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The 4 brand superpowers for the ultimate customer buying journey

Kavita Singh spoke with Michael McLaren, global CEO at Merkle B2B, about the power of reliability, understanding, enrichment and pre-eminence when it comes to the customer buying journey.

Merkle B2B has released its e-book titled “Architecting the Ultimate B2B Experience: The Four Brand Superpowers that Make It Happen”


 Insights were taken from 3094 buyers of B2B products and services based on their journeys for 5622 recent B2B purchase experiences. What came to light was that B2B marketers were faltering on basic principles for creating optimal buying experiences.

Michael McLaren, global CEO at Merkle B2B, said: “Our study found that B2B providers are far better at meeting business value add needs than they are at meeting personal value add needs. This is often because they have an incomplete understanding of customers as individuals. Further research conducted by B2B International in 2020 revealed that only 27% of B2B marketers felt their organisation was strong at using buyer personas.”

Here, we broke down the four brand superpowers –two business-focused and two personal-focused – and why they’re critical for the ultimate customer experience. 

Reliability (business value add)

Reliability can be interpreted based on your company’s offerings, but it’s important to think about reliability beyond just ‘not messing up’. Quality should always be strong. Prices should be appropriate and all promises made to customers should have a follow through. 

Merkle’s research finds that the ability of a supplier to demonstrate that their offer will help the customer achieve tangible productivity gains is an extremely important purchase driver across many categories. This includes performance metrics such as profitability, revenue and productivity. However, it’s an area that many brands struggle with.

Michael says: “Suppliers who can provide clear and easily understood measures of the positive impact their offering will have on the business also make it easier for less senior (often more technical/specialised) decision makers to prove the business case for adopting the offering to their own superiors, who may have final say on budget allocation.”

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