June 22, 2023

The Most Valuable B2B Brands

By: Aly Martin, Fida Mouawad

On a sunny morning in midtown at the end of May, we attended an event hosted by WARC & IAA (International Advertising Association) to cover the first-ever B2B Brand Valuation Report Published by Brand Finance. The burning question that brought us all together: what is the value of a brand?

To answer this, the event consisted of two informational sessions. First, we took a deep dive into the process of compiling the quantitative and bespoke-for-B2B rankings of the top 100 brands in the world from Declan Ahern, Valuations Director and Alfred DuPuy, Valuation & Strategy Director at Brand Finance. The second half of the event featured a CMO roundtable — featuring leaders from some of the most valuable B2B brands — which led to a lively Q&A. 

Here’s a more detailed look at each of the sessions and our key takeaways overall. 


The Report


The morning kicked off and Brand Finance took the stage, unveiling the Global Most Valuable B2B Brands Index 2023 Report. The analysis by Brand Finance ranks the top 100 most valuable B2B brands globally, which account for $2 trillion in brand value. Microsoft holds the highest B2B brand value at $137.5 billion, accounting for 72% of its total brand value. Amazon follows with a B2B brand value of $70.6 billion. Deloitte is recognized as the strongest B2B brand, earning a AAA+ rating, with other Commercial Services brands like EY and PwC also performing well. While the United States has the highest number of brands in the ranking, accounting for 41%, Chinese brands make up a significant portion of the top 100, comprising 23% of the brands. The analysis also sheds light on the emergence of B2B2C brands. Google is the largest B2B2C brand, followed by media brands like TikTok/Douyin, Facebook, and WeChat.

Overall, the report emphasizes the potential for B2B brands to leverage their brands for growth and highlights the evolving landscape of B2B marketing and the importance of brand-led strategies. According to the report, “almost $1 trillion of brand and business value remains untapped by the world’s top B2B brands.” Closing this gap could add an additional $0.9 trillion in brand value to B2B enterprises. 


The Roundtable


For the second half of the morning, leaders in the B2B space got to share their perspectives on what makes a brand valuable and how various elements of the report resonated with them. The panel included Toni Clayton-Hine, Chief Marketing Officer at EY Americas, Emily O’Hara, Global Head of Brand at eBay, and Greg Boosin, EVP, Global B2B & Product Marketing at Mastercard. The most valuable – pun intended – aspect of the roundtable in our opinion was identifying the differences in each company/executive’s approach towards building brand value.

For instance – 

eBay is at the stage where they are reinvesting in their brand story, starting with a refresh at the foundation. O’Hara began her position at a point where the eBay brand ranked low in the initial consideration set compared to its competitors. This could be for a variety of reasons (although hypothesized to be linked to the decrease in overall marketing efforts and spending in recent years) but to remedy this, the company is focusing on initiatives to earn back brand trust with the audiences existing in its marketplace and new. 

EY has consistently been viewed among the world’s most valuable brands, but this did not happen overnight. Clayton-Hine shares that EY has built such impressive brand value by having the fortune to invest in its employees. The global company employs almost 300,000 people and investing in training, education, and service has been ingrained in the business from the start. This long-term strategy has certainly paid off in garnering brand value from the inside out. 

Mastercard is also taking a long-term approach, tying brand value to the metric of scalability.  When asked about making decisions that impact the growth trajectory of the business, Boosin said, “if it doesn’t scale it doesn’t matter, and if it’s not inclusive it doesn’t scale”. Clearly, Mastercard’s view of brand value is inextricably tied to its mission and commitment to action more inclusive business practices. 


The Takeaways  


  1. “B2B is having its moment” – but why now? Today more than ever, consumers have almost unlimited access to the brands they interact with–and they want to have that connection. B2B is no exception. This opens new and exciting opportunities for B2B brands to connect with consumers and explore different avenues for value creation. 
  2. Invest in internal and external stakeholders.  Now, it’s quantifiable that trusted brands – whether it’s B2B or B2C – are more valuable than brands that do not prioritize a strategy of transparency.
  3. In a saturated market, there is still room for growth – as the landscape continues to evolve, it’s a brand-based strategy’s time to shine. Look no further than Cannes – where B2B is taking the main stage. 

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