Wednesday, August 20, 2008

B2B vs B2C Innovation

Even though innovation between the B2B and B2C environment is sometimes similar, there are some notable differences that businesses must take into account. Steven Shapiro focuses on the ‘’softer” differences between these two environments on his latest post on 24/7 Innovation.

Businesses want to improve their business by reducing costs, increasing their business, and improving their effectiveness. When studying these needs organization must have a different mindset. Even though focus groups and discussions help, the best way to truly understand a business needs is to observe and map their processes. Only then will you see how your products/services can improve their business.

Businesses also buy from you because it wants to provide better products and services to its customers. In this case, you could observe your customer interacting with their customer. Another option would be to hire a 3rd party to observe these interactions, and then survey the customers to get feedback.

Business buyers have different motivation and needs then consumers, and so each environment must be handled with a different approach.


Noerenberg said...

I think this summary puts the key elements in the right perpective. Just to add one aspect, I would like to mention the aspect of value chain management in the B2B innovation. (B2C does not have this opportunity, since the customer is already the end of the value chain).
Instead of selling your innovation to your customer, you can sell it to the business partners down the value chain, i.e. the customers of the customer. The customer would the use it. If not done in a black-mailing way, there is the chance of a win-win-situation by combining the marketing instruments of the technology provider and the user.
This pull marketing can be done in the B2B innovation for new functions as well as for cheaper technologies. It is, however, more important to do for new functions since this allows to get to know the customers market at the same time (see parential article). In contrast to the B2C market, branding is of less influence in the B2B world.

Thiago said...

Thank you noerenberg for reading our blog and for adding your insights on B2B innovation.

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