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How B2B brands can grow sales and brand value
There's a huge opportunity for B2B brand owners to better leverage marketing and brand in order to drive commercial success.

Consider this:

- Nearly 71% of B2B ads have been found to be too dull to drive any incremental impact on sales

- 50% of B2B brands are mistaken for competitors

- 92% of B2B marketing budget is spent on targeting only 5% of their customer base

- Only 16% of B2B marketers list building brand awareness as a marketing objective.

Ineffective ads.
Sub-optimal spend.
Lack of creativity.
Bland brands mistaken for others.
Lack of focus on brand building.

That’s quite a list.

So how do we address them and what are the opportunities for B2B brands?

We’ve taken 5 B2B marketing myths below to show what’s wrong with B2B brand building, and what can be done about it.
Flip these B2B myths on their heads to drive growth
Myth 1: B2B Buying Decisions Are Purely Rational
The assumption that B2B buying decisions are purely logical overlooks the human element in business transactions. You’re still marketing to a human with the same brain that they use for consumer decisions when they make their own personal purchases.

Furthermore, often B2B decisions can have a huge amount at stake for the customer. Their career, their professional pride, their next bonus.

With that in mind, why wouldn’t B2B buying be emotionally driven?

And the data backs it up - up to 70% of B2B buyers consider emotions more or equally important to rational proof points when making a decision.
Screenshot 2024 01 26 At 130741
70% of B2B decision makers place emotion either ahead of or on a par with rationality. So when our campaigns and our brands are built around rational proof points, we’re missing a huge trick.

And research shows that using emotion in B2B campaigns is 7 times as effective as using rationality alone.
Myth 2: The Primary Focus Should Be on Current Customers
In what has been called ‘The Greatest Misallocation of Capital in B2B Marketing’, 92% of marketing spend is dedicated to chasing 5% of potential customers.

When considered with the below graph, this makes stark reading.
Ty 1
The maths of this leads us to the logical conclusion that to grow a brand significantly, marketers need to focus on those customers who are out of market.

We do this by building memory links for the brand in buyers minds so that when they are ready to buy, this memory link will be activated in their minds.

This leads to our next myth:
Myth 3: B2B Brands and Campaigns don’t need creativity
Because of the myth that our B2B buyers are entirely rational, brands can get sucked into technical and product feature heavy sales and marketing. And in an age of product proliferation, with many similar competitors, features and benefits don’t differentiate a brand. Emotional connections and brand memorabiliy does.

Just look at the below. Most B2B ads are too dull to drive any incremental sales.
Screenshot 2024 01 26 At 130650
We’ve already established that B2B buyers are led by emotions. And so it follows that B2B brands must appeal to the emotional part of their brains. Creativity can unlock this.

And furthermore, in order to be remembered particularly by those purchasers who aren’t in market (see myth 2) marketers need to build a brand that is memorable and distinct.

So, briefly, how can brands strengthen creative:

- Leverage distinct brand assets that are memorable
- Focus content around a story arc
- Prioritise emotion and memory building
- Include relatable characters
Myth 4: Brand identity is less important in B2B
We’ve just seen the evidence that B2B buyers are led by emotion more than rationality, that as brands we also need to be leveraging creativity to enhance our brand recall and memorability, and that we need to be speaking to a wider audience than just the 5% who are ready to buy now.

What does this mean for B2B brand identities?

How about this for a starter:

50% of B2B brands are mistaken for a competitor. So, in effect, they’re paying to support the brand of their more distinctive competitors.

Furthermore, the opportunity to stand out in B2B is huge. A study at Linkedins B2B Institute found that “Most B2B companies do not have any distinctive brand assets, which is the foundation of effective brand management. We estimate that brand mismanagement is costing B2B firms billions of dollars in potential sales every year.

So for B2B marketers not only is there an opportunity to optimise marketing spend by focusing on effective branding, there’s also the opportunity to easily stand out in many B2B categories where distinctive branding is completely missing.

Distinctive brand assets increase performance by: making buyers more likely to notice and engage with marketing efforts (and not confuse you with competitors), and secondly making your brand easier to find (online or offline) in a buying situation by increasing mental availability (easy to mind) and physical availability (easy to find), which helps companies grow volumes, prices and margins faster than competitors.

What distinctive assets are and how to build them is for another blog piece, but here's a starter for ten.
When we consider some of the stats outlined in our intro, there’s a huge opportunity here for B2B brands. Considering that most brands are focusing excessively on only 5% of their target audience, are creating ads that make no difference to sales, are mistaken for competitors, and finally do not have any distinctive brand assets, brand managers can likely take their pick from any of the below and realise significant benefit.

- Recognising that buyers are human and are engaged by emotions and therefore building brands that connect on an emotional level and enable buyers to ‘like’ the brand

- Using creativity as a key lever for brand building and campaigns in order to stand out

- Building a distinct brand that stands out in its sector and is remembered by consumers

- Communicating not only with the 5% who are in market, but the wider 95% so that they know, like, and trust the brand when they enter into the purchase process

For more, see our webinar here, or reach out to have a chat.
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