B2B Marketers Adjust Brand Messaging to Emphasize Uniqueness

Do B2B marketers need to take another look at their core branding messages? These enterprises are are emphasizing everything from low prices to corporate social responsibility in their branding campaigns. But, according to the research businessbuildingoutlined in a new McKinsey article, these noteworthy branding points aren’t connecting with customers.

Global B2B marketers spend considerable time and money ensuring that their branding is consistent. Many of these businesses also appear to be obsessed with presenting themselves as socially and environmentally conscious. Focusing on these ideas simply tell prospective clients that their business is pretty much like all of the other enterprises out there. To really make an impression, a B2B marketer needs to tell a different and better story.

The most frequently used branding themes among top B2B companies are:

  • Corporate social responsibility 86%
  • Sustainable practices for products/​services 84%
  • Global reach 79%
  • Market shaper 72%
  • Innovation driver 68%

As far as prospective clients are concerned, those themes will not significantly impact a buying decision. Themes that rank high for clients include honest and open dialogue (17%), responsible actions across supply chain (16%), and high level of specialist expertise (15%).

McKinsey’s analysts note that large B2B marketers are exhibiting “a tendency to follow the herd rather than create strongly differentiated brand messages.”  At a time when businesses are still encountering a challenging marketplace, they are looking for a way to move ahead. They want to hire consultants and partners who show unique strengths and who can be counted on to support their clients.

B2B marketers may want to emphasize exactly how they extend themselves in support of business partners if they want to gain an edge over their competitors.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.