B2B and B2C
The business-to-business (B2B) group includes all applications intended to enable or improve relationships within firms and between two or more companies. In the past this has largely been based on the use of private networks and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Examples from the business-business category are the use of the Internet for searching product catalogues, ordering from suppliers, receiving invoices and making electronic payments. This category also includes collaborative design and engineering, and managing the logistics of supply and delivery.
The business-to-consumer (B2C) group is a much newer area and largely equates to electronic retailing over the Internet. This category has expanded greatly in ...view middle of the document...
Activities in this area include transactions to publicise public procurement opportunities and the filling of tax returns and payment of taxes.
The consumer-to-public administration area is similar to business-to-public administration, except that the focus is on provision of government information brochures, forms etc., greater openness, public consultations, as well as submission of tax returns. This area will grow once the business-to-consumer and business-to-public administration areas start to develop.
One of the characteristics of a B2B product is that in many cases it is bought by a committee of buyers. It is important to understand what a brand means to these buyers. (Note: Temporal) Buyers are usually well-versed with costing levels and specifications. Also, due to constant monitoring of the market, these buyers would have excellent knowledge of the products too. In many cases the purchases are specification driven. As a result of this, it is vital that brands are clearly defined and target the appropriate segment.
As explained above, every one product can only be associated with one brand. Because of this, it is vital that companies find a white space for their brand, an uncontested category to occupy space in the minds of the buyer.
In differentiating one’s brand, companies can use various strategies, often referring to the origin of the goods or the processes used to manufacture the product(s). Some have identified up to 13 such strategies. Depending on the company’s history, the competitive landscape, occupied spaces and white spaces, there could be one or many strategies that any company could use.