Thought Leadership Builds Strong Business Relationships

Dentsu Aegis B2B agency gyro and The Financial Times are out with a new study that finds that “confident optimism” is the most powerful human feeling when it comes to building strong business relationships. 

What are not terribly important, the report finds, are awards and the size of a particular partner. 

Confident optimism, per the report, entitled, “The Business Feeling Index: The Feelings that Move Business Forward” arises when decision makers are not only assured of a company’s expertise but also feel a strong sense of optimism about what this partner can do for their business. 

The report is based on a survey of 315 FT readers/managers around the globe. Findings were supplemented by qualitative research (via Russell Research), as well as interviews with top marketers and a leading academic in the field of emotion in marketing, Columbia University’s Michel Tuan Pham. 



Confident optimism is driven in part by the knowledge that a partner brings expertise to the party as well as innovative thinking. Seventy percent of respondents said thought leadership is the most important element driving confident optimism.

Culture is also vital as is crisis management. Eighty-six percent of respondents say the first moment of friction in a relationship is where you really find out about your partner. Successful handling of the crisis leads to a stronger relationship. 

Communication is also vital. More than three-quarters of respondents strongly agreed with the statement that communication is the connective tissue of a business relationship.

Overpromising, lack of transparency and arrogance were found to be traits that will weaken business relationships.

According to the report, respondents were indifferent about the size of a company. Only one-third cited being the biggest in the category as important and fewer than half (46%) were impressed with awards. 

More on the report can be found here.



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