In the current economic context, with prices and inflation rising, it is essential for B2B companies to look beyond price alone. Value has become a central element in B2B marketing strategies. In this blog, we dive deeper into the different aspects of value, and how B2B companies can maximize these aspects.
Aspects of value in B2B marketing
Every B2B company has unique aspects of value that it can leverage to compete in the marketplace.
Value in B2B marketing goes beyond the product or service itself. It also includes elements such as customer service, brand reputation, innovation, sustainability and relationships with customers and partners. Each of these aspects can provide a powerful competitive advantage if managed and communicated effectively.
- Customer service is a crucial element of value in B2B marketing.1 It is not just about handling complaints or problems, but also about working proactively to help customers be successful with your products or services. Excellent customer service can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction, increased loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth, all of which contribute to the value of your business.
- Brand reputation is the perception stakeholders have of your company, and it can have a significant impact on the value of your business.2 A strong brand reputation can build trust with customers and partners, and can differentiate your company from competitors. Building a strong brand reputation includes communicating your brand values, showing consistency in your actions and responding to customer feedback.
- In the rapidly changing B2B market, innovation can add significant value to your business.3 This can be innovation in products or services, but also in business processes or business model. It can be disruptive (think Uber, or Airbnb) or incremental. It can also be transformational, such as launching an online sales channel, an adaptation of the classic sales model in B2B.4 By innovating, you can create new value for your customers and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Moreover, innovation can lead to efficiency and cost savings, which also contributes to the value of your business.
- Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the B2B market, and it can be an important element of value for your business.5 It can include environmentally friendly practices, such as reducing your carbon footprint, as well as social sustainability, such as fair labor practices. By focusing on sustainability, you can create value for your customers and society, and reduce business risk and potentially gain access to new markets.
- In the B2B marketplace, relationships are crucial.6 This includes relationships with customers, but also with partners such as suppliers, distributors, and value-added resellers. Strong relationships can lead to long-term, profitable collaborations. Moreover, they can make your business more resilient in times of change. Reliability, excellent service, and demonstrating appreciation for your customers and partners are the keys to building and maintaining strong relationships.
Strategies to maximize value
Every aspect of value can be an opportunity to strengthen a B2B company's market position.
- Customer service: The foundation, of course, is smooth handling of complaints or problems. Exceptional customer service can add tremendous value. Companies can capitalize on this by offering a 24/7 help desk, personalized support, or ongoing training and education. A marketing agency can help communicate this value to customers and prospects.
- Brand reputation: You build a strong brand reputation by consistently providing high-quality products and services and by conducting business ethically and responsibly. A reputation management strategy, supported by effective public relations and corporate communications, is crucial in this.
- Innovation: Companies can create value by investing in R&D and offering innovative solutions that address customer needs. B2B marketing agencies can support companies in communicating these innovations to the marketplace.
- Sustainability: More and more companies are recognizing the importance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Companies can add value by integrating sustainable practices into their operations and communicating these initiatives to customers and other stakeholders.
- Relationships with customers and partners: Strong relationships are invaluable in B2B marketing. These can range from building long-term relationships with customers to establishing strategic partnerships.
The role of a B2B marketing agency
A B2B marketing agency can play a key role in communicating the value a company offers and in supporting the strategies outlined above.
At Living Stone, we understand that every aspect of value presents unique communication opportunities. We have the expertise to help develop and execute effective marketing strategies that highlight your company's unique values.
For customer service, we can help develop customer testimonials and case studies that demonstrate the quality of your service. For brand reputation, we can develop an effective PR and communications strategy to tell your brand story. For innovation, we can help communicate your innovative products and services through various channels and formats. For sustainability, we can help communicate your CSR initiatives and results. And for relationships, we can develop strategies to promote customer loyalty and partnerships.
At a time of rising prices and inflation, value in B2B marketing is more important than ever. By focusing on the various aspects of value – customer service, brand reputation, innovation, sustainability, and relationships – B2B companies can compete successfully in today's marketplace. Your B2B marketing agency can play a key role in supporting these strategies and communicating the unique value your company offers.
Are you ready to maximize the value of your B2B company? Contact Living Stone for a free consultation.
(1) Lindgreen, A., & Wynstra, F. (2005). Value in business markets: What do we know? Where are we going? Industrial Marketing Management, 34(7), 732-748. (2) Terho, H., Haas, A., Eggert, A., & Ulaga, W. (2012).
‘(2) The Changing Face of B2B Marketing, Kelsey Snyder, Pashmeena Hilal/March 2015, via https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/the-changing-face-b2b-marketing/
(5) More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want, beschikbaar via https://www.sustainability-reports.com/more-than-values-the-value-based-sustainability-reporting-that-investors-want/ - EY, 2020. EY, een wereldwijd toonaangevend bedrijfsadviesbedrijf, bespreekt in dit artikel hoe duurzaamheid een integraal onderdeel is geworden van de bedrijfsstrategie.
 Lindgreen, A., & Wynstra, F. (2005). Value in business markets: What do we know? Where are we going? Industrial Marketing Management, 34(7), 732-748. (2) Terho, H., Haas, A., Eggert, A., & Ulaga, W. (2012).
 The Changing Face of B2B Marketing, Kelsey Snyder, Pashmeena Hilal/March 2015, via https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/the-changing-face-b2b-marketing/
 More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want, beschikbaar via https://www.sustainability-reports.com/more-than-values-the-value-based-sustainability-reporting-that-investors-want/ - EY, 2020. EY, een wereldwijd toonaangevend bedrijfsadviesbedrijf, bespreekt in dit artikel hoe duurzaamheid een integraal onderdeel is geworden van de bedrijfsstrategie.