"Nobody got fired for buying IBM"

That’s a famous (though never official) strapline for Big Blue that’s familiar to anyone in the tech industry. It reflected a strong brand reputation: that is, that IBM would never let you down. That it was a safe choice.

But does brand reputation still matter in 2019? Many marketers today find themselves asking whether people are choosing to focus more on the quality of the offering, rather than on the brand.

Trusting a tech brand

In 2018 Spiceworks surveyed 674 IT decision makers across the US and EMEA to understand what influences their business and personal technology purchases and how these choices vary across generations.

The vast majority of respondents (about 85 per cent) need to trust a tech brand before making a purchase. 

For some IT buyers, trust must be gained through previous experience: one-third of Millennial buyers need to have previous experience with a tech brand before making a purchase.

Strong brand reputation is the most important company attribute for both business (75 percent) and personal (66 percent) purchases, perhaps because IT buyers are less likely to take risks when business outcomes – and potentially their jobs – are at stake.

Brand’s reputation is as important as ever

With decision-making teams expanding and diversifying, they can now access information from literally millions of sources when they consider and evaluate tech vendors. 

So how do you build a strong brand reputation that builds confidence, increases trust and, ultimately, attracts customers?

Having a good product seems like an obvious choice. But user experience also needs to be at the top of the list. 

User experience 

This isn’t limited to how well your website functions – no matter how slick or simple it might be to use – but also depends on how you engage with prospects through a variety of channels. 

These include:

  • Content marketing
  • Customer service and support
  • Social media engagement
  • Customer advocates

The bottom line

Ultimately, your reputation will have a significant impact when IT buyers are evaluating tech vendors. And you can help by also being transparent and consistent, and by delivering a timely and personal service experience. 

The bottom line is to always keep the customer in mind. After all, B2B tech buyers are human, and they’re looking for the same assurances as everyone else when they make decisions.