Business-to-business is still person-to-person.
Many B2B companies believe that the concept of “brand” matters less in their industry than in the B2C sector.
If it were just about a logo or a name, they might be right. But great brands are so much more: they have a clear purpose, a distinct position and a unique identity.
Why do these things matter? Because regardless of whom you are selling to, you still need to capture the attention of a person. An individual with needs, preferences and desires — whether that’s a B2B executive buying your service or a B2C shopper buying your product.
When you can tell one powerful and cohesive story, this enables your customers to clearly understand your value proposition and how you stand out from your competitors, especially in oversaturated B2B markets where everyone looks, sounds and acts the same. From the B2B executive’s perspective, a brand promise gives them the confidence that they’re taking on less risk. In fact, during the market downturn of the pandemic, brand equity was positively correlated to stock return and negatively correlated to stock volatility; during the market upturn period, brand equity was negatively associated with both types of risk (volatility and beta)ª. That equates to powerful protection of net income in times of struggle.
The ability to influence your customers’ decisions clearly drives the bottom line.
In 2012, strong brands (those with a clear purpose, position, and reputation) outperformed weak brands by 20 percent and impacted purchasing decisions more than sales efforts (18% share for brands compared to 17% for sales)*.
At the end of the day, purchasing decisions are made by individuals, not businesses. It all comes down to influencing a person—and people want to hear focused messages that speak directly to their needs. So, if your goal is financial success, invest in understanding exactly who you are, what your brand stands for and who is going to care.
*McKinsey & Company (March 2013). Business Branding. Bringing Strategy to Life.
ªFarhang, M., et.al. (March 2023). Brand equity and stock performance in time of crisis: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Product & Brand Management.