Buisnessman going on bicycle the wrong direction

The answer is probably not. A lot of corporate brand messaging is out of kilter with what buyers perceive to be important.

Research carried out by global consultancy McKinsey found that a lot of B2B companies are putting the wrong message in front of their customers. According to the research, the top five factors that contribute to perceived brand strength are:

  1. Cares about honest, open dialogue with its customers and society
  2. Acts responsibly across its supply chain
  3. Has a high level of specialist expertise
  4. Fits in well with the organisation’s values and beliefs
  5. Is a leader in its field

However, the themes that business to business brands most align with are:

  1. Role models corporate social responsibility in its work
  2. Promotes and practices sustainability in its products or services
  3. Has global reach
  4. Shapes the direction of the market
  5. Is a driver of innovation

The McKinsey researchers say that B2B companies are putting the wrong message in front of their customers. The report says, “Themes such as social responsibility, sustainability, and global reach, which many B2B companies cast in a leading role for brand imaging, appeared to have a minimal influence on buyers’ perceptions of brand strength.”

Another mistake that B2B companies keep making, according to the research, is that they are following each other, rather than differentiating their brand message.

Content marketing is such an important vehicle for conveying the brand message. Yet the McKinsey research indicates that B2B companies are failing to focus their content marketing on the themes that their customers say shows brand strength. Companies need to avoid aligning marketing efforts to themes that are not considered useful or relevant and that ape competitors. Instead, they need to focus their content marketing efforts on areas such as having a high level of specialist expertise and being a leader in the field – themes that are considered useful and relevant.

If you are B2B supplier in the corporate learning space and are keen to know what content marketing your prospects and customers would like to receive, then join our panel debate on 30 October. More details here.