As less tangible factors such as reputation and cause-related concerns have taken a larger role in brand marketing, consumer-facing companies have been investing heartily in building their brands in recent years—yet we haven’t seen the same level of investment from B2B companies. But according to a new report, that’s all about to change—in the next five years, 81.3% of business-to-business companies expect to invest more in their brand strategies, says new research from Boston-based brand strategy consultancy Spencer Brenneman.
Most expect a modest increase of up to 20%, or a larger one between 21-40%. That’s on top of the increased spend that took place over the past five years, with 86.7% saying they’ve already increased their spending, although half of those at a rate of 20% or less, according to the study.
“There was lots of data out there on how B2C companies were investing in their brands, but very little for B2B. So, we set out to find it,” said Douglas Spencer, Spencer Brenneman president, in a news release. “We wanted to quantify the connection between strong B2B business performance and the right brand strategy—and even we were surprised by the results.”
According to the study, those bigger budgets generated real results for most, as 82.3% of the organizations that increased their spending saw the larger investments pay off. The biggest area where this payoff occurred was increasing sales and landing additional customers, which was true for 56% of those who cited a specific payoff.
“Another clear trend we saw was with research,” said Spencer. “It pays off. Those who increased spending showed improvement, but those who increased spending and conducted continual research did even better.”
Spencer said that those companies with an established verbal identity also fared better, citing a 12% increase in shareholder value as compared to those brands without a distinct voice.
Working with Connecticut-based market research firm Great Blue Research, Spencer Brenneman surveyed 150 B2B marketing executives who consider themselves ultimately responsible for or an expert on their organization’s brand strategy.
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel