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pinterest b2bLet’s face it: business can be tough, especially when you’re selling to other businesses. So having a bit of fun, and letting your personality shine through, should be an important part of what you do.

Pinterest is a great way of doing exactly that. Essentially, it’s a pin-boarding site where members share their favorite images and photos, grouped around themes. It’s also second only to Facebook for driving referral traffic to websites. It’s a powerful social media tool and there’s no reason why B2B businesses and brands can’t grab a slice of the action.

1. Something for everyone

Behind every B2B business or brand is often a large group of decision makers. They’re deciding which direction to take their company, when to expand, where to expand and so on. While all aiming for the same end goal, each individual will have different requirements and beliefs.

Pinterest is uniquely placed to grab the attention of a variety of people. By creating different boards, you can reach out to everyone, from a designer to a buyer. GE has a fantastic page; boards such as the ‘Art of Innovation’ show its quirky side, while ‘From the Factory Floor’ shows technical information. Continue Reading »

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blue angelsTo build a culture of innovation, excellence, and action you need to inspire people, bring them together around a shared mission, give them a sense of purpose.

For centuries different tribes, teams, and organizations came up with mantras and slogans that motivated, elevated, and inspired: sports teams, military groups, non-profits, businesses… These mantras led people and helped shape internal culture.

Here are some of my favorite ones that you might want to adopt within your company:

All it takes is all you’ve got

Used by sports teams, this mantra should be at the heart of every organization. Passion drives everything. It creates positive energy. It motivates. It is contagious. Passion gives life to creativity and innovation, because only when people are passionate about something, they can come up with creative solutions, give their all, and drive transformative change. Continue Reading »

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Speech bubble made with people iconsWith the rise of social media, blogging, image-sharing and the 24/7 access to the online sphere, consumers are filling the internet with information about brands and product experiences. The opinions of users have now become so important for customers that according to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. Review sites and niche blogs have brought specific user information to the fingertips of potential buyers, while traditional media revenues are declining in importance.

So as a brand, are you going to fight against user-generated content with lawsuits and copyright, or are you going to embrace the changes and the marketing potential they provide?

1. Endorse bloggers and reward their loyalty

Tool company Fiskars has their very own community of endorsed Fiskateers, who blog about and share crafting ideas and tips. There are now several thousand Fiskateers who meet regularly at community events, and the most engaged and passionate members are honored at special parties and gatherings.

This sort of community building strengthens brand loyalty enormously, but it can also be used to create content to reach a wider audience. Walmart Moms is a group of endorsed bloggers who write about home and lifestyle topics and have a large following. While these Moms have a wide sphere of influence, it is important to note that they were already passionate about Walmart’s products and are volunteers, and so choosing them to represent the brand feels more authentic than paying for a celebrity endorsement. In return they get access to new lines and products, as well as gaining a wide readership for their blog. Continue Reading »

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Many B2B companies find themselves at a distinct disadvantage compared to their B2C colleagues when it comes to marketing their brand online. White papers and complex technical brochures just don’t share well on social media, so how are you going to get your message out there to potential customers, or engage better with your existing ones?

This is where video can help you. From short, quirky Vines to longer explanatory films, video can show the visual side to your brand like nothing else.

We’re going to look at five different ways B2B brands are harnessing the power of video.

1. Find the fun side of your brand

You might expect fun and flippant advertising from the more customer-facing brands, but many B2B brands are becoming experts at finding the lighter side of what they do. Intel in particular has got creative on Vine to produce some neat short animations that sum up both their products and their take on world events. From cyclists racing over laptops for the Tour de France, to Intel chips scoring a goal at the World Cup, Intel is finding innovative ways to show off its products in creative, 6-second loops.

  Continue Reading »

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Malcolm GladwellTransformation isn’t easy. It requires changing not only people’s minds, but their hearts as well. Not a simple task.

But in a history of mankind there were plenty of inspiring examples of people who brought forth transformative change. Facing plenty of negativity, they did so fearlessly, never giving-up, never backing down. So the question becomes: what is the magical human formula that drives people like that?

This week at INBOUND in Boston I had a pleasure of hearing Malcolm Gladwell, who talked about the same very topic. According to him, people who drive transformation share three traits:


Courage to explore the unexplored. Courage to defy the nay-sayers. Courage to persist when the whole world seems to be against you.

People who possess the courage are:

  • Massively open and incredibly creative, willing to consider all kinds of innovative solutions.
  • Conscientious, willing to follow through on their ideas.
  • Disagreeable and independent, willing to disagree with what the world perceives as a ‘norm.’

The combination of these three is what brings true magic to light. Some people are creative, but not conscientious, they have no ability to execute on the idea. Some are great at execution, but lack the openness. It is also not enough to have ideas and the discipline to carry them out, one has to tune out the nay-sayers, and the rest of the world, if necessary. The last one though is extremely hard for us humans to do because we naturally crave approval of our peers. Continue Reading »

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