People often think that B2B customer loyalty always comes down to business value and rationality. After all, when you’re dealing with other business leaders, aren’t they less likely to let their emotions interfere with their decisions? Not necessarily. B2B buyers have even more emotions tied up in their purchases than B2C customers do.
A recent joint study by CEB/Google found that only 14% of B2B customers perceive real differences between their suppliers’ products and services. And 42% of them base their business decisions based on personal values such as career advancement, social, emotional and self-image benefits vs. the 21% who base business decisions on business values like functional benefits.
One of the best ways to make your brand values more visible and tangible to customers is with a B2B customer loyalty program. How you present your B2B loyalty program and the types of channel incentive rewards you offer can say a lot about who you are and what you want to offer customers. For example:
- Offer charitable donations your rewards catalog, so customers and can spend their online rewards points on causes they support.
- Give customers rewards for purchasing energy-efficient products or services.
- Promote family values by offering customers the chance to earn family trips with their reward points.
- Start a coalition loyalty program, partnering with other businesses so your customers can earn rewards in even more ways.
When it comes to B2B customers, it’s not that your marketing should stray from appealing to their vulnerable, emotional side. Rather, appeal to emotion in a way that’s not manipulative or pointless. Show the emotional and personal value your brand has to offer them. That’s how your brand earns more value than your competitors’ in your customers’ eyes, proving you can provide those social, emotional and self-image benefits that are so important in B2B decision-making.
Learn more about brand value and other ways to use channel incentives in your B2B marketing by having a look at our presentation: 7 Ways Smart Marketers Use Channel Incentives