Building an emotional connection matters. While most people would assume that in terms of emotional connections with brands, B2C companies’ connections with their customers would be far stronger than those with B2B brands.
However, in a 2013 study by Google and CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council, the exact opposite was found:
“Of the hundreds of B2C brands that Motista has studied, most have emotional connections with between 10% and 40% of consumers. Meanwhile, of the nine B2B brands we studied, seven surpassed the 50% mark. On average, B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers.”
Google explained that while these findings may be initially surprising, the inner workings of B2B and B2C purchases give a clear explanation of why building an emotional connection matters: B2C purchases generally carry much less risk for the buyer than B2C purchases.
Most B2C purchases (a vacuum, a toothbrush, a pair of jeans, etc.) are returnable, and if they are not, the cost of a poor B2C product purchase is unlikely to affect someone’s overall wellbeing in any significant way. The same cannot be said for B2B purchases , which are generally much higher cost (i.e. a multi-million dollar software deal) and carry additional personal risks for the buyer:
Losing time and effort if a purchase decision goes poorly
Losing credibility if they make a recommendation for an unsuccessful purchase
Losing their job if they are responsible for a failed purchase
Because these personal risks carry a lot of emotional weight for the buyer, anything B2B companies can do reduce the level of perceived risk will strengthen the likelihood of a purchase being made. By highlighting the personal and emotional benefits of the B2B purchase (i.e. no more management headaches, opportunity to grow your career, etc.) in your early stage marketing content, you can help alleviate some of the emotional tension your prospects feel in their buying process. This is why this emotional connection matters so much.
To read more on reducing the perception of risk in B2B sales and why connection matters, click here.
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