Why B2B and B2C Connections Are Meaningless
Mark Schaefer writes about his love-and-hate relationship with Home Depot.
He explains how he bought plants with a 1-year guarantee. The plants died within the year. He returned to the store with a picture to ask for a refund and was informed that picture could have been from anyone and he would need to dig up the dead plants.
Mark felt betrayed by his friend.
You see, to me, Home Depot is not just a brand, it’s a buddy. It’s somebody I thought I could trust.
Friendships don’t happen immediately. It takes a history of small interactions that slowly builds trust, and eventually an emotional bond.
That’s really the amazing opportunity with social media. too. It allows us to make a series of small connections with potential customers that lead to trust and eventually relationships. That’s why in my books and lectures I emphasize that success on the social web is no longer in the form of B2B or B2C. It’s P2P, Person to Person.
Person to Person.
I like that.
It is not a new concept to me, either.
Francois Gossieaux opened my eyes to the P2P model three years ago when he wrote about the similarities between B2B and B2C communities.
Sure, some people will show a greater affinity for a consumer product than they will for a piece of enterprise software, but successful communities are never built around products, they are built around the members and their shared emotions.
Even the Harley community is not built around bikes, it’s built around a shared lifestyle of the community members. And so the dynamics within that community will in fact not be all that different from the dynamics you would find in a software developer community – it comes down to human to human interactions.
Are Mark and Francois wrong?
Are B2B and B2C communities not meaningless?
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