Most B-to-B companies don’t take connecting with their customers on an emotional level as a serious tactic in their branding strategy.
They contend that customers base decisions on facts, not opinions or not on silly things like emotion. Yes, it’s important to talk about quality and the features and benefits that set you apart from the competition. But contractors and tradesmen as a whole are also influenced by other outside influences, both in making personal as well as business decisions.
Let’s take an example of buying a motorcycle. If you went on the facts about performance, you’d probably buy a BMW; if it was reliability, you’d buy a Honda, and if you wanted to be cool (emotion), you’d buy a Harley.
Harley’s brand is built on emotion, and those contractors buy that Harley because emotions play an important part in the decision-making process.
Manufacturers who realize this like RIDGID, Klein Tools and Dewalt have built a brand that includes using emotion as part of their overall strategy. Emotional branding is a business imperative because emotions are inevitability part of the decision-making process.
I read a good post recently from Rob Meyerson in btobonline that talks about this in more detail and gives some good examples of what B2B brand leaders are doing. To read his post: Businesspeople Are People Too: The Case for Emotion in B2B Branding