Your view on the importance of brand in b2b tends to be influenced by your upbringing. Have you been brought up on a diet of demand-gen, programmatic media and SQL? Or do you believe in creativity, salience and emotional engagement? The two sides of the debate have always felt like two neighbours who don’t see eye-to-eye on Brexit.
The reality is ‘it depends’. It depends on the category, the nature of the buying model, how mission critical the purchase is, the loyalty and repeat purchase rates. The list goes on. There is no hard and fast set of rules. You have to prove it for your category and business, and that can be expensive.
Binet & Field have investigated the brand topic, examining the B2B case studies in the IPA databank. Their study provides some empirical evidence demonstrating that brand can play an important role in B2B.
And why should we think it can’t? After all, buyers may struggle to understand the product or solution and they have not got time to do a rational assessment for every purchase. Anyway their boss’s boss will often prefer a name they have heard of. So, the smart thing is to put the brand you trust on the shortlist or find an excellent reason not to. To borrow a phrase, no one was fired for hiring the market leader.
Have a read of the Binet and Field research on the Linkedin b2b Institute.