While business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) organizations have very different target audiences and selling points, some marketing strategies can be applied to both – just in slightly different ways.
One of the most commonly recommended of these strategies is to optimize the website. Both B2B and B2C businesses should start their marketing efforts with some search engine optimization strategies to boost traffic, but after that, it’s well worth considering a classic, tried-and-trusted marketing strategy.
Brand partnerships can be incredibly useful for both B2B businesses and the B2C businesses that they supply. Now, you don’t need to be a mega-corporation to embark on this kind of partnership, looking to rock the world with a team-up like when Nike and Louis Vuitton combined for the even more expensive high-end Air Force 1 sneaker.
So here, we’re looking at the needs of B2B and B2C marketing, the many ways that brand partnership marketing can work, and some examples from successful team-ups.
Different Approaches To Marketing For B2B And B2C
As a B2B business, you’re looking to grab the attention of middlemen like wholesalers or even directly B2C businesses. You need to showcase that what you’re marketing is both of high quality and being sold at a price that is applicable to the target’s customers – be they end-users or a B2C business.
Your brand can play a big part in this process, as can any terms and arrangements that can be put in place to further enhance the perception of the purchasing party.
When marketing to end users, the target audience tends to be far larger and of several different preferences and brand interactions than for a B2B company. Still, customers want to see and recognize trusted and proven brands being associated with B2C businesses.
They want to use a B2C business to get the best products within their price ranges, which often boils down to branded and well-advertised products. Any additional awareness that can be garnered for products being sold by a B2C business or for the business itself will only help to generate sales.
Nowadays, there are several more avenues for marketing. Having an optimized website should be the basis, but from there, browser and web page advertisements through services like Google Ads are easily accessed, as are adverts on massively popular social media sites.
Of course, you don’t always need to buy into advertising to spread the word. Virality is now a component in marketing, with platforms like Twitter and Instagram having the potential to make your images and posts go viral with the right techniques and hooks applied.
Powerful Statements Made With Brand Partnership Marketing
Brand partnerships can be incredibly potent marketing ploys that can enhance the strength and reach of both brands. These partnerships can be with other well-known businesses that aren’t your direct competitors or – and this is increasingly viable – with individuals and ambassadors who have garnered large followings of their own.
These brand team-ups are mutually beneficial, provided that both parties have good reputations and will use their standing to spread the branding of the other.
Oftentimes, these brand partnerships will involve collaboration in some way, such as creating a new product that’s a work from both brands or moving branding from its usual space into another space entirely.
Ideally, a brand partnership will introduce audiences from different persuasions to the partnered brand on both sides, but it could also be a lending of expertise or services to enhance access for one while legitimizing the other. It’s a very potent strategy, one that some surveys reflect as making over 90 percent of businesses expect to see revenue upticks.
However, choosing the right form of brand partnership marketing can be essential to the success of the strategy. An integration partnership can streamline a service while aligning the two brands, while a strategic partnership could see both brands promote each other equally through a close connection of sales.
Channel partnerships have also become useful forms of this kind of marketing, targeting external promotion through partners further down the chain, sometimes incentivized by a commission. Licensing and co-branding are also often utilized to bring audiences together for special product lines or services.
Examples Of Brand Partnerships Bearing Fruit
Online, several websites offer services and products that the end user can access without leaving the site. With these B2C platforms, licensing the software from other B2B providers is often the process.
An example of how brand marketing has come into play is with the Tomb Raider game. The B2B company licensed out the iconic brand and supplied it to the platform. The B2B provider initiates the brand partnership, which filters down to the B2C, which itself is in a brand partnership to be one of the select sites to offer products made by that B2B studio.
This is one of many examples of the provider expanding its range of online games for customers to choose from and highlights the importance of brand partnerships for creating new product options.
There are other forms of a strategic marketing partnership. For instance, two brands paired together can spread the use of one brand and its name while also legitimizing the other brand’s new product.
This was the case when MasterCard entered a brand partnership with Apple for its Apple Pay mobile payment product. MasterCard’s end of the deal is that Apple Pay uses its payment system and, as Apple Pay is so popular with its premium smartphone audience, businesses need to consider joining its system to increase their customer base. For Apple Pay, the partnership legitimized what was then a nascent premise of paying with mobile devices.
In a way that didn’t overly impact either brand’s direct offering, the Nubian Skin X Adobe brand partnership showed how two businesses can benefit through other interactions. As a B2C company, Nubian Skin rose to prominence by its products being the choice of celebrity users like Beyoncé and Jourdan Dunn.
While Adobe doesn’t have much use in collaboration with underwear products directly, it did see the entrepreneurial skill of Nubian Skin’s founder, Ade Hassan, as being great for enhancing its entrepreneur masterclass. So, the B2B company promoted Nubian Skin by Hassan, helping them to teach others about her success.
Brand marketing is a mutually beneficial approach, so where there’s an opportunity to do so, both B2B and B2C businesses should seek it out. Learn more from this guide to driving co-sell partnerships.