Cliché monsters

My last blog was about the big long idea. The B2B idea spans across mind space, media space, and time. Now I want to talk to you about the B2B clichés. Too often, this monster is still present.

In B2B, complex problems are often simplified and that manifests itself in cliché creations. Yet we are all guilty of having used these at some point in time. A top 10: (which is also such a cliché)

  1. The light bulb, what a bright idea! Turn it off.
  2. The handshake, for partnership. Stand firmly on 2nd place.
  3. The baton. Let’s work together as a team. Let it fall.
  4. The compass. We’ll point you in the right direction. Please use something else.
  5. The delicate plant in the hand. We are durable. Just forget to give the plant water.
  6. The maze. Let us lead you. U will never get out.
  7. The iceberg. There are hidden depths. Let it melt.
  8. The snowboarder. We deliver extreme performances. Too risky for a B2B buyer.
  9. The mountain climber. We’ll take you to the top. Don’t fall asleep in the death zone.
  10. The smiling employee. Everything’s rosy, come and join us. Yeh right, sure it is.

Are there any examples of really creative B2B perspectives? Yes, the ideas that can demonstrate the social relevance of the business proposition. Take for example a sanitation company that doesn’t show their sewage vehicles but focuses on informing people that if the sewer system under the ground doesn’t work properly, then we cannot function properly above ground. Chemistry linked to feeding the world’s population. Carpet linked to cradle to cradle recycling. It doesn’t always work of course, but at least go for surprising, new and different. Or don’t forget humour, even in B2B. In the agency industry: Find the hottest tech talent. A great slogan for a vacuum cleaner: nothing sucks like an Electrolux. You might win the prize for the worst slogan ever, but it catches people’s attention. Avoid boring, tiresome, and dull. Go fight the battle against the cliché monster. Make B2B fun, entertaining, and smart.

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