Bold Brand Messaging and Narrative Strategies for B2B Tech PR

Discover the essential brand messaging strategies used in B2B tech PR, including brand, thought leadership and product narratives.

The other day I saw a billboard in San Francisco that read, “Launch smartly, not darkly.” Although I hadn’t heard of the brand that sponsored it, I immediately knew they were a feature management company. This is a great example of bringing brand messaging to life in marketing copy. It communicated what the company does (feature management) and why (to help developers make more informed feature launches). Plus, it got bonus points for being clever, concise and combative. 

In B2B tech, it’s common for companies to overrotate on how their technology works rather than what it does and why it does it. Yes, “how” is certainly important, but it only matters in the context of “why.” The why is the billion-dollar problem. It’s what keeps leaders up at night and forces developers to create workarounds (which, in turn, spreads insomnia to security teams). In PR, it’s the hook that grabs reporters and the same hook they’ll use to attract readers.

At Look Left, we help clients craft brand and product messaging, write press releases and blog posts and pitch stories every day. Here are our winning strategies to get the media’s attention for B2B tech.

Start with why

There are a few essential books most marketers who work at SaaS startups have read: Product-Led Growth, The Phoenix Project and, perhaps most importantly, Start With Why. At first glance, none of these books are about marketing. They’re philosophies for how to create and deliver technology, and how to effectively lead organizations. While some of these philosophies aren’t relevant to marketers in other industries, they are vital for anyone selling to a technical audience comprised of folks weary of marketing language who will call BS on fluff or unvalidated claims. This audience wants to know that a company understands its problems and can solve them better than any other solution. Solving these problems is why B2B tech companies exist, and the most successful ones use these problem statements as the foundation of their brand messaging.

Bring messaging to life with narrative strategies

In PR, narrative strategies shape perceptions, communicate messages and create excitement. There are many narratives that can be deployed over time depending on the desired outcome, from building brand and product awareness to establishing an individual or business as a thought leader. Here are the most effective ways to use them to speak to a range of audiences.

Building brand awareness

A brand narrative defines the company’s identity, values and position in the market. It may include the founder’s story (if it’s compelling and unique), the company’s mission and vision and its value proposition. This narrative should be told at the beginning of every conversation to set the table. Bryan Scanlon, principal and founder of Look Left Marketing,  loves to share an anecdote from his days representing PayPal. Even though everyone knew what the company did, each conversation started with, “Let me take a minute to tell you about PayPal.” The repetition gave them control of the narrative and helped build PayPal into a globally recognized brand.

Positioning products

A product narrative identifies a problem for the target audience and shows how a company’s technology is uniquely positioned to solve it. It includes the technology’s benefits and what distinguishes it from other solutions, which may be direct competitors, DIY solutions or inaction. This messaging is used in press releases, in product announcement blogs and on websites to generate interest from buyers, users and the market.

Establishing thought leadership

A thought leadership narrative positions an individual as an expert in their field. It focuses on insights and expertise and is often tied to topics relevant to the company. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, exemplifies this in his very public opinion about AI and its impact on society. Altman has gained so much authority on this topic that he’s been invited to testify in front of members of the Senate and Congress to share his perspective. While most tech leaders won’t find themselves in that position, they can leverage thought leadership narratives in bylines, speaking and interviews with media.

Benefits of strong brand messaging

Many B2B tech products play in highly competitive markets. Consider how many established companies and challenger brands exist in cloud security, observability and data management alone. While innovative technology can help a company stand out, it must be clearly communicated across all channels, from how the team explains it in conversations to the marketing assets used to generate leads. Strong brand messaging can capture the attention of an analyst compiling their latest report, a journalist planning their week’s product coverage and the buyers who drive past San Francisco’s sea of billboards.

Every PR and marketing activation starts with good messaging. What’s yours?

brand messaging
b2b messaging

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