A clear majority of business-to-business companies (81.3 percent) are expected to invest more in their brand strategies in the next five years, reports brand strategy consultancy Spencer Brenneman in a new study.

Most B2B companies’ expectations for their brand strategy investment growth fall in either the “up to 20 percent” or “21 to 40 percent” brackets. This uptick is on top of the increased spending that 86.7 percent of those surveyed report investing over the past five years—half of them at a rate of 20 percent or less, according to the study.

“There was lots of data out there on how B2C companies were investing in their brands, but very little for B2B. So, we set out to find it,” says Douglas Spencer, Spencer Brenneman president. “We wanted to quantify the connection between strong B2B business performance and the right brand strategy. Even we were surprised by the results.”

Bigger budgets have generated real results for most, as 82.3 percent of the organizations that increased their spending saw the larger investments pay off. The biggest areas where this payoff occurred were increasing sales and landing additional customers, which was true for 56 percent of those who cited a specific payoff.

“Another clear trend we saw was with research,” adds Spencer. “It pays off. Those who increased spending showed improvement, but those who increased spending and conducted continual research did even better.”

Those companies with an established verbal identity also fared better, citing a 12-percent increase in shareholder value as compared to those brands without a distinct voice.

Spencer Brenneman, working with market research firm Great Blue Research, surveyed 150 B2B marketing executives who consider themselves ultimately responsible for, or an expert on, their organization's brand strategy. A white paper explaining these results and more is available on the Spencer Brenneman website.