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B2B businesses beat B2C companies in brand experience

B2B brands topped the Brand Experience Index report (BXi), beating many well-known B2C businesses.

The report – conducted by agency Rufus Leonard – ranked brands in B2B, hotels, financial services and supermarkets on five brand characteristics: think, do, feel, connect and sense.

Parcelforce took the top spot and was commended for its simple but effective brand purpose, instilling confidence in customers, and its innovative online booking system.

Microsoft (sixth), IBM (seventh) and Visa (eighth) also secured places in the top ten, while Hewlett Packard enterprise finished in 26th position.

B2B was found to be the highest performing sector.

The B2B brands were found to be the most helpful in solving problems and scored highest in the ‘do’ category.

IBM was pinpointed as a positive example of how B2B has become more approachable and less anonymous by nurturing communities. This contributed to a high score in the ‘connect’ category.

The sector also performed well in the ‘feel’ category, where it was noted B2B businesses have achieved active customer relationships by using tech-driven personalisation.

The report stated: “Demand by institutionalised clients has driven greater sophistication in B2B brands, with personalisation and one-to-one marketing the norm for some time.”

Laurence Parkes, chief strategy officer at Rufus Leonard, said: "We were initially surprised that the B2B category performed so well versus the B2C categories that we researched. However, in analysing the data we realised that their success is down to the fact that customer expectations have evolved (due to the opportunities that digital enables) to demand the sorts of marketing activities that come more naturally to B2B brands than B2C; namely content-driven, personalised relationships.

"In this context, B2B brands are actually ahead of the curve versus B2C brands who are still weening themselves of more mass marketing activities."

Top 10 in the BXi league table

  1. ParcelForce
  2. Premier
  3. MacDonald Hotel and Resorts
  4. Red Bull
  5. Netflix
  6. Microsoft
  7. IBM
  8. Visa
  9. Lloyd’s Bank
  10. Travellodge

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How to ensure consistent brand experience