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By Aimee Pearcy, Journalist

May 1, 2024 | 6 min read

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EY’s master brand builder John Rudaizky shares his recipe for building enduring brand strength and measurable, long-term commercial and valuation impact.

John Rudaizky speaking at B2B WorldFest

John Rudaizky gives his insights into increasing B2B brand strength at B2B World Fest

Competition in the B2B landscape is fierce. Building a strong, distinctive global brand that stands the test of time requires many different ingredients. According to John Rudaizsky, partner, global brand & marketing leader at EY, five ingredients stand out among the rest.

In what can only be described as a mini-masterclass at B2B World Fest presented by The Drum in partnership with global B2B agency Stein IAS, Rudaizsky compares his own brand building journey at EY to climbing a mountain, and shares tips from his journey helping EY grow from a $27bn business to a $50bn business.

Here are his top five ingredients for building a successful B2B brand:

1. Define how to accelerate your brand through what you do and what you say

“The brand that you build has to start with the services that you provide,” says Rudaizsky. He suggests that these services - what a brand does - make up 70% of its success. But the other 30%, which focuses on what the brand tells people it does, is hugely important.

While products, services and solutions are obviously important, Rudaisky says, brands should not refrain from advertising in an attempt to remain humbly. He suggests that B2B communications is an essential way for brands to provide value to its audience,

EY does this through a long-running campaign based on asking better questions, which leads to better answers (that EY is well suited to provide).“Every question, every ad, that we push out actually provides value to the audience, as opposed to being seen as selling ourselves,” he says.

2. Have the confidence to do things differently

Building a strong brand requires the confidence to do things differently. Rudaizsky refers to an EY campaign launched recently to introduce its AI platform, EI.ai. The global campaign, named “Faces of the Future,” used AI technology to create a series of AI-generated talking heads from over 200 people describing the platform.

“You need confidence to push ideas forward,” he says. “In B2B, we're seeing a shift in the expectation of creativity. And so I do think that as a community, we've got to up the game and push the boundaries in the same way consumer advertising historically has done.”

3. Surround yourself with the best talent

Building the right team is critical in any discipline, and it’s especially important when building a strong B2B brand. “The team around you is the answer to everything,” says Rudaizsky. He emphasizes the importance of leveraging the skills and talents brought by different team members, and also of the necessity of working together with a team that truly believes in the brand vision.

4. Build extra-strength brand insulation

Rudaizsky says that there is a “fundamental need” to “insulate” any B2B brand so that it can withstand challenges, especially unexpected challenges.

Insulating a brand involves creating a positive brand perception so that customers are committed to the brand and become ardent defenders of it, even in the face of challenges.

To provide this insulation, he suggests building a metaphorical “coat” of armor around the brand by taking actions that increase brand resiliency, such as working together with other brands to build communities, and maintaining consistent messages, quality, and delivery over time to create strong customer relationships. This requires time and patience, but the payoff is worth it.

5. Pick yourself up when you have a challenge

No matter how much confidence you have, how well-insulated your brand is, and how strong your team is, building a brand is not plain sailing. Not every idea will work. Rudaizsky points out that even when you do find something that works, things can change quickly: a new technology is invented, a new competitor emerges, and you have to start again.

He doesn’t let this deter him – and suggests that others should not let it deter them, either. “One of the things I've always loved about the business I'm in is you just don't know what peak you’ve got to climb the next day,” says Rudaizsky. “Because it is a never ending journey to build a brand.”

Building a brand is a long-term transformation that doesn’t happen overnight. Rudinsky explains that EY has grown significantly over the past few years, and that its brand rating has also increased.

These metrics are constantly shifting, but this is part of what makes brand building so exciting. Having the confidence to bring others along and building a dedicated team is key when it comes to overcoming challenges and building enduring brand strength.

Catch up on Rudaizsky’s mini-masterclass for building an extra strength B2B brand at B2B World Fest 2023 from The Drum and Stein IAS, here on The Drum TV.

Brand Purpose B2B Brand Strategy B2B World Fest

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Stein IAS helps build the world’s most demanded B2B brands by unifying brand and demand—and strengthening each to the benefit of both. Through highly effective,...

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