B2B marketing often involves establishing a relationship with other companies. What often triggers these relationships is the use of brands to get buyers' attention. However, they are no longer the simple mark of identification that they were in the 20th century. There is an increased need to give brands unique attributes such as values (1). By having specific cultural leanings, a brand can have a deeper impact on how a business relates to them. It greatly affects engagement between businesses, often strengthening ties through association.
Brand values can vary significantly, often based on what the company culture is like. More importantly, they're expected to evolve over time. Whatever the end result is, what the company gains by adding brand values is a certain boost when campaigns are a success and a shield when they fail (2). Consider the recent #RaceTogether campaign by Starbucks. This marketing campaign intended to demonstrate that the coffee chain was a socially conscious brand interested in starting a conversation about race. While it failed on the second count, the first was very successful, allowing it to survive with minimal damage to its reputation. With this in mind, marketers should incorporate structural aspects to their companies' branding, so as to present a more amiable way for businesses to communicate with one another.