The importance of branding for B2B – Part II: Marketing

B2B brand awareness matters more than ever – and the data backs it up. Brand awareness is the top priority for B2B businesses in 2022[1], not just in the UK, but worldwide[2].

B2B companies have historically always been about leads, sales, and cost per acquisition. With B2B branding always playing second fiddle to revenue-generating techniques for their product or service.

Having a strong brand actually accelerates the sales cycle; by increasing brand perception building trust and helping to increase the customer experience.

Brands are built through marketing communications, but the truth of it isn’t as simple. A trusted brand starts with an experience. You can’t help but remember that they took great care when something happened.

The difference between B2B and B2C

B2C businesses have always focussed on branding – sometimes for just one product. Thousands of interactions and recommendations from customers over time to sell a simple carbonated drink. It could be argued that B2B branding is actually more important than B2C branding as the stakes are higher. There could be a serious financial impact if a buying decision is wrong. Business buyers are seeking a long-term relationship with their vendors.

The growing importance of strong B2B brand marketing is also reflected in the creation of a new category at the 2022 Cannes Lions festival, demonstrating global recognition of the need for creative B2B campaigns.

Here are some of the drivers behind this trend:

1. Our relationship with B2B customers has changed

Strong relationships are the foundation of B2B marketing and in the last 2 years, B2B behaviour has changed irreversibly. Both buyers and sellers have shifted to digital marketing, with 80% of buyers now preferring remote or digital self-service[3].

As a result, the brand equity that comes from traditional, personal interactions has begun to dwindle and the online marketplace has become a lot more crowded. This is where brand awareness can make all the difference.

2. Your buyers expect a consistent brand experience

B2B buyers are just like any other consumer. They want to know that the promises you make as a brand will be kept – regardless of where or how they interact with you. This means delivering a consistent brand experience that is accessible, easy to use and instantly recognisable.

3. You need to reach the buyers who aren’t interested yet

According to a recent report by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, short term sales messages are irrelevant to 95% of your audience at any given time[4].

B2B branding and messaging is designed to drive long-term growth, because it stays with your audience after any promotion has faded away. This need for a long-term approach to marketing is another reason why you have to make sure your brand is hitting the right notes.

4. Strong B2B branding delivers long-term positive outcomes

Brand building can benefit more than just your marketing ROI[5]. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, there are seven key areas in which a strong B2B brand can make a tangible difference:

  • Short term sales
  • Long term sales
  • Reduced price sensitivity
  • Attracting better talent
  • Identity beyond a single category
  • A legally protected and defendable identity
  • More receptive prospects

With all this in mind, it’s clear that now is the time to take stock and make sure your brand is effectively reaching your target audience.

Think has created a guide to help you identify if now is the right time for your business to consider a rebrand and if so, how to ensure you engage the rest of the business in the process.

In this guide, we focus on finding your brand positioning. This acts as a highly accurate point of reference on which to base all communications decisions and improve the accuracy of your marketing efforts. We also cover how to get out of the starting blocks and engage your stakeholders in the process.

To find out more, download the guide: The Great B2B Brand Reboot

Or read the importance of B2B branding – Part I: Design

[1] Hubspot (2022)
[2] Nielsen (2022)
[3] McKinsey (2020)
[4] Marketing Week (2021)
[5] B2B Institute (2020)


Written by

Paul Grogan

Creative Director

Award winning, and self-confessed typographic and graphic design perfectionist, Paul has 26 years experience in the industry and is our managing and creative director.

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