Do B2B Buyers Purchase on Product or Brand?

09/01/2017

As a B2B buyer, have you ever purchased software or something else based on your feelings? If you said no, I don't believe you.

In this week's episode of Bright Ideas in Branding, we take a look at a new study published by Martha Mathers on the Adobe CMO blog that reveals the truth about the importance of branding in the B2B buying cycle.

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Transcript: Do B2B Buyers Purchase Based on Product or Brand?

Hey everybody it's Josh  from Brandish Insights. 

Today on Bright Ideas in Branding, we're going to dig into what I think is one of the most baffling news stories I've ever come across.

And hopefully it changes the way we think about how we how we sell to other businesses as a business. 

So let's let's dig into the story here. So the punch line is, "B2B buyers are full of emotion. Is your branding?"

And this is by Martha Mathers. She's an analyst over at CEB, now part of Gartner, and they just wrapped up a study with Google and Motista. And what they're finding is that business value is actually a lot less important than personal value when trying to sell to another B2B brand. 

So let's unpack that a little bit because it will be the implications are just mind boggling. 

So first of all they found that business value is not an effective differentiator and so their research is saying that if you know the perceptions of business value. 

If they or they barely differ within a different industry and only 14 percent of business decision makers are willing to pay a premium for features that are better than others. I mean that's fantastic insight there where your product maybe doesn't matter as much as what you think it does. 

And so that leads into the next insight saying B2B brands drive much higher emotional connection than B2C. 

I wonder why that is. I think maybe because like at work you are required to be there. You're forced to be there, well not forced, but you need to eat. So in a way you are. So like if there's a brand that helps you do your job at work it's much more impactful or meaningful to you than if you're a consumer, you're like, "Whatever," you know if you don't like it you just won't buy it.

You don't have to use it that type of stuff so maybe that's maybe that's why the emotional connection between businesses to other businesses is even stronger. 

And then finally personal value drives nearly twice the commercial outcomes of business value. This is nuts right. So this is what this is saying is like if you have a personal connection and emotional connection with your buyer then they're going to be like twice as likely to do business or have commercial outcomes with you than if you're just selling on features alone. 

Now ultimately we should know this by now, right? The old saying is, "benefits sell and features tell." They've been saying that for years and years and years well before we were all on the internet doing this. And yet I can't remember. Like, I guess I can remember the handful of times like on one hand that people were like, "This is the way that we're going to sell to them we're going to make them feel this this this and this."

It was more about features and cost per acquisition and that type of stuff. 

I have worked with some situations in some you know examples where there was those were held at the forefront like how are people going to feel with the experience here. I see a lot of really great brands doing that right now and ultimately that appears to be a huge differentiator between between brands that are winning and brands that aren't. 

So if you are not emotionally connecting with your consumers especially if you were to be a brand then that is something you're really going to want to check out as a part of your sales strategy.

And if you are struggling with ways to measure the impact of your efforts in terms of emotion and maybe you want to check out a little tool we liked called Brandish Insights because it's the world's first brand analytics platform and it'll help you figure out things like emotions, awareness, preference... things like that. 

So we need a new vocabulary folks to to serve our brands better. And and this article here is definitely evidence of that. 

Until next time. Thanks for joining us and stay brilliant.

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

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