Edited by Bernd H. Schmitt and David L. Rogers
Chapter 19: Building a B2B Corporate Brand
1 David L. Rogers In the 1990s and ﬁrst decade of the 21st century, the practice of brand management expanded into new types of business organizations. Previously, branding was a common practice in companies that sold to large markets of end-consumers – B2C branding. The principles of brand management arose from the marketing of fast-moving consumer goods and then expanded into other consumer goods (for example, durables such as automotives) and into services. Branding concepts and frameworks were used to develop both product brands (Kitkat, Cadillac, Macintosh) and corporate brands for the companies selling those products (Nestlé, General Motors, Apple Computers). In the 1990s, however, brand management began to be utilized by companies selling to business customers as well – B2B branding. These brands were being marketed not to mass-market consumers purchasing fast-moving packaged goods, but to business managers responsible for the ﬁnancial return on (often substantial) purchasing investments. Many such B2B companies had grown up with a strong product and engineering-focused culture that did not always embrace the market-focused orientation of brand management. The global scale of many B2B companies posed additional challenges for the integration and consistency expected of traditional brand management. Are B2B brands necessary? An early assumption was that brands did not matter in B2B markets, only price and product innovation. The customer was expected to be less emotional and much more analytical in their purchasing decisions. But highly visible and widely-admired brands have assumed market leadership in a wide variety of B2B categories: technology (IBM), manufacturing (Boeing)...
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