The word ‘brand’ is most often associated with the physical representations such as the name, logo, colour schemes and other visible features which provide instant recognition. For example, consumers can easily recognise the swoosh of Nike and the siren of Starbucks.
In b2b markets, however, these physical aspects of the brand is much less important. Less than 15% of the brand image of a b2b firm could be said to be made up of the visible bits. Of much greater importance are aspects such as performance of the product, the service that surrounds it, delivery, price and promotion. Much bigger firms can also include financial performance and press coverage among the factors that influence brand image.
Market research offers the solution to identifying the aspects of a brand that may need attention. It can determine the impact of the physical brand attributes. It can highlight the effect of service on the brand. It can measure the importance of all these different drivers of brand equity and identify which will lead to the greatest improvement.