There's no such thing as B2B

The other day, I was on a call with a client. During our conversation about how they sell their product, he said what might be one of the most insightful statements of 2017 to me:

There is no such thing as B2B

What? Where I come from, there’s B2C (Business-to-Consumer), B2B (Business-to-Business), and B2B2C (Business-to-Business-to-Consumer). Depending on what you’re selling, what you’re designing, you change things based on the understanding of that environment.

Or maybe not.

To be honest, he’s right. There’s no such thing as B2B. Businesses are groups of people. People are the ones buying your product. When we design for, and talk to, people like they’re faceless corporate entities, we’re missing the point entirely. When we change our sales language to appeal to some arbitrary set of acronyms (ROI!), instead of talking about how it’ll help they and their colleagues accomplish their goals better, we’ve fallen right into the pattern everyone else has. Selling to a company, not to a person.

When you design, build or sell, don’t think of it as B2B or B2C. It’s ALL B2C. We’re all selling to consumers, to the person who got up this morning, made lunch for their kids, and just wants to make sure their retirement is still on track. We’re all selling to the person who sits in traffic, frustrated, or who begrudgingly attends another all-staff meeting on Friday morning. We’re all designing for the person who looks forward to making an impact in their work and feeling good about what they’ve accomplished when they walk in the house that evening.

Stop designing and selling business-to-business. Start designing and selling to people.

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