We’ve all been there: watching a football game or some other TV program and seeing the same commercial over and over again (and often week after week). The first time it’s funny or interesting, but after the tenth or twentieth time, it’s just annoying. So why do companies do it? The answer is simple: because they have to. For most consumer products, there are too many choices, and people are too fickle to stay loyal to just one brand. The only way to inspire loyalty is to keep hitting consumers with the same message until it sticks.

But in the B2B world, it’s a different story. B2B buyers want nothing more than to stay loyal to the companies they buy from. This is because onboarding a new vendor is a time-consuming and tedious process. B2B purchases are far more methodical and require careful vetting, approvals, and coordination with multiple departments. As a result, B2B buyers are more likely to stick with a supplier as long as the service is adequate, and the prices are fair.

However, switching vendors is not impossible, and competitors are always looking to steal customers away. So, how do you build brand loyalty in a B2B context? The answer is trust. Building trust is essential for inspiring B2B brand loyalty because the decision of which vendor to choose doesn’t just come down to technology or price, but which of them takes the time to become informed about their clients’ and prospects’ products, services, audience, and messaging.

According to a survey by Brand Keys, 95% of CMOs and brand managers are kept awake at night by the issue of establishing trust between their brands and consumers. But trust can be built in two ways: how you manage your business and through branding. The first way is the most important; all the branding in the world won’t help you overcome a reputation for poor customer service or broken products. Customers will go elsewhere, while prospects will hear about your reputation and steer clear. So, the first step in building trust is to make sure you’re running a trustworthy business.

The second way to build trust is through branding. While advertising alone won’t make an untrustworthy company trustworthy, it’s possible to establish and burnish your credentials as a trustworthy company through your marketing efforts.

Here are four ways to build brand trust in the B2B world:


Share your knowledge and expertise with your customers and prospects. Instead of focusing solely on selling, teach them how to solve their problems. Create value through knowledge transfer. This will help build trust and establish you as a thought leader in your industry.


A Harvard study found that 86% of B2B buyers surveyed were much more likely to trust the advice of their B2B partner if that partner actively listened and took a proactive approach to sales. Take the time to listen to your customers and prospects, and use their feedback to improve your products and services. Complaints can be addressed by the product team, while praise can be used to create case studies, referrals, and recommendations.


Don’t be afraid to use social media to interact with your customers and prospects. This continues to be an area where we see B2B organizations lagging far behind the B2C world. It’s a great way to build relationships and establish a human connection with your brand. Use your brand profile to interact with followers. Depending on your business, you might also consider working with influencers or more personal accounts. A total of 84% of C-level and VP-level B2B buyers are influenced by social media when purchasing. These buyers are three times as likely to follow an influencer than a brand.


To become a trusted advisor, you need to be an expert in your customers’ product and industry. Go beyond just selling your product—work to understand your customers’ business and provide valuable insights that can help them succeed.

By focusing on solving problems instead of selling, you’ll build trust and inspire loyalty in your B2B customers and prospects. Building trust takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

Steve Gray is a partner and chief operations officer at Spire, one of the country’s most awarded B2B branding agencies.

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