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July 20, 2023
5 min read

Harnessing emotion: The new frontier in B2B space industry branding

As a space venture founder or a marketing leader, you're not just a pioneer — you're an explorer and a trailblazer. Your mission transcends technology — it's about carving new paths into the unknown.

But how well are you connecting your brand's narrative with this spirit? And are you ready to craft a narrative that resonates not just today, but tomorrow?

Orbiting change: The transformation in B2B branding

Just like the ever-evolving space industry, the state and our understanding of B2B branding is in perpetual flux. Today, B2B branding is veering off its typical course. Gone are the days where B2B interactions revolved solely around functionality, cost-effectiveness, and results.

Emotional engagement isn't exclusively a B2C domain anymore. Emotional narratives are at the forefront now more than ever, increasing customer loyalty and yielding higher profit margins. So, why are we still clinging to the old defaults?

Even if you feel safe, seeing space companies still operating from within this paradigm, it's time for a wakeup call. With 5000+ funded startups in the ecosystem, things gotta give.

The emotional spectrum: The five key emotions in B2B marketing

In a 2020 article, LinkedIn's Jane Deehan identifies the five most important emotions in B2B marketing today:

  1. Anticipation: When linked with positive emotions, it generates feelings of hope and optimism.
  2. Trust: It's a product of cohesion and empathy.
  3. Fear: It's a motivator that brands can help people cope with.
  4. Amazement: It provides a release from vigilance and anxiety.
  5. Pensiveness: It connects brands with their audience's motivations.

These five emotions provide a starting point for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level. But how does this emotional landscape translate to the space industry?

SpaceX: Merging emotional branding with B2B ambitions

Wondering how this emotional connection impacts your traditional B2B goals?

Look no further than SpaceX's vision of "making life multiplanetary." This transcendent vision goes beyond mere product offerings — it inspires, captivates imagination, and instills an unparalleled level of excitement and anticipation. Engineering innovation aside, it's what sets SpaceX apart and well ahead of an increasingly crowded market.

Can your brand harness the same power?

Possibly! But surely not by copy-pasting their vision and mission statements as dozens new-space startups do. The right to use "space" in the name belongs to SpaceX, and so does their vision statement.

Orbex: Leveraging trust through commitment

Trust is the bedrock of any successful business relationship. In the B2B space, trust is often built over time, through consistent performance and delivery. But it can be established quicker, through strong branding and effective communication signaling.

Orbex, a 2015-founded company, focused its efforts on launching small satellites into polar orbits from Sutherland Spaceport in Scotland, managing to build trust with its stakeholders through its commitment to environmental friendliness, using low-carbon fuel and launching from a carbon-neutral spaceport.

ClearSpace: Tapping into fear to create a sense of urgency

Fear, while seemingly negative, can be an effective motivator in certain contexts. In B2B marketing, fear has been the foundational emotion used to highlight the potential costs of inaction. It's the #1 emotion that drives decision-making.

ClearSpace, a successful Lausanne-based startup, uses fear effectively in its marketing strategy. The company focuses on the growing problem of space debris, highlighting the potential catastrophic consequences of not addressing this issue. This fear-based approach has helped ClearSpace to position its debris removal service as a vital solution for the industry.

Skyrora: Designing anticipation

Anticipation is the feeling of excitement about what's to come. In B2B, this can be achieved through product launches, announcements, and teasers. The key is to build up the suspense and then deliver on the promise. Or not.

SpaceX's Starship is an obvious example, but let's look further.

Skyrora's upcoming launch of its XL rocket is a prime example, tapping into the anticipation and joy of what's to come. The surprise of their rapid progress and the fear of missing out on their innovative solutions have created a sense of anticipation in the industry, keeping stakeholders engaged and excited about what's to come.

So, when will your brand catch up and utilize this emotional connection?

Pixxel - The joy of launching

Joy is a powerful emotion that can create strong, positive associations with your brand.

Pixxel, a Bengaluru-based space imaging company, has already launched three satellites, with six more to follow in the next year. The joy of these successful launches, shared through engaging storytelling and imagery, has helped to create a positive brand image and attract attention.

Helios - The element of surprise

Surprise is a potent emotion that can make your brand memorable. It can be created through unexpected product features, innovative solutions, and unique marketing tactics.

Helios, an Israeli company, has surprised the industry with its innovative solution for lunar colonization: extracting oxygen from lunar regolith. This unexpected approach has not only made Helios stand out in the crowded space industry but also sparked interest and curiosity among potential customers and partners.

Emotional resonance in space industry branding

The new space industry teems with potent, emotionally resonant themes—exploration, innovation, resilience, and stewardship. A strategically crafted narrative can solidify your brand's position in stakeholders' hearts and minds.

Although considered "dusted" by some, Blue Origin serves as a good case study with its vision of millions of people living and working in space. It's bold. It's thrilling. And it forges a strong emotional bond with their mission.

But wouldn't it be interesting if a niche player like Planet Labs, with its goal of imaging the whole Earth daily, also made a significant emotional impact?

Or Nuview, pushing this goal to a whole new level, aiming to LiDAR scan entire globe? Engaging Leonardo DiCaprio not only was a smart funding move, but a decent PR stunt. Isn't it a glaring example of tapping into the emotional palette to shake off the dry boredom of B2B space communications?

Launching your mission: Elevate your space brand!

What will your narrative be? As we've explored, well-executed emotional narratives can boost reputation, foster trust, establish a unique position, and set your brand apart from the market that's growing nothing, but crowded.

To the space industry leaders and visionaries: we pose a challenge. Light up your imagination! Connect with your audiences, not just through dry business proposals but through shared visions. Are you simply peddling a service, or are you offering a mission worth joining?

The future of new space economy belongs to the masters or 3 arts. Can you outsmart, outpace, and outlast your competition by emotionally resonating with your audience?

The hype-drive is primed. Are you ready for lift-off?

Till the next one.

Tagged: b2b · branding · marketing

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