Four years ago, when I was working for HubSpot, I was amicably battling with HubSpot leadership. I wanted to incorporate more thought leadership and brand perspective into our blog. If HubSpot teams were doing and revolutionizing all the things we were writing about (marketing, sales, and customer service), why weren’t we working those learnings into our content?
Over time, this effort became my Made @ HubSpot series and planted seeds for what came to be known as “hybrid content.” These shifts put the spotlight on HubSpot’s expertise, helping it become a louder voice in the industry and differentiate its content.
Fast forward through years of program-building and problem-solving, and our team at Omniscient now conducts bespoke brand POV workshops. These workshops bolster our thought leadership plays and help build competitive moats for our clients.
When B2B brands delve into content strategy, they often start by asking, “Who are we talking to?” and “Why should they care?” Essentially, they identify their audience and features/benefits.
But brands often forget a crucial question: “What do we have to say?”
This question should come before any topic or keyword research. It may even inform answers to the previous two questions about audience and features/benefits.
This is what I call your brand POV. Your brand’s perspective. Its stance.
If your tone of voice and messaging make up your brand’s appearance, your POV is its attitude. Both illustrate your brand’s personality.
Why is this important?
For one, having a brand POV is interesting. B2B brands shouldn’t be Switzerland, not in today’s noisy marketplace. Taking a stance on trending and tangential topics differentiates brands from their competitors with similar products or services.
Imagine your SaaS brand lined up alongside four similar solutions with similar pricing and features/benefits. What sets yours apart?
The answer: purpose. Opinion-led branding sets your brand apart from its competitors. Your brand POV is a competitive advantage that helps you capture market and mind share.
Today’s consumers aren’t only conflicted about what to buy; they also struggle to decide who to trust. Brands are uniquely positioned to not only help consumers solve their problems but also learn and form opinions about their work and industry.
Secondly, a brand POV is how you become a thought leader. A brand with a strong perspective is seen as an industry authority, which can lead to greater trust and credibility among your potential customers.
It’s important to note that thought leadership isn’t really a type of content… it’s a phenomenon that occurs within content when brands have something interesting to say. Hint: Letting keywords guide what you write about is not how you achieve thought leadership.
Here’s an example of some of our brand perspectives at Omniscient:
Not only do these concepts influence how we do business, but they also inform how we talk and write about topics important to our audience. This contributes to word-of-mouth and customer advocacy.
Figuring out your brand POV
You can’t delegate or automate your brand POV. So, how do you discover it?
Whether you work with us, another agency, or freelance writers, only your team can determine your brand POV. Why? Your brand POV is an amalgamation of the perspectives of your founders and leadership. You can’t fabricate or outsource it.
Unearthing and shaping your brand POV is pretty straightforward.
You must first pinpoint your brand vision, mission, values, and tone of voice. Then, link them to your target audiences and their needs and aspirations.
Honestly, the hardest part is getting all your important folks into one room and ready to discuss. It’s important to cultivate a safe space for everyone to be honest and unfiltered.
From there, moderate a conversation. Here are some questions to ask:
- Why was [product] created?
- In your brand story, who is the villain? Who is the hero, and how does [product] help them save the day?
- What do your brand values mean to you? Tactically, what do these values look like in the real world?
- If your brand was hosting a cocktail party for its target audience, who would be in attendance? Besides your product, what would they be talking about? What would your brand’s position be on these topics?
- What is something everyone believes that you don’t?
- What is something nobody is talking about but should be?
- What are the big mistakes people make that they are oblivious to?
- What change is happening that people aren’t noticing?
You’d be surprised about the dialogue that comes out of these questions. In fact, if a healthy debate arises in our workshops, I encourage it. Sometimes, I’ll play devil’s advocate to probe my clients to think deeper. Even a “but why?” here and there can get founders thinking deeper about their answers.
The goal of this conversation is two-fold:
- To identify topics or issues that resonate with your target audience and align with your brand values
- To take a stance and apply your team’s perspective to relevant industry topics while also conveying an objective understanding of the issues
Where do you go from here? What do you do with these insights? Here’s a hint:
Look out for my next Field Notes where I’ll break down how I distill this conversation into a brand POV playbook, glean content ideas, and distribute these ideas to drive results.
Want more insights like this? Want to explore a brand POV for your own company? Reply here or connect with me on LinkedIn.
1. What You Need, Dear Brand, Is a Point of View – Steve Bryant breaks down our brand POV concept into lovely, bite-sized pieces. Ex.: “…brands tend to have an overdeveloped point of view about themselves, but a less developed point of view about anything else.”
2. How to Pivot From Lead Gen to Demand Gen: a CMO’s Guide – A must-read for companies looking to move away from the same ol’ keyword-ranking, traffic-driving content that doesn’t quite win revenue. Our team loves this one.
3. Kitchen Side: The Ultimate Imposter Syndrome Episode – David, Alex, and I recorded a fun and frank conversation about all things imposter syndrome. If you struggle with the same, it’s a must-listen.