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Prof. A. K.

Biswas 1
Prof. A. K. Biswas 2
Many business marketing managers think
that branding is not relevant to B2B
They argue that industrial products do
not need branding as it adds little value
to functional products and that customers
knew a great deal about their products as
well their competitors products.
To them, brand loyalty is non-rational
behaviour which do not apply to rational
world of B2B products.
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 3
The evaluation and selection process in
B2B market can be described as being
divided into several parts.
First, buyers select a smaller number of
suppliers among the total array of firms
that are able to deliver what is
This group of selected firms may be
referred to as the evoked set, the
consideration set or, simply, the short
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 4
Second, once further information has
been gathered, this initial list can be
reduced to form a choice set.
Finally, buyers need to choose which
suppliers in the choice set to engage.
Various types of information and
sources are used by industrial buyers in
conducting an initial screening,
evaluation and selection of available
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 5
But, customers in B2B market are often
to make buying decisions under a great
deal of pressure, and buyers, under such
situation, would like to evaluate and
choose from reputed suppliers.
Research on industrial buying behavior
has indicated a wide variety of factors
that can affect buyers during stages of
supplier nomination, evaluation and
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 6
Research has shown that price is a
minor issue when buyers evaluate
suppliers of components and complex
Quality, delivery and performance
history are more important criteria
The fact that history matters implies
that the buyers image of a supplier can
influence a decision regardless of the
current offer.
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 7
Buyers need security particularly when
planning for long-term contracts and
therefore vendors perceptions are more
important higher the risk attributed to a
purchase situation.
New task purchasing is open to great
brand influence, as the buyer has no
experience of that particular purchase.
The new task/new supplier situation is
quite frequent and significant.
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 8
Brands facilitate the identification
of products, services, and
businesses as well differentiate
them from competition.
They are a guarantee of quality,
origin, and performance, thereby
increasing the perceived value of
the customer and reducing the risk
and complexity involved in the
buying decision.
Why B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 9
For the B2B marketer then, a brand
can be defined as a distinctive
identity that differentiates a
relevant, enduring, and credible
promise of value associated with a
product, service, or organization
and indicates the source of that
What Is B2B Branding?
Prof. A. K. Biswas 10
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
The first step in building a strong brand
is to ensure correct brand identity.
The purpose is to create an
identification of the brand with
customers, and an association in their
minds with specific product class or
To do this the brand must have salience
in the sense that how often and easily
the brand is evoked under various
purchase or consumption situations.
Prof. A. K. Biswas 11
The second step is to establish brand
meaning by linking tangible and
intangible brand associations.
Brand meaning is characterized in
functional (brand performance) and
abstract (image related) associations.
Brand performance relates to how the
product or service meets customers
functional needs.
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 12
Functional attributes are primary
ingredients and supplementary
features; product reliability,
durability and serviceability; service
effectiveness; style and design; and
Image associations relate to
companys standing in the industry
and their overall reputation.
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 13
The reputation a supplier company
has can serve to reduce this risk.
The company then must endeavour
to create that positive intangible
image for this brand through
promotions, public relations, and in
every interaction with their
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 14
In B2B market, the name of the
company stand for many kinds of
assurances such as:
Assurance of product quality.
Assurance of service availability and
Assurance of timely and reasonable
Assurance of priority attention to a
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 15
In the pre-selection phase of the
brand commitment, organizational
decision-makers face three problems:
How to find eligible suppliers?
How to judge which of them are most
How to provide evidence to other
concerned persons in the company to
support the rationality of this choice?
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 16
The next step to B2B brand building is
to create favourable response to the
brand (including the company) by
managing customer experiences.
Through their contacts with the brand
and the company (its personnel,
channel members), and the resultant
experiences, the customers form their
judgments about the brand (and also
the company) which include its overall
quality, credibility, consideration and
Steps for Building Strong
B2B Brand
Prof. A. K. Biswas 17
Elements Of Brand Trust

Brand Trust

Prof. A. K. Biswas 18
Competence: technical capability
to completely make the product, or
effectively deliver the service, they
are offering.
Probity: belief that the company
will conduct its transactions with a
customer in an honest and fair
Elements Of Brand Trust
Prof. A. K. Biswas 19
Continuity: belief that the company has
the resources and commitment
necessary to remain in the business
area relevant to the customer.
This is particularly important in relation
to products which have a long lifetime.
Caring: the companys employees are
sufficiently motivated to care about the
quality of service or performance they

Elements Of Brand Trust
Prof. A. K. Biswas 20
Value Resonance has two levels:
A basic level of corporate good conduct
in the sense that the company do not
violate the value consensus on ethical
and environment issues.
A personalized level of life-style
appropriateness and is concerned with
whether or not the vendor company
expresses values, which the individual
consumer aspires to incorporate in
their personal life style.
Prof. A. K. Biswas 21
Brand equity is a set of assets linked to a
brands name and symbol that add to the
value provided by a product or service to
a customer.
Brand equity results in customers
showing a preference for one product
over another when they are basically
The extent to which customers are willing
to pay more for the particular brand is a
measure of brand equity.
B2B Brand Equity
Prof. A. K. Biswas 22
Brand imagery deals with the
manufacturers reputation in the
Brand judgments focus on customers
own personal opinions and
Brand feelings are customers
emotional responses and reactions
with respect to the brand (and the
B2B Brand Equity
Prof. A. K. Biswas 23
In the B2B world, the most important
characteristic is technical
The most effective strategy for the
supplier firm should be case-based
communications strategy, which will
show how the firm has successfully
applied their competence to the
benefit of previous customers.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 24
Communication can be divided into
content and methods.
For fashion-driven consumer
products content can be
characterized as iconic, i.e., the
content is likely to consist largely
with imagery aimed at eliciting
emotional responses.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 25
For technology-driven B2B
products, however, the content can
be described as instrumental and
pedagogic, meaning that it is
designed to communicate
information targeted at people
who are looking for a product to
fulfill a specific, often well-defined
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 26
The ideal method of communication
for fashion products is broadcasting,
i.e., addressing a mass audience with
messages designed for isolated
The messages are likely to elicit
direct emotional responses, i.e.,
people are going to respond
favourably to them or they are not.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 27
For technology-driven products,
however, the initial
telecommunication are more likely to
initiate a formal group process within
the targeted organization, and the
message itself will be instrumental
and/or pedagogic in nature directly
referring to benefits which the
product has to offer.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 28
The main sources for information
about B2B suppliers are as follows:
Based on personal relationships
Based on media sources

Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 29
Previous direct positive experiences
of the company and its products is
certainly the firmest basis on which
to build a relationship of trust with a
Moreover, all personal interactions,
which the customer has with the
company, must be consistently
managed well.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 30
After direct experience, the next
strongest influence is word-of-mouth.
The word-of-moth advice, which is
acted on, is most likely to come from
people who have high status within the
relevant industry and /or organization,
e.g., top managers, consultants,
technical experts, etc.
B2B marketer must influence them so
that they in turn influence others.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 31
Sales people can have a powerful
influence over purchase decisions and
brand commitment because their effect
is based on a personal relationship.
Sales force should not only
communicate value, but must also
create value by providing benefits at
reasonable trade-off to costs.
Value here can equate to problem
solving providing innovative solution.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 32
In most B2B markets, the primary form
of brand communication is through the
sales force and their ability to adapt
sales strategies and messages to
accommodate customer interactions.
Successful B2B brand communication
requires sales strategies that
incorporate brand values appealing to
the emotional and the rational concerns
of organizational buyers.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 33
Successful communication outcomes
are dependent on sellers having a clear
understanding of the motivations and
behaviour strategies of individuals
within buying centres and buying
Industrial buyers often have four
categories of communication styles;
Amiable, Expressive, Analytical or
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 34
Expressive buyers exhibit high levels of
both responsiveness and assertiveness.
They are extrovert, creative approval
seekers, who work quickly and rely
heavily on intuition.
The sales strategy for Expressive buyers
should support their need for status and
acknowledgement and sales person must
emphasize emotional brand values
stressing the achievement of personal
dreams and goals.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 35
Analytical buyers who are low in
assertiveness and responsiveness.
They are driven by logic and fact and
actively seek detailed product
They tend to be formal and precise in
their interactions and their risk-taking
approach is calculated.
Salespeople dealing with Analytical
buyers need to ensure that sales
presentations are logical and objective
and ideally backed up by expert
testimonials and guarantees.
Communications Strategy
For B2B Brand Building

Prof. A. K. Biswas 36
Building strong brand equity is a
relatively long-term process that
revolves around building value for
customers first, from which comes
positive associations about the product
and the company, and building broader
The most powerful associations come
from customers direct experiences.
Difficulties In B2B
Prof. A. K. Biswas 37
Every time customers interact with
a supplier, with its products, or
interact with customer service
person, impressions are formed
about the company, the products,
and its employees.
Strong B2B brands are, therefore,
built one customer at a time.
Difficulties In B2B