Differences between B2B and B2C Product Management


Here’s an article through which I wanted to share my thoughts on the differences between B2B and B2C businesses and products which I hope will be useful for product managers transitioning from one type of business to another. Please do share your feedback.

Target market size

  • The target market size for B2B products is very niche and may be broad in some cases depending on the product, but the market size for B2C products is normally large.

Business survival

  • B2B businesses can survive with a handful of customers, but millions of consumers are required for successful B2C businesses.

RFPs

  • Product Managers often provide inputs to RFPs in a B2B environment, but there is no concept of consumer-initiated RFPs in the B2C world.

Problem solving

  • Solving business problems is a key consideration in B2B, but all B2C products do not solve consumer problems. Some solve, but some are just out there doing other stuff, improving people’s lifestyle, for example. A B2C product may not solve an existing consumer problem, but may introduce a problem and then solve it.

Usability

  • As solving business problems is important in a B2B product, usability takes a back seat, but not completely ruled out though. On the other hand, usability is the lifeline in B2C products. As Steve Jobs put it “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology”.

Product demonstrations

  • Constant product demonstrations to specific customers is a norm in the B2B world, but demonstrations in B2C are normally to a general audience.

Professional services

  • Some B2B solutions, especially in the enterprise market, require custom implementation work which gets fulfilled with professional services. But there is no such concept in B2C.

Impact of social networking

  • B2B products use less of social networking for their business, but B2C products depend heavily on social networking for marketing and advertising campaigns.

Sales cycle

  • B2B products have a longer sales cycle when compared to B2C products wherein the buying process is usually a single step.

Brand identity

  • Brand identity of B2B products is driven by size of the company and customer relationships, but in the B2C space brand identity gets created through repetition and imagery.

Impulse purchase

  • Otherwise called as emotional buying, is rare in B2B businesses but very common in B2C.
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