How to tell better B2B climate stories
25 Mar 2021
Worrying stats about the climate changing have been flagged since the 90s with little uptake or action. This tells us that acting on climate change is impossible without good storytelling. From ancient to modern times, storytelling is after all, what shaped the world and will continue to shape it.
This rings true for the B2B world too. Of course, the storytelling might be more rationalised, but a good story is what makes a brand real to its audience. More than that, if we think of B2B tech, those abstract solutions for digital transformation are sometimes too difficult to imagine without an accompanying story.
So, when it comes to telling a climate story for your B2B brand, what is the right balance of action, stories and impact?
This balance is important: as your strategy might be fully guided by environmental values, but if the story doesn’t resonate with the audience or has the slightest hint of embellishment, it can do more damage to your reputation than good.
The expert said it himself “Saving our planet is a communications challenge” – David Attenborough. And we wouldn’t want to disappoint. After all, greenwashing or purposeless stories are not the solution to this challenge we’re all facing.
Take action on climate change
First things first, do the deed.
Customer or employee demands, increased regulations and ambitious government targets are pushing all business to re-evaluate how responsible their business might be and how they contribute to addressing wider societal challenges. With pressure increasing, there’s no better time to act!
Be it product innovation, a new consultative approach that can take your customer to net zero or a change in your supply chain – these are all examples of practices your business can implement to contribute to sustainability. Once the work is done, please do take your time to reflect. Take notice of what worked, what didn’t and how your values guided you throughout. Reflect on your journey and share it with the wider business. This will set you up nicely for the next stage.
Tell your climate story
Secondly, storytelling can change the world.
This is not just your opportunity to increase your brand awareness but it’s your stage to inspire others – be it customers or employees – and bring them along on your journey. Compelling stories generate empathy and understanding and can help people connect more with the cause and ultimately, your brand.
If you’ve done something amazing, share the why, how and the what. Ensure your story is genuine and connects your health (be it your own or business’) with the planet’s health and leads people into action. This can be achieved through increased transparency and adopting a bird’s eye view to your activity.
When you write about it, take your reader on a journey and aim to answer these questions:
- What was the purpose? What values guided you throughout?
- What business challenge have you overcome?
- What made it effective?
- What was the overall impact on the business and the wider society?
Evidence your climate impact
Lastly, for this to work in the B2B space, you must tell complete stories.
You must explain how those stories and emotions are backed up by rational decisions and behaviours. You must share progress and results. Share a very clear case to all your stakeholders about how the activity contributed to a specific climate issue. Go beyond this, form alliances. Add credibility and aim for systemic change in your sphere of influence by challenging the old ways and sharing better climate stories.
And if you think your B2B brand has enough time and it not facing the same pressures as B2C brads, think again. Regulatory requirements, business risk and pressures from employees and customers are mounting, so ensure you have something to talk about and a role to play in making the planet healthier.