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How B2B brands talk
past their customers
Any use of this material without specific permission of
McKinsey & Company is strictly prohibited
New York, 18 March 2014
CFG conference
Great
strategy,
business brands excel in
consistency,
and delivery
SOURCE: Interbrand; team analysis
20%of world's top
100brands have
B2B focus
+ 27%
in the
last decade
3How B2B companies talk past their customers
Strong brands generate impact across B2B stakeholder groups
Employees and talent
Regulators, suppliers,
business partners, etc.
Investors and
analysts
B2B customers
End customers
SOURCE: Business Branding Initiative
"A consistent
(positive) and
appealing short-hand
articulation of what a
specific company
stands for"
§§§
How B2B companies talk past their customers
B2B customers across industries recognize that brand influences their decision
SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey
1 Quality of customer communication, provision of information, media visibility, etc.
27
27 21
23 25 22
17 21
20
15 13 18
14
US
19
Germany
18 Brand
Customer information1
Price
Product/services
Sales/channel
India
Influence on
purchase decision
Percentage
5How B2B companies talk past their customers
Strong B2B brands generate higher margins
SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey
Supplier brands, that
respondents in our
survey considered to
have a "strong" brand
image, exhibit a
significantly higher EBIT
margin
EBIT margin,
2011
Percent
6
11
12
13
Strong
brands
Neutral
brands
Weak
brands
+20.7%
How B2B companies talk past their customers
Strong brands outperform the index in financial markets
7
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
130
140
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total Return to Shareholders1
Index
1 Portfolio consisting of the 40 top-ranked, listed companies, picked from Interbrand’s "Best Global Brands" report, published each summer
since 2000. Stocks in local currency, equally weighted and adjusted every July 1st
SOURCE: Datastream; Interbrand, McKinsey analysis
Top Brand
Portfolio1
MSCI
World
+31%
Top 40-brands portfolio has
outperformed bench-marks overall
and in 9 of the last 12 years
How B2B companies talk past their customers
What makes a brand "strong" in the eye of the customer?
8SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey
 Acts responsibly across its supply chain
 Has a high level of specialist expertise
 Fits in well with my values and beliefs
 Is a leader in its field
 Is a driver of innovation
 Role models corporate social responsibility in its work
 Provides a broad product portfolio
 Promotes and practices sustainability in its products or services
 Shapes the direction of the market
 Promotes diversity and equal opportunities
 Has global reach
 Cares about honest and open dialogue with its customers and society
 Has low prices
GLOBAL
Influence on perceived brand strength – the customer's view
Correlation ranking (n = 1,408)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Combination
of rational
"hard facts"
AND
emotional
aspects
???
benefits
How B2B companies talk past their customers
There appears to be a disconnect between what customers care about and what
companies talk about
SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey 9
 Honest and open dialog
 Responsibility across supply chain
 High level of specialized expertise
 Fits my values and beliefs
 Is a leader in its field
What B2B
customers
care about
 Corporate social responsibility
 Sustainability
 Global reach
 Shapes the market
 Innovation
But what
are B2B
companies
talking
about?
How B2B companies talk past their customers
Brand perceptions based on many touchpoints – not just sales reps
10
US
India
Germany
7 most
preferred
touchpoints
for each
step in the
decision
journey
SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey
Consideration Evaluation Purchase
Loyalty
Advocacy
1 Salesreps
(Personal)
Salesreps
(Personal)
Salesreps
(Personal)
Salesreps
(Phone)
2 Website Past usage Salesreps
(Email)
Salesreps
(Email)
3 Past usage Press
Coverage
Website Salesreps
(Personal)
4 Recommen-
dation (ext.)
Distributor Trade Fairs Website
5 Catalog Website Events Events
6 Trade fair External re-
commendation
Prof. social
media
Trade fairs
7 Sales reps
(phone)
Catalog Sales reps
(phone)
Call Center
GLOBAL,
ALL INDUSTRIES
How B2B companies talk past their customers
6 Steps for the journey
11
Take stock of corporate strategy
Map primary stakeholders
Determine value proposition and brand architecture
Track impact
Define touch points that matter
Architect activation
How B2B companies talk past their customers
12
Agnes Claye
Senior Expert
NJ
Agnes_Claye@mckinsey.com
Nils Hoffman
Partner
New York
Nils_Hoffman@mckinsey.com
Staying connected
McKinsey on Marketing & Sales
Read more: How B2B companies talk past their customers

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How b2b brands talk past their customers

  • 1. How B2B brands talk past their customers Any use of this material without specific permission of McKinsey & Company is strictly prohibited New York, 18 March 2014 CFG conference
  • 2. Great strategy, business brands excel in consistency, and delivery
  • 3. SOURCE: Interbrand; team analysis 20%of world's top 100brands have B2B focus + 27% in the last decade 3How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 4. Strong brands generate impact across B2B stakeholder groups Employees and talent Regulators, suppliers, business partners, etc. Investors and analysts B2B customers End customers SOURCE: Business Branding Initiative "A consistent (positive) and appealing short-hand articulation of what a specific company stands for" §§§ How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 5. B2B customers across industries recognize that brand influences their decision SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey 1 Quality of customer communication, provision of information, media visibility, etc. 27 27 21 23 25 22 17 21 20 15 13 18 14 US 19 Germany 18 Brand Customer information1 Price Product/services Sales/channel India Influence on purchase decision Percentage 5How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 6. Strong B2B brands generate higher margins SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey Supplier brands, that respondents in our survey considered to have a "strong" brand image, exhibit a significantly higher EBIT margin EBIT margin, 2011 Percent 6 11 12 13 Strong brands Neutral brands Weak brands +20.7% How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 7. Strong brands outperform the index in financial markets 7 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total Return to Shareholders1 Index 1 Portfolio consisting of the 40 top-ranked, listed companies, picked from Interbrand’s "Best Global Brands" report, published each summer since 2000. Stocks in local currency, equally weighted and adjusted every July 1st SOURCE: Datastream; Interbrand, McKinsey analysis Top Brand Portfolio1 MSCI World +31% Top 40-brands portfolio has outperformed bench-marks overall and in 9 of the last 12 years How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 8. What makes a brand "strong" in the eye of the customer? 8SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey  Acts responsibly across its supply chain  Has a high level of specialist expertise  Fits in well with my values and beliefs  Is a leader in its field  Is a driver of innovation  Role models corporate social responsibility in its work  Provides a broad product portfolio  Promotes and practices sustainability in its products or services  Shapes the direction of the market  Promotes diversity and equal opportunities  Has global reach  Cares about honest and open dialogue with its customers and society  Has low prices GLOBAL Influence on perceived brand strength – the customer's view Correlation ranking (n = 1,408) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Combination of rational "hard facts" AND emotional aspects ??? benefits How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 9. There appears to be a disconnect between what customers care about and what companies talk about SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey 9  Honest and open dialog  Responsibility across supply chain  High level of specialized expertise  Fits my values and beliefs  Is a leader in its field What B2B customers care about  Corporate social responsibility  Sustainability  Global reach  Shapes the market  Innovation But what are B2B companies talking about? How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 10. Brand perceptions based on many touchpoints – not just sales reps 10 US India Germany 7 most preferred touchpoints for each step in the decision journey SOURCE: B2B Branding Survey Consideration Evaluation Purchase Loyalty Advocacy 1 Salesreps (Personal) Salesreps (Personal) Salesreps (Personal) Salesreps (Phone) 2 Website Past usage Salesreps (Email) Salesreps (Email) 3 Past usage Press Coverage Website Salesreps (Personal) 4 Recommen- dation (ext.) Distributor Trade Fairs Website 5 Catalog Website Events Events 6 Trade fair External re- commendation Prof. social media Trade fairs 7 Sales reps (phone) Catalog Sales reps (phone) Call Center GLOBAL, ALL INDUSTRIES How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 11. 6 Steps for the journey 11 Take stock of corporate strategy Map primary stakeholders Determine value proposition and brand architecture Track impact Define touch points that matter Architect activation How B2B companies talk past their customers
  • 12. 12 Agnes Claye Senior Expert NJ Agnes_Claye@mckinsey.com Nils Hoffman Partner New York Nils_Hoffman@mckinsey.com Staying connected McKinsey on Marketing & Sales Read more: How B2B companies talk past their customers