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BtoB Companies: What’s the Value of the BBB Logo?

Mike Santoro

bbblogoThis week the Better Business Bureau left me voice mail asking me to call them back at their earliest convenience. Fearing that I had some mystery blemish on our record I quickly returned the call only to learn it wasn’t bad news. We had a number of “positive inquires”, potential clients checking our record.

The good news was that we might have some new business coming in. The bad news was I was in the middle of a pitch for BBB accreditation. Which made me wonder, for a marketing firm like Walker Sands, is it worth it?

I’ve always thought of the BBB certification as something consumers relied on. Movers, contractors, plumbers. Those are the people I want to have the BBB logo. For them it’s a huge deal to have that certification out front and reassuring consumers. But a big consulting firm?

According to the BBB rep, 45% of those with certification are BtoB organizations. I was pointed to the “Marketing Services” section for Chicago to see what my peers had done. Sure enough there were some decent sized agencies on the list, people who had found enough value in the organization to pay them money to be represented by it.

My assumption is that there is value above and beyond the logo. For a mover there’s value on putting it on your marketing materials, but for a firm like ours, I believe it cheapens the brand.

Take a look at the Accenture home page below, with and without the BBB logo. Do you think it improves or hurts their credibility?

BBB Logo for BtoB

Maybe, I’m wrong about it, but I’m interested to hear other people’s feedback. To me, it seems a little “thou doth protest too much”.

I have no research or studies to back any of this up so I’m interested to hear other’s opinions on this. Are you using the BBB logo in your marketing materials? And if so do you think it helps or hurts your brand?