By Andrew Dalglish - 3rd October 2016
Some don’t think that branding matters in B2B markets. They say that B2B decision makers are logical beings immune to any such irrational influences. And anyway, it’s all just fluffy marketing crap and a brand is really just a logo isn’t it?
B2B marketers disagree. In fact, our surveys have found that 77% of B2B marketing leaders believe that branding is critical to growth.
Why? Well first off, they realise that rather than simply being a logo, a brand is a perception held about a company. It’s a series of associations about:
So because a brand is a perception held by someone else, you have no choice about whether that perception exists. You can however choose to manage your brand. Those that reject the need for branding in B2B environments should contemplate this. They can be the master of their fate, or they can leave it up to others.
These enlightened marketers have also seen the benefits of building a strong brand:
All of the above translate into the most important benefit of a strong brand – commercial success. A brand has real tangible value. For example, Interbrand regularly values the world’s brands in its Best Global Brands series and in 2015 several pure B2B brands (and many more B2B/B2C brands) featured in the top 20 – IBM is ranked fifth with a value of $65,095 million, GE ranks 8th ($42,267 million), Cisco ranks 15th ($29,854 million) and Oracle ranks 16th ($27,283 million).
Maybe branding isn’t such fluffy marketing crap after all.
Read more about our approach to business-to-business (B2B) branding research.
Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.