B2B buyers have spoken: Brands must build on awareness with memorable experiences
Transmission has recently launched B2B’s first brand health index, revealing how 1,200 senior B2B buyers rate the brands they buy. Here, Senior creative planner & strategist Louise Davis digs into the findings.
Transmission's Louise Davis looks at the agency's recent 'Apex' report into B2B brand health / Online Marketing via Unsplash
Brand health helps marketers understand how prospective buyers and customers view your brand. It gives insight into what’s working with your brand-building activity, what isn’t, and where budget and resources are best allocated to improve. In that sense, it’s a crucial part of forming a brand strategy, keeping it on track, and delivering a pipeline of future demand.
To understand how brand health impacts business performance in high-growth industries, Transmission collated 1,200 senior B2B buyers’ awareness, perceptions, and experiences of brands in the cybersecurity, fintech, renewable energy, and manufacturing and logistics tech verticals. The result is the industry’s first-ever brand health index, B2B Brand Health: The APEX Index 2023.
Here’s what we found.
Just being known isn’t enough
While too many CFOs still fail to recognize that brand health directly impacts the performance of their business, our index’s best-performing brands deftly balance awareness, perception, and experience while also demonstrating strong business growth trajectories.
Crafting consistent, memorable messages among a broad target audience is the bedrock of brand building. However, as the B2B customer journey continues to evolve in the length and number of stakeholders involved, continuing to deliver brand experiences that serve the needs of both the business and the individuals inside it is the key to unlocking a brand’s potential for growth.
Humans make decisions based on emotion and gut feel. B2B decision-makers are no different. Engaging with a brand doesn’t always lead immediately to the purchase path. However, B2B organizations must recognize that every touchpoint a prospective buyer has shapes their perception of the brand.
All our top-ranked brands demonstrate a ‘human touch’ to help them connect with buyers on a personal level, contributing to high likeability scores across the board. That means no matter the sophistication or complexity of your solution, creating emotional connections that warm prospects to your brand fosters favorable brand perceptions and experiences. And that makes it more likely you’ll be shortlisted at the appropriate moment in the buying cycle.
Balancing reach with relevance
Little by little, slowly but surely, those brand experiences help convince buyers they can work with you as a business. Buyers don’t just consider what you offer as a solution provider. They also want to know that their values and long-term vision align with those of their prospective partners.
Three-quarters of the brands in our podium places were considered highly relevant to our 1,200 buyers’ needs. B2B brands need to translate technical excellence into meaningful messages, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of customer challenges – from the moment a prospect first hears about your brand to every interaction they have with it in the future.
Being market-oriented in this way – as we’d call it in old money – is a key factor in setting the strongest brands apart from the rest in the minds of buyers. Being authentic, relatable, and showing how your business makes prospects’ lives easier hasn’t gone out of fashion. It also helps to build mental availability, long-term loyalty, and trust.
The APEX Index 2023 looks at how high-performing brands stay ahead in fast-growth industries, serving double duty as a reference and benchmark for other B2B businesses aiming to make their own brand marketing activity more impactful.
By setting out what good looks like in both hyper-competitive and burgeoning industry sectors, we hope to help businesses bridge the gap between now and the future, establish trust in their propositions, and build B2B brands that we’ll all talk about for years to come.
Check out more results and in-depth analysis in the full report, B2B Brand Health: The APEX Index 2023.
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Transmission is the world’s largest independent global B2B marketing agency.Find out more