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This Missing Ingredient is Also the Strongest Source of Growth for B2B Organizations

After 25 years of helping B2B brands successfully position themselves for growth, it seems the concept of brand power is still an oft-overlooked component, or most certainly a missing ingredient for b2b and supply chain companies; or what we affectionately refer to as “the brands behind the brands.”


While the core of a b2b organization, let’s say a pharmaceutical consulting company, is its science and technology, it is sometimes a challenge for leadership to fully appreciate the customer perspective. Enthusiasm for one’s own products and services is so great that a “We built it. They will come!” mentality sets in. I’m not saying leadership shouldn’t be proud and confident in their company’s ability to deliver excellent products and services. They absolutely should! However, in our highly commoditized global market, where every provider claims similar capabilities, a distinctive brand is the one powerful instrument that enables one company to stand apart from all others, becoming a beacon for ideal client relationships.


Of course, part of every b2b company’s brand proposition should be a clear explanation of the functional attributes (what the product or service does), and logical economic rationale (how it can create value, save money, or compress time). The “missing ingredient” is often also the strongest growth driver. And that’s the Emotional factor: how the brand makes the customer “feel.”


“Brands that deliver beyond the functional and economic levels with emotional benefits will command an incremental price premium and create strong competitive advantage and customer brand loyalty,” stated Mohanbir Sawhney, Professor of Technology at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. B2B sellers often talk in terms of features, performance, and ROI. B2B buyers are certainly looking for that information. Beyond that, as human beings, we instinctively crave rich experiences and emotional engagement. At heart, we are drawn to brands that embody the characteristics or promise of security, confidence, trust, success and more. B2B buyers want to associate with brands that do what they say, represent a value, and ultimately elevate their emotional state, on both a personal and organizational level.


There’s a quote that’s been on my wall for much of my 25 years at the helm of Delia Associates: “People don’t care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.” Lead your brand with your heart, and the revenue will follow. We have over 200 case studies to prove it!

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