Why B-To-B branding matters more than you think

B-to-B brands can be a tremendous source of value for both customers and companies. Companies need to manage them better.

Cross-functional teams cannot stop at aligning on what the brand is; they need to clearly articulate how the brand comes to life across touchpoints
In case you haven’t heard of Gardner Denver before, they are the go-to guys when it comes to all kinds of pumps, compressors, blowers, loading arms, and fuel systems. As Mercedes is to cars, Gardner Denver is to pumps. The company is so well regarded in its field, in fact, that its latest annual report calculated 43% of its value to be goodwill and other intangible assets.

That’s a number any company could feel good about. In fact, by that measure, the Philadelphia company has more value tied up in its brand than Procter & Gamble, whose goodwill represents about 40% of its asset value.

Decision makers say that brand is almost as important as the efforts of sales teams in encouraging purchase orders
And Gardner Denver is not atypical. While B-to-B brands don’t get as much press, they are very valuable and often, as a percentage of assets, more valuable than their better-known B-to-C cousins. Some analysts estimate that B-to-B brands may be worth well over $100 billion.

Brands of even less well-known companies such as Gardner Denver can be valuable because B-to-B purchases arguably matter more than B-to-C ones: buy the wrong toothpaste, and you can always change brands when the tube runs out. Buy the wrong turbine and you could hurt your company’s earnings for years – and find yourself looking for another job.