Forget B2C and B2B – we need B2I

Does the term business-to-consumer (B2C) reduce a consumer to a single activity – i.e. buying stuff? And does the term business-to-business (B2B) also overlook that purchasers can still be ‘discerning’ (i.e. making decisions based on judgement and trust) when they buy for an enterprise?

Emphasis on the individual

One business expert suggests it’s time to move away from both terms and start talking about ‘B2I’ – the ‘I’ standing for individual. His argument is that companies succeed or fail these days based on their ability to build and maintain lasting relationships with individuals. Just look at Amazon for the most obvious success story of how a major company individualised the retail experience for customers.

Bringing back a personal touch

In the pre-industrial world, most purchases were personal. The maker of garments was also the seller. But mass production and modern retailing changed everything. People bought clothing off the rack, with sizes and styles designed to fit many people. But in recent years, companies – across all kinds of industries – see the benefit of shaping their selling experience to fit each customer individually.

Unique customer experience

As a result of digital innovations, and disruptions, individual consumers and B2B customers today expect a customised experience – and when it comes to partner support, we can see assigning companies and their expat partners do, too. No blanket, one-solution-fits-all system could possibly be applied to the diverse mix of expat partners that form our community today.

A trusted friend

We know that each expat partner, when speaking with a coach or consultant, wants to feel as though they’re connecting with a trusted friend – someone who will listen patiently, brainstorm ideas, suggest solutions, encourage and motivate them. We’re delighted to have the digital tools to make that possible. Partner support is often outsourced to large companies who can undoubtedly work B2C effectively. But for Global Connection, we’re confident that the ‘B2I’ approach suits us. We’re excited to see what technology platforms emerge in future enabling us to find new ways of forging a personalised and customisable experience for our clients and the members of our community.

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