Why Branding Matters in B2B Marketing


Think branding is more important for consumer marketing than for B2B? Think again. Brands are highly valuable assets for B2B companies, and the facts exist to prove it.

According to Interbrand and Business Week’s 2011 ranking of the top 100 global brands by value, Intel, GE and IBM, three largely B2B-focused brands targeting sophisticated, “technical buyers”, are among the most valuable brands. In fact, they ranked number two, number five and number seven, respectively. This is no coincidence. All three companies have an intangible asset of “goodwill” that drives billions of dollars in value and market capitalization. They have strong brands, comprised of tangibles and intangibles, rational and emotive equities, that are their differentiators and competitive advantages.

Need more proof that branding matters in B2B? Siemens (a former client of Movéo) was ranked the 39th most valuable brand in Interbrand’s study in 2004 following a massive investment in corporate brand building. In 2003, they weren’t even in the top 100.

Emotive propositions resonate in B2B whether customers admit it or not. People say they aren’t influenced by ads, but data and client spending suggest otherwise. IBM did not have superior systems, functionality or pricing in the 1980s. “Big Blue,” however, became the enterprise systems market leader because you never got fired for buying IBM. IT Directors “bought” a relationship, company, reputation, service, people, assurance; that is, goodwill or brand.

So what makes for a strong B2B brand? That’s a question we’ll aim to tackle next week here on Getting There.

Note: This post is adapted from Kevin’s Randall’s “It’s a Fact: Strong Brands Drive B2B Markets.” Want more? Check out his full article here.

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