“Positions within the Top 20 have remained relatively stable since we published the Top 50 in 2021, demonstrating how these brands remain inspiration engines with the ability to place themselves at the centre of business people’s lives, and stay there. But many brands beyond the Top 20 have dramatically changed their ranking, showing it’s all to play for when it comes to inspiration as brands can move dramatically, shifting the needle on growth.”
Other trends include:
- The rise of consulting and accounting businesses – in part because of an economic environment where businesses are increasingly looking outside themselves for inspiration, but also reflective of the sector’s broadening offering and growing mission to inspire. Accenture leads this trend (29), followed by EY (32), Deloitte (36), Boston Consulting Group (38), McKinsey (41) and KPMG (50). All have significantly improved their inspiration status since 2021, with PWC (down from 39 to 66) the only faller.
- There was also a strong presence from travel brands in the Inspired B2B Top 100, as the world opened up post-COVID. Alongside long-established car rental brands such as Hertz, 2023 saw the rise of primarily B2C travel brands among B2B audiences, as these brands increasingly ramp up their B2B offering to bring more inspiration to the business travel category. New top 2023 entrants include Airbnb (51), Expedia (56) and Tripadvisor (63).
“To succeed, B2B brands must engage and inspire diverse buying groups. Your customers are ultimately human, and you still need to meet them in human ways, to make a true emotional connection. Inspiring them with warmth, humour and creativity is just as important as making a sound business case,” said James Irvine, EMEA B2B Practice Lead at Wunderman Thompson.
“B2B brands that embrace this are just as successful as B2C brands. Digging into the Inspire database, we see the same powerful relationships between B2B brands’ Inspire Scores and their ability to perform in the marketplace, grow faster and command premium prices,” he continued.
The Inspired B2B Score was unveiled at Wunderman Thompson’s flagship thought leadership event, Transform, on Thursday 28 September. The event, B2B with Feeling, took an in-depth look at how to harness the power of inspiration to reimagine the B2B experience, create more meaningful customer relationships, revolutionize outdated business models and drive new kinds of commercial growth.
Wunderman Thompson is a global authority on B2B marketing, having developed Inspired B2B strategies for brands including Canon, Duracell, GE, IKEA, INFOR, Kyndryl, Mercedes-Benz (Vans), Microsoft, Sherwin Williams, and T-Mobile. Earlier this year the network announced the expansion of its global B2B offering with the launch of Inspired B2B, a new initiative dedicated to inspiring growth for ambitious B2B brands, and was awarded the inaugural Creative B2B Grand Prix at Cannes Lions in 2022 for ‘Speaking in Colour’, an AI tool designed for Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings that allowed architects to speak colour into existence for the first time ever.