated automation and user interface that was first of its kind for the market. It blew away the competitors in terms of simplicity.

Accordingly, we created a campaign that championed the power of simple. Messaging and imagery captivated, stirred emotion and exuded sophistication mirroring that of the product itself. Our promise to users was a new product so elegant and intuitive that not only does it put you in control of your backyard—it gives you control over larger aspects of your life, whether you’re a builder, renovator or consumer.

Creative was executed across collateral, POP, direct mail, print, microsite, email, banner ads and trade show environments.

Since the launch of OmniLogic, we continue to partner with Hayward. Project work includes: Brand Design, Packaging, Advertising, Trade Materials, Web/Digital, Content Marketing, Media Planning/Buying and more both domestically and internationally. For a selection of work visit the Hayward gallery.

Treat people like humans.

Your clients and internal teams are (gasp!) people too. They aren’t business-minded robots that care about nothing more than spreadsheets, and they expect (demand) that they be treated as such. They search for answers online. They are on social. They actually like good advertising. How do you stack up against other B2B brands when it comes to outreach?

Concord

Manifesto
Put the consumer needs first.

Customer Experience is key to creating genuine differentiation and sustained competitive advantage in the “age of the customer.” Leader and underdog organizations alike recognize that winning requires a truly, user-first approach. User-experience (UX), brand experience (BX) and employee experience (EX) are all part of the equation. UX, BX and EX are ultimately what bring your brand purpose to life. Winning brands continue to consider experience in every facet of their business, adopting a holistic view.

Hiawatha Rubber

REBRAND

Before

Hiawatha Rubber was pigeonholed as being solely a parts producer in a highly technical, widget-driven industry. When consumers thought of Hiawatha Rubber—usually when a malfunctioning piece of machinery was acting up and hurting their bottom line—they thought of a transactional parts producer.

Since 1955, Hiawatha Rubber has been operating in an industry that has all but left the United States in pursuit of lower labor costs. Paired with a brand that has collected more than a few years worth of dust, Hiawatha Rubber was forced to revaluate their in-market position.

After

In a quickly evaporating U.S. industry, Hiawatha Rubber had to offer more than just widget-production in order to grow.

By shifting our attention upwards from parts buyers to business owners, position Hiawatha Rubber as a consultative manufacturing partner that just happens to be the most experienced rubber parts producer in the country.

We were no longer interested in selling just rubber widgets. Rather, we had to speak to those who control and direct the strategic operations of Hiawatha Rubber’s clients. To communicate our ability to become a consultative and solutions-oriented partner that helps our clients compete in ultracompetitive markets, we had to encourage manufacturing executives to see the whole picture.

We applied Hiawatha Rubber’s “flexible thinking” to all of the brand touchpoints—from the logo to the website navigation to the collateral printed on rubber-textured paper. We connected with business owners by communicating Hiawatha’s ability to deliver an integrated process that helps them solve company-crushing problems by applying nearly 60 years of expertise to them until they cry uncle.

TITAN

MANIFESTO
Entertain.

Effective marketing will stand out if it elicits the right emotions for your target market. Entertainment, emotion and engagement all go hand in hand. 

Quote from Jerry Seinfeld This whole idea of an attention span is a misnomer people have an infinite attention span of you are entertaining them

Calabrio

multiple campaigns

Challenge

  • Drive brand awareness and preference.
  • Increase lead funnel to Calabrio.
  • Distance business from over 40 low-level players and take #3 position in the category long-term.

Disconnect

Calabrio leapfrogged the competition in technology innovation, intuitive features, integration, implementation and functionality. But the industry was risk-adverse and used to doing things the way they had always been done.

Strategy

  • Present the brand absent of industry convention.
  • Reinforce brand position of ease value, integrated solutions and superior customer service.
  • Inspire and build interest amongst industry changemakers looking to accelerate business performance in fresh and unconventional ways.

Results

  • Sole “Visionary Vendor in WFO” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant within first year; named as 1 of 3 “Leaders” by 2015.
  • Employee head count grew by 269% in 5 years.
  • Revenue increased from $17.3MM (2010) to $65MM+ (2015).
  • In 2016, Calabrio was sold to private equity firm KKR for over $200 million.
Barber Full Page Print Ad from Calabrio Wrong Tools Campaign
Kick Status in the Quo print ad with jetpack bunnies flying in air
Repeat yo self.

We all rely on reminders to get things done, and your leads are no different. Your consumer will not take action after one ad, brochure or print ad. Whether they are the decision-maker or the man on the ground. The more your leads are exposed to your brand, the more likely they are to move down the purchase funnel when they next come in contact with your brand—whether that be via a trade marketing channel or a proposal that gets dropped on their desk.

Familiarity breeds trustability. Trustability drives preference. Preference drives sales.

97% of people leave a website after the first visit without making a purchase 90% of people respond to an email within 48 hours or never someone must exposed to a advertiser's message at least 7 times before they take action to buy

Dublin Productions

Brand Campaign

In 1994, Dublin Productions came to HA looking for help to build brand awareness within a cynical, judgmental, been-there-done-that-seen-that audience: advertising agency professionals. HA’s approach was simple: while every other production house was advertising themselves with serious, sleek, minimalist visuals in the trade pubs, they would use wit, humor and long copy.  

The campaign launched later that year and quickly received national industry acclaim. Within five years, the campaign had taken home 90 awards from programs including The Clios, Cannes, Art Directors Club, One Show, CommArts and the local 4As Show. 

By 1998, Hunt Adkins and Dublin dropped the proverbial mic with the final ad of the series: Mastering the Infinite Complexities and Subtle Nuances of Driving a Joke Into the Ground. 

According to Rick Dublin, in the years that followed there hasn’t been a single client that didn’t reference the Dublin ads, and, in fact, the campaign led directly to the biggest-budget commercial production in Minnesota history.