IBM, Apple and Google named top B2B tech brands

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Apple, Google and IBM topped the list of this year’s most innovative B2B tech brands, according to the second annual Brand Keys survey of consumer perception of innovative tech brands.

The brand loyalty and engagement research survey discovered that B2B buyers are connecting with both innovative tech brands as well as an array of conventional consumer brands that have been around for years, or even decades.

The top 20 B2B tech brands are:

1. Apple
2.   Google
3.   IBM
4.   Amazon
5.   Samsung
6.   Facebook
7.   Cisco
8.   Intel
9.   Siemens
10.   SAP
11.   LinkedIn
12.   GE
13.   Uber
14.   YouTube
15.   HP
16.   Square
17.   Slack
18.   Tesla
19.   Dell
20.   Kickstarter

 

Researchers say the results of this survey suggest that the combination of tradition and innovation are blurring, with business firms as young as Slack (#17) hovering near HP’s 15th position.

Facebook is a rising brand in B2B, which we saw in 2013 when the social network acquired Parse, a startup with a cloud-based platform of scalable cross-platform services and tools for developers, as ZDNet writes.

Making the top #10 list is SAP [a B2Bnn launch sponsor], which is in line with an impressive Q2: revenue from its cloud-based services were up 129 percent, and its SAP Business Network enjoyed a rev boost of 194 percent. And in the quarter, the number of HANA customers surpassed 7,200 compared with 3,600 a year ago.

One on One with Bill McDermott

In the Brand Keys study, conventional firms such as IBM, Samsung and Cisco are sharing the top 20 list with the likes of YouTube, Kickstarter and Uber. As a comparison, IBM was founded 104 years ago, while Uber opened its web portal doors in 2009.

Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president, says in an interview B2B consumers are looking for technological solutions to various business and marketing challenges in an intricate marketplace. Today’s generation of B2B consumers want brands “not only offering products and services but ones that also meet their tech expectations.”

When brands achieve this hybrid then customers will turn to them with intent.

“From a B2B perspective, respondents are apparently thinking, ‘How do these brands’ innovations help me?'” as Passikoff put it. “I think that B2B consumers have come to use any tool, [such as] brand product or service, that makes life more easy for them and makes them (appear/feel/be) more successful. Thus the list is a combination of traditionally thought of consumer brands and the traditional business brand leaders.”

For this year’s study, 970 B2B participants were requested to name brands and companies highest on their lists of technological movers and shakers. Simply put: it all came down to expectations and meeting emotional expectations.

Essentially, B2B and B2C consumers are indifferent to categories brands belong to. As long as they deliver and meet their requirements then that is all what matters. The researchers likened the results to some Darwinian concept. It isn’t necessarily the survival of the fittest in the marketplace but rather brands that are more likely to adapt to evolution and change.

Passikoff believes this is true innovation.

What this means for B2B brands, says Passikoff, is that they have to understand what B2B consumers really expect and then “to be able to accurately identify how well your brand meets those expectations.” He concedes this is a lot easier said than done.

“B2B brands, in particular, have lived for so long via rational product/service delivery that they don’t actually measure emotional values all that well (if at all). Sure, they’ll trade on imagery, but all consumers are on to that trick,” noted Passikoff.

In the end, without flying cars, Passikoff recommends B2B brands must attain a better understanding on what consumers expect. Once this is accomplished, the brand then has to “see if they can come up with something that can fill the gap between expectations and actual current delivery.”

In an earlier consumer survey for B2C brands in February, Brand Keys listed the following major players with the most loyal customers: Air Canada, Google, Apple, AT&T and Facebook.

Flickr photo via Creative Commons, user joe.ross

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Andrew Moran

Andrew Moran is a full-time professional writer and journalist, who covers the areas of business, economics and personal finance. He has contributed to Benzinga, Capital Liberty News, Career Addict, Money Morning and PFHub.