Is Branding Important for B2B Companies or Can They Rely Only on Dealership Network?
Updated: Jan 29
Brand positioning is considered extremely important for B2C businesses, but lately B2B business are understanding its value. Branding is a long-term investment that taps into the emotional side of the client. B2B customer acquisition process is time-consuming involving a disciplined data-driven process. However long the process may be, there is no denial that the buyers have emotions, and by building the right brand associations you can “close a deal” faster.
Why B2B Business Used to Think (some still think!!) Branding is Not Important?
B2B Companies work on high-pressure and on short-term targets to increase sales. They feel B2B buyers are rational decision-makers unmoved by emotional factors, including brands. They believe,
Sales Reps are more important as relationship between sales reps and buyers is the most important.
Price is the driving force behind decision-making purchases in B2B. A misconception that still exists.
B2B products are too complex to be reduced to a tagline.
However, these views have changed with time, now people understand that branding is as important for B2B businesses as for B2C businesses.
The buying cycle in B2B is usually longer, the requirements are better defined, more people are involved and the stakes are typically higher. But, in the long-drawn B2B process involving features, benefits, data, metrics, they forget that the buyer’s emotion also plays a key role. While attributes like competitive pricing, delivery and technical support drive sales, there is much more to your customer’s decision making.
Impact of Branding on business is significant, it cannot be ignored. Branding drives new businesses and increases brand awareness, which can change how people perceive your company. Brand is about the experience and value a company provides to its customers’, consistently. Branding is much more than a tagline, it is long-lasting impact.
How is a B2B Buyer Behaviour Changing?
Research has shown that outperforming B2B brands were twice as likely to allocate 60% or more of their budget on branding. Such brands work towards achieve long-term marketing goals that slowly build trust in the buyer’s mind.
46% of B2B corporations plan on increasing their spend on content marketing inside the subsequent 12 months. (Statista)
52% of B2B buyers say they’re “definitely” more likely to buy from a brand once they’ve read their content. (MarketingCharts)
The majority (89%) of B2B researchers gather information concerning potential purchases through web. (Google)
A typical B2B vendee conducts 12 different online searches before interacting with a B2B website.
This proves that a one piece of content isn’t sometimes enough. You need to get in front of potential buyers on Google search, on social media platforms and with branded online ads. A multi-prong content and digital marketing strategy is required to the different target B2B prospects. Prospects research on different platforms before considering any particular brand.
The benefits of a strong B2B brand
Creating a Strong Brand presence can have multi-fold benefits for a B2B Company
Stand out: Your company will stand out from your competitors. Branding helps to articulate the competitive edge of the company. It will give the buyer a reason to choose amongst your competitors.
Trust: As your audience (customers, employees, shareholders, distributors, partners, intermediaries etc.) gets to know your business better, they will start trusting you more.
Loyalty: It creates loyal customers, brand advocates, and even evangelists out of those who buy your product or service.
Price Premium: Brands can charge and sustain a price premium. It lowers sensitivity to price increases.
Employee Morale: Sense of belongingness attracts and retains the best employee talent.
Business Value: Branding gives the company more leverage in the industry. Since a company establishes a firm place in the market, it is a more appealing investment opportunity.
Generates New Customers: Positive impression of the company amongst consumers will them likely to do business with your company. Positive reputation builds trust and dependability.
In fact, McKinsey in their analysis shows that B2B companies with strong brands outperform weak ones by 20 percent.
This is precisely the POWER OF BRANDS.
Instead of just relying on superstar account executives to carry this message one meeting at a time, the strongest B2B companies create brands that do it for them.
“You have to tell a story, before you can sell a story,” said Beth Comstock of General Electric