Microsoft ranks first on new list of most valuable B2B brands

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According to BrandZ’s “Top 20 Most Valuable B2B Brands,” Microsoft is at the top of the list of the most valuable B2B (business-to-business) brands. BrandZ’s rankings list was released today by WPP and Millward Brown, in partnership with LinkedIn. Microsoft’s brand value is estimated at $121.8 billion in the BrandZ list, with IBM taking the second spot at a brand value of $86.2 billion.

Nigel Hollis, executive VP-chief global analyst at Millward Brown, explained Microsoft’s position at the top of the list:

“Microsoft operates in so many different categories that it is almost impossible for businesses not to use some product from the company. The fact that the company plays in both the b-to-b (business-to-business) and b-to-c (business-to-consumer) space is a big advantage. For small and medium-sized businesses, trust and a sense that the product will not let them down are hugely important. Obviously, there is a huge overlap between b-to-b and b-to-c for many of these brands. While the purchase dynamics differ between b-to-b and b-to-c, our research finds that there are commonalities when it comes to what makes a strong brand. The companies that innovate in ways that their customers find to be meaningfully different are the ones that grow fastest.”

Hollis explains that there are certainly many challenges that B2B brands face in the marketplace and how a company markets yourself itself plays an important role in its overall success:

“The biggest challenge facing any b-to-b marketer is the ability to reach their target audience. It is not just a matter of what media channel to use — it is how to get attention when your audience is running hard to keep up and has little time to absorb new information. That is why content marketing is so important. If you can ensure that you have content that is relevant to challenges your customer faces, and you can make it easily findable when they need it, then it can have far more influence than unsolicited emails or behaviorally targeted display ads.”

Microsoft may want to make note of Hollis’ advice if Microsoft wants to stay competitive and relevant in the enterprise and consumer marketplace.