I’ve been lucky enough in my career to work for and with some great companies and brilliant people. I’ve had fun, learnt a lot, made mistakes along the way and ultimately produced campaigns that I’m really proud of (and a couple I’d rather forget… sshh). The consistent factor in this is that no matter the agency I was working at at the time, whether big or small, they were all within the world of B2C.
Three months into my B2B adventure seems like a really good time to share my thoughts on the differences (and similarities) between the two worlds.
One of the first things that caught my attention is the amount of complexity involved in dealing with often technical products. This is compounded when you’re selling technical products to technical people! It provides a blurred line between function and brand that is unique to B2B. For example, Pepsi’s brand isn’t its recipe, in the B2C world its its taste. Whereas if you’re selling a technical product to experts, the way it’s made is everything.
In B2C the golden rule is to simplify everything to a single concise proposition. Potential customers are bumping up against brands all the time and they want to know what you offer them quickly. In the B2B world contact with a brand is much more deliberate, however it’s a more rationale purchase with price and cost playing a large part, meaning that when people open themselves up to brand contact we work as hard as we can to put the sales guys on the front foot.
So if I could some up what I’ve learned so far, I’d say that successful brands explain themselves in a concise and consistent manner. Both within B2B and B2C. Perhaps the worlds aren’t so far apart after all?