Differentiate Consumer products and B2B products

What is the different between consumer products and B2B products? Describe a product that could be used as both.

Marketing to an individual cannot be same like as marketing to an individual. Often times, personal buying is informal and doesn’t have multiple layer of approval while the organizational buying might involve multiple layers and processes. According to Laura Lake, B2B purchase is mostly based on logic while consumer purchase is based on emotion. On other hand, there are similarities between them too. B2B also uses concepts that is actually borrowed from consumer products/B2C. However, there are few factors that differentiate a consumer products from a B2B product, some of which are as follows.

The decision making in case of consumer products is shorter and at times happens at that very moment while B2B requires formally presenting proposal and need to talk to multiple people. The decision making in case of B2B might need a long time and greater scrutinization at the clause and conditions. In Nepali context, PAN and VAT registration are also looked into while making the B2B decision.

B2B has high number of lead pool as compared to consumer products. Say, A steel company in India, might have limited number of customer to buy steel when we compare that with other steel utensils producing company, which might have large number of customers.

There are more stakeholders involved in the sales process of B2B and clearance from all these stakeholders are essential for the sale. While in the sales process, the companies seek for a long term relationships for a long term undisrupted supplies. Say, Walmart has a long term relationships with their suppliers rather than having a short one. On the other hand, consumer products have less people engaged in decision making and we need to establish an emotional connection to the party before us to make the purchase decision. The purchase decision isn’t looked upon for long term at every cases. Say, if we buy a product near college, it doesn’t mean we’d go to buy from the same store there while we might opt to buy it from stores near us.

In case of B2B, purchase is mostly specific driven, which has to be met by the purchasing committee. On the other hand, in case of consumer products, we might have specifications but we might be flexible regarding it. B2C has to meet the specifications decided by the meeting while there might not be social pressure or other forces which can divert the buy decision, unless it is decided by the management.

In case of B2B, sales volume is generally high while packaging is more focused on the safety of the product. On the other hand, in case of B2C, the sales volume is low while there is more focus on aesthetics of the packaging.

In case of B2B, using mass media is generally avoided for promoting the brand. On the other hand, for a consumer product, mass media advertisement is more popular.

Most of the time, B2B and consumer products are the same, without any differentiation but how they are bought. When we buy a cell-phone, we might buy 1-2 units of it at a time, which is a consumer product. Whereas, the authorized dealers buy it in large quantity from the manufacturer, which becomes B2B sales Hence, this is an example where the cell-phone is both consumer product and B2B product.