When it comes to brand value our high flying B2B global friends can’t seem to keep pace with those pesky B2C counterparts. Research by Millward Brown has shown that in an 11 year period B2B brands have grown in value at 65 percent compared to a staggering 215 percent for the B2C companies.
The list of the top 20 B2B brands can be seen below and is made up of large scale titans from the tech, banking and oil and gas sectors. All of which have seen plenty of ups and downs in this period and can blame plenty of global market conditions for this downturn. However it would be interesting to see how their marketing spend has changed over this period; are they having to spend more to gain fewer customers? Or have they taken the route of reducing budgets all together to counter smaller margins and profits. Additionally are they taking less risks and spending less on new product innovation.
When faced with countless new startups and challenger brands but sinking profits it’s easier to take the reduced risk and more conservative spend option but why not be brave, outspend upstart rivals, use brand dominance to your advantage and innovate like crazy. If the global juggernauts aren’t equipped for this then they need to learn from startups who fight hardest for every £ spent and gained and use the latest technology and ideas to help them do this. Larger companies need to invest in the best people equipped to look forward and not marvel at their past, and most importantly don’t become complacent.
I hear and have seen firsthand that too many large scale enterprises are too slow at change be it new technology such as web CMS systems, marketing automation software, digital advertising strategies or even reshaping team structure and output to get the best return. Mired in endless bureaucracy by committee and scared to adapt they face a strong challenge from more nimble smaller competitors.
Unilever recognised this recently with their purchase of Dollar Shave Club who were flying high on the subscription model. What B2B brands are brave enough to swallow their pride and take steps like this to ensure they can not only survive but prosper in the next 11 years?