This article was originally published in the Brand Finance Global Most Valuable B2B Brands Index 2023.
What makes a great B2B brand? If this question was easy to answer, if there was an exact formula for success, the very high B2B brand value revealed in this report would be even higher. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some key ingredients that make business-to-business marketing unique and can help build successful brands, put B2B brand value on par with B2C brands.
A great B2B brand can lift your products into the consideration set, establish preference, and directly drive revenue growth. At S&P Global, we place customers at the core of what we do, so our focus is on strengthening the ways our brand delivers value to customers.
For customers, B2B purchases are rarely ill-considered or inconsequential for their careers or business success. Buying the right software or data set can make a big difference. Sales like this are complex, often taking weeks or even months to move through the process and require constant alignment to each customer’s needs.
“A great B2B brand can lift your products into the consideration set, establish preference, and directly drive revenue growth. At S&P Global, we place customers at the core of what we do, so our focus is on strengthening the ways our brand delivers value to customers.”
This means B2B brands carry a heavy load and a deep level of engagement. Creating a great B2B brand is therefore an exercise in creating an exceptional Customer Experience (CX). The most effective CX strategy is one that is informed by deep knowledge of the customer. We strive to understand our customers’ work. What problems are they trying to solve for? What is their process? What are their frustrations? What constitutes success?
When you lean into a “customer at the core” mindset, you foster stronger partnerships and commit to keeping your brand relevant. This type of marketing is hard; it can never be static. Our customers live in a world of constant innovation and change. High-value marketing must innovate (and iterate) to keep pace. It must meet customers where they are right now or know where they are headed before they might even know.
This is only possible with the people and a company culture that is built around an authentic purpose. At S&P Global, we strive to build such a culture. This type of marketing demands a team that is motivated by being curious, service oriented, and trustworthy.
Building a great B2B brand is a challenging exercise in connecting people and purpose, customer experience, innovation, and authenticity. By prioritising the customer at the core of everything we do, we can build lasting partnerships and deepen brand relevancy.