Creating Great Content For ‘Boring’ Brands


There’s no such thing as a boring brand. However, some just don’t seem as exciting as others (especially on the surface). And whether you want to admit it or not, if you work in B2B, there’s a good chance your brand is one of them.

B2B brands have always been seen as the ‘less sexy’ sibling to their consumer counterparts – B2B is the more responsible one with the corporate job, while the B2C hipster likes to throw house parties in their trendy inner-city townhouse.

Those of us in B2B feel like we have more rules to abide by, and need to keep things a bit more conservative. For many brands, being boring is practically enshrined in their corporate DNA (and at the very least, is probably outlined in excruciating detail in their brand guidelines!).

Okay, not every company can be Coca Cola or RedBull, but even the most (seemingly) boring brands have a story to tell. As my colleague Alessandra wrote in a previous post, “sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got”.

With that in mind, here are 5 steps to help you create engaging content for ‘boring’ brands:

  1. Stop calling yourself boring
    Just because someone calls you boring, doesn’t mean you are. And if they do, it’s your chance to prove they’re wrong. What excited you about this business enough to get you on board in the first place? Chances are that whatever makes you get out of bed and go to work every day is the exciting thing about your brand. If you believe you’re boring, you won’t ever find the inspiration you need to step out of your box and show people what is exciting about what you do.
  2. Be true to who you are
    That being said, don’t try and convince people your brand is Nike-level exciting when your bread and butter is accounting software. Trying too hard to add excitement to your brand is generally pretty obvious – people will quickly realise there is no relation between the guy base-jumping in your ad and the widget for miscellaneous expenses. When this happens, people feel confused, deceived and that the brand doesn’t respect their intelligence. The key here is authenticity.
  1. Realise what makes your brand unique
    An important part of authenticity is embracing what your brand really stands for. If your brand is, in fact, very conservative and straight-laced and this is the image you are striving for, don’t abandon it; just get creative with how you position that conservative side. What are your reasons for being ‘boring’ in the first place? If you’re an international insurance underwriting firm, you probably want your customers to see you as conservative and risk-averse, and advertising a different image will likely work against you. But if you can playfully poke fun at your need to be serious all the time, you’ll humanise your brand and make people connect emotionally. Maybe your firm is like the designated driver, staying sober and responsible so that everyone else can enjoy the party? Find a way to make your brand relevant and relatable.
  1. Give your creatives some free reign
    This is where most attempts to inject some life and fun into brands fall flat. Some of the best creative ideas in the world never see the light of day because the brand they are supposed to service gets cold feet. Your creative team is full of trained professionals who have university degrees, industry training and years of experience in exactly how to strike a balance between the needs of a brand and the desires of their target audience. Want kick-ass creative content? Then get out of your creatives’ way and let them do their job.
  1. Let your content do its job
    It’s the sentence that no creative team or agency ever wants to hear when receiving a brief: “We want it to go viral”. Leaving aside the fundamental flaw this highlights in their understanding of how content actually works, it’s not only unrealistic to expect every piece of content to hit the mark, it’s also undesirable. When the content you have invested your time and talent into bombs, it can be really disheartening. But what it does is give you insights to develop better targeted content next time. Did the content perform well in one channel but poorly in the other? Or did it do badly all round? Did you receive any feedback? Look deeply into your results and find where exactly your content missed the mark, and adjust your approach next time. You’ll be amazed what you can learn about your audience by their inaction.

 How do you plan to take the ‘boring’ out of your brand?