B2B Loyalty, is it really possible?

Posted by Osman on Jul 7, 2020 in B2B Marketing, Blog, Loyalty | 11 comments

I’m off to present at the CSTA event in Nottingham.  Before I leave, I thought I would share my views on an important topics, which many have been discussing with me in the recent past, loyalty in the B2B domain.

Although over 90% of the commerce in the world is in the B2B domain, little attention has been paid to building loyalty for B2B firms.  Many question if loyalty is really possible, given the nature of businesses.  Others wonder if ‘true’ loyalty is possible within this framework.  Both of these are valid questions, and fortunately I found some answers to these questions in my PhD dissertation at Bradford.

First, if we look at the nature of loyalty, traditionally its been examined from a B2C perspective, where a customer becomes loyal to a brand or a company.  Experts believe that these customers then become ‘truly’ loyal or emotionally attached when these customers fall in love with the brand, and hence behave irrationally.  Meaning, they are willing to pay more money to get the same product or service and willing to forgive mistakes from the supplier!  For businesses, the process is slightly more complicated.  The decision making unit is much larger, complex and more formalized.  Moreover, businesses usually behave ‘rationally,’ i.e. they will go for the cheaper product given the same level of quality, and would not compromise on the quality of the products or services.

However, in my research I found best practice firms that defy these notions and have developed high levels of loyalty.  These companies belong to a number of different industries and have all types of customers.  However, what is common to them is that they all have high levels of loyalty, ranging from 80-95%.  Hence there are companies out there, which have been able to achieve high levels of loyalty in the B2B domain, but what about true loyalty or emotional attachment.  This is slightly more complicated for the B2B world, however it is possible to achieve a certain degree of this.  However the research points to much lower levels of emotionally attached customers in the B2B world.

Overall, from this research we can conclude that loyalty is something which is very much attainable in the B2B domain.  Companies should develop strategies and plans and work towards building relationships with other firms.  My research also found a important characteristics that were common in all of the best practice firms.  Based on which I’ve developed a model which others can use to build & manage loyalty!  I shall share this model with you in near future.

11 Responses to “B2B Loyalty, is it really possible?”

  1. it was very interesting to read.
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  2. I would like to exchange links with your site blog.cibmp.org
    Is this possible?


  1. Tweets that mention Dr. Osman Khan's Blog » B2B Loyalty, is it really possible? -- Topsy.com - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by B2B Marketing Europe. B2B Marketing Europe said: Is it possible to create ...

Leave a Reply