B2B buyers see the brand of the seller as a critical factor in their decision. They’re willing to pay more for a reputable, established brand, than to take a chance on someone they don’t know or understand. This is because the reputable brand is perceived as less risky, especially on a high cost, or mission critical purchase.
When most people think of brands, they think of well known companies that typically make consumer products, like Apple, McDonald’s or Coca-Cola.
The need for a focused B2C brand image is obvious, because people tend to make emotional connections to these companies.
What’s not so obvious, is that B2B branding is just as important. Because it turns out the people who buy B2B products and services, are human beings.
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Many CEOs and marketers think their customers make business-to-business purchasing decisions primarily using cool, level-headed logic. It all comes down to key business factors like price, level of customer service, time frame, and of course, quality. Yes, these factors are definitely important. And to think that B2B buyers do not weigh these aspects of the purchase heavily would be ridiculous.
On the other hand, to assume the purchase decisions are based solely, or even primarily on such logical factors is actually wrong.
Here’s the problem.
When we think B2C, the C stands for consumer. We tend to think of the consumer as a human being, with individual concerns, personal taste, and emotions.
But in B2B, we tend to imagine faceless organizations buying and selling to and from each other - devoid of all that pesky human stuff.
We forget that the people in those businesses, making the buying decisions, are just that - people: human beings with all the same hang ups and fears, insecurities and interests, pre-conceived notions, and chips on their shoulders that those “consumer” people have.
Research in recent years has proven that B2B buyers see the brand of the seller as a critical factor in their decision. They’re willing to pay more for a reputable, established brand, than to take a chance on someone they don’t know or understand. This is because the reputable brand is perceived as less risky, especially on a high cost, or mission critical purchase.
In the B2B world, purchases are typically on a grander scale than B2C.
Choosing the wrong supplier or strategic partner can be disastrous - career-ending, or at least a very annoying setback.
So the moral of the story is, don’t discount the importance of your brand.
It’s playing a much larger role in your customers’ decision process than you might think.