In their quest to build brand affinity with their customers, B2B professionals look to several attributes. A recent report [download page] from Provoke Insights found that the top 2 drivers appear to be brand trust and customer service.
When the close to 200 B2B executives surveyed were asked to name the most important attributes when it comes to driving brand affinity, there was a draw between brand trust (23%) and customer service (23%). Indeed, these two factors have emerged in previous research as important elements in gaining customer loyalty, with Merkle finding customer service is one of the top features that keep B2B buyers loyal, and Edelman revealing that, more generally, brand trust not only drives loyalty but also influences purchase decisions.
Although these two attributes stand out as drivers to brand affinity, respondents also cited others, including price (14%), innovation (11%), uniqueness of product (10%), sales team (9%) and brand perception (8%).
Some 15% of respondents report that they do not measure brand equity. However, for those that do, sales revenue (41%) is by far the measure relied upon most. Others also say they use qualitative research (23%) and quantitative research (20%), while social media analytics (18%), website/mobile analytics (17%), direct response tracking (17%) and cost per lead (17%) are used as well.
Sales revenue is also the top indicator for customer sentiment among B2B companies — some 42% of respondents say they use it as a gauge of customer sentiment. Much like when measuring brand equity, B2Bs are also relying on both quantitative (30%) and qualitative (27%) research to evaluate sentiment.
One form of measurement only a little more than one-third (36%) of the B2B organizations surveyed use is Net Promoter Score. That said, MarketingProfs found that B2B customer experience leaders are more likely to use this form of measurement than those that are trailing behind in customer experience.
B2Bs also appear to find integrating brand identity into their marketing and sales collateral more challenging than other types of companies, citing factors such as not being able to ensure brand assets meet brand standard (31%), that brand importance is undervalued (31%) and having no uniform brand guidelines (31%) as top challenges they face in doing so.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 180 professionals employed at B2B companies, fielded in Q1 2021.