Your brand is just as important as your product to overall business success. The 2019 B2B Trusted Brands Report from Sagefrog lists the ones who are the most trusted. Small Business Trends contacted Mark Schmukler, CEO & Co-founder to find out the names and what small businesses need to look for in the B2B companies they work with.
Sagefrog 2019 B2B Trusted Brands Report
This was the company that took the number one spot. Good news for SMBs that are shipping goods and or services and need a courier to rely on. One of the filters that helped FedEx take the number one ranking was trust.
It’s a great metric for SMBs looking to make the right B2B choice. The right decision is about more than name recognition.
“Customers trust the top-scoring B2B brands because they take a personal approach to content,” Schmukler writes. “They demonstrate shared values with customers, and stay current with marketing tactics.”
Good advice for your own marketing efforts. And when narrowing down B2B choices like suppliers.
If you’re an ecommerce or omnichannel company, you’re no stranger to the technology this mainstay offers. Another important lesson from the report is awareness doesn’t equal trust. For small business, that means you shouldn’t sign on with the most recognizable brand. It’s important to look for those little extras like the abovementioned personal approach to content.
Schmukler underscores this aspect.
“This was one of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report. Personalized content that connects with customers on what they care about will always be one of the keys to building trust.”
American Express, UPS and Amazon took the next three positions. Trust is becoming the biggest deciding factor as the fields get more crowded in the B2B sector.
“B2B trust is important now more than ever. Because customers are constantly seeing and hearing messages from B2B companies vying for their attention. They know who the companies are, so the question becomes: who do they trust?”
For the small business, this is also about aligning yourself with authentic businesses. This is a big deal especially when you work online.
Other Important Points
The report also highlighted some other important points. People were making B2B decisions based on referrals. Customers needed to hear good things about any company they wanted to do business with. Johnson & Johnson, Google and LinkedIn were in the six, seven and eighth positions.
That translates into some advice for small businesses.
“Small businesses should look for positive reviews and companies that have long-standing contracts with similar companies to their own.”
Other Takeaways for SMBs
There were some other takeaways for small businesses. Even in the big pond of social media, some companies were able to stand out. Case in point was LinkedIn. They were able to bump up their brand trust by “establishing a strong professional reputation,” according to Schmukler.
They showed how it was possible to break away from the competition in your industry by working the pr angle.
In fact, LinkedIn being listed in the top 10 brands was a surprise. It’s a big deal. Consider other companies in the same space like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook had trust factor scores 30 points lower.
The features that set LinkedIn apart included sponsored InMail and their general professional appearance.
The industry your business is in has a relationship to how trusted you are too. The report found high scores in the shipping industry for companies like UPS and FedEx. Communication businesses like Verizon and AT&T scored in the middle. Financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo were lower on the trust ranking.
Something else to think about if you’re planning a small business start up.