In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, B2B companies are constantly searching for innovative strategies to make them stand out and achieve sustainable growth. While many organizations focus on product features, pricing models, or sales tactics, there’s a critical strategy that often gets overlooked: brand.
Brand = Trust
As choices and channels proliferate, product/service alone is no longer enough to capture the hearts and minds of customers. Brand-led organizations are centered around the customer and business decisions are made in alignment with brand strategy – to build trust over time. Brand trustworthiness is more important than ever to drive brand perception and business performance. Strong brands radiate trust. They also consistently outperform the market.
According to Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands report 2023, the world’s top 100 brands have a combined value of $6.9 trillion. The strongest brands – ones that have built up deeper and broader connections over time – share three qualities with consumers: they are meaningful, different, and salient. The report goes on to say:
“…regardless of category, the operational pivots that have fared best share one thing in common: They have married breakthrough innovations with longer-term, emotionally resonant brand building.” (Kantar Global Brands Report 2023)
By developing a well-defined brand strategy, B2B companies can effectively communicate their values, expertise, and commitment to delivering exceptional products or services. A strong brand presence helps build trust among potential clients and partners, making it more likely for them to choose your company over competitors.
“A powerful brand identity, pervasive brand presence and mental availability, and cut above brand experiences leads to an array of business benefits, including improved differentiation from competitors, increased demand, increased customer loyalty, and ultimately, greater pipeline performance, higher sales and revenue.” (Global Most Valuable B2B Brands Index 2023)
Stand out and stay ahead
B2B companies that build strong brands stand out and stay ahead of the competition. They are focused on building ‘stickier,’ long-term relationships with customers to support sustained growth. Keeping pace with evolving target audience needs, pain points and preferences help companies stay connected and relevant. Although, it isn’t easy. In a recent Accenture survey, 95% of both B2C and B2B executives reported “that they believe their customers are changing faster than they can change their businesses.”
“67% of global consumers expect companies to address their changing needs in new ways.” (Accenture)
According to Accenture, brands have had to adapt significantly in the last three years to accommodate consumer needs. Being where customers are – regardless of whether you’re B2B, B2C or DTC – is imperative. Accenture also says, “it’s non-negotiable to build brands for commerce instead of simply being brands that are in commerce.”
By embodying the values their customers care about and staying ahead of customers’ expectations wherever they are, B2B companies can cultivate loyalty and share of wallet.
Brand credibility must be customer-centered
In this digital age, where reputation, reviews and social proof matter more than ever, brand building to establish trust and credibility are key. As the foundation to any successful business, trust is built over time through the consistent delivery of superb customer experiences, commitment to customer satisfaction, and total customer centricity.
Research from PwC’s 25th Annual Global CEO Survey includes advanced statistical analysis of data that demonstrates trust is “an intangible asset tightly linked with corporate performance.”
Brand-led businesses that consistently put customers at the heart of all decision making are uniquely positioned to accelerate brand awareness, customer acquisition, conversion, retention and lifetime value.
These companies are keenly aware that your brand is more than an identifier – it’s your operational lens, your internal rallying cry, your purpose, your mission, your company culture, your customer experience…and so on. It’s the sum of what you stand for and what you stand against, what you do (uniquely) and why that matters, who you care most about and ultimately, how you will make your customers’ lives better. It’s a framework that serves as a beacon internally and a mental shortcut externally.
Your brand is your driver of growth
B2B companies that invest in a robust brand strategy can create brand differentiation through a distinct verbal and visual brand identity. To remain top of mind for customers, a brand needs to be visible; it needs to consistently engage with and connect with its target audience to leave a lasting impression.
Establishing thought leadership through the creation of helpful and high-quality content is a powerful way to reach target audiences. Personalizing the distribution of thoughtful brand content that demonstrates expertise, insights and solutions is also an effective way to foster deeper connections with target audiences.
According to Forrester’s 2022 B2B Marketing Survey, “23% of high-growth B2B companies plan to increase their reputation program budget by 10% or more.” A well-defined brand reputation and a strong market presence can attract strategic partners, suppliers and collaborators who share similar values and goals. These partnerships can lead to mutually beneficial alliances, increased market reach, and access to new customer segments, driving brand-led growth.
With how fast the current business landscape changes, B2B companies can’t afford to overlook the immense power of brand. Strong brands are not merely symbols or logos; they are strategic assets that drive growth, inspire customer loyalty, and position businesses for long-term success. By investing in brand-building efforts and brand experience, B2B companies can unlock sustainable growth, competitive differentiation and unrivaled brand equity to outperform competitors.