International branding agency Siegel gale released a report titled B2B Now. “Most business-to-business companies (B2Bs) still debate the ultimate business benefit of building a strong brand that everyday consumers can understand and relate to,” explains the agency in the report on the reasons behind undertaking the study, which surveyed close to 9,500 consumers and 450 business decisions-makers on 64 B2B-focused brands. Consumers were asked to identify brands they “felt most connected to”, and to rate the brand on 16 attributes, including personality traits or personal benefits. “Participants then rated B2B brands they were familiar with in the same fashion. Additionally, business decision-makers indicated how likely they would be to consider respective brands for products or services their companies might need in the future,” explains the report. The chart below cross-ranks brands based on their relevance and familiarity:
IBM, a highly relevant brand, “answers call for change with purpose” through initiatives like “Smarter Planet”. “In its most recent “Made with IBM” campaign, IBM changed the conversation with 62 snapshots of how different organizations use the brand’s technology to create smarter experiences. By allowing customers to tell their stories of transformation, IBM made a notable shift from focusing on the ‘why’ to elevating the ‘how’,” explains the report; Cisco, another highly relevant brand, “connects on a human level and makes it real”; Boeing and Airbus, “known but not relevant brands”, “miss profitable connections to consumers or fly above their heads entirely,” says the report; 3M, on the other hand, has proven that a “culture of risk-taking and fresh thinking pays off.”
The report also shows that the most relevant B2B brands “make their impact tangible to consumers”, “foster consumer-centric cultures of innovation”, “generate demand through cohesive brand experiences”, and “use simplified design to clarify their offerings”. B2B decision makers are 10 percent more likely to consider brands that consumers know and feel connected to; as such, 27 percent of the top 10 connected brands saw growth in stock value between 2010 and 2013, eight percent saw a higher ratio of intangible assets to total assets in 2012, 31 percent saw greater growth in revenue from 2010 and 2013.
The full report can be viewed here.