B2C stands for “Business-to-Consumer,” and it refers to the type of business activities that involve selling products or services directly to individual customers. In a B2C business model, a company creates, promotes, and sells its products or services to individual people who use them for their own personal needs. Examples of B2C businesses include:
- Retail stores
- E-commerce websites
- Entertainment companies
B2C businesses often employ various marketing and advertising strategies to attract and retain customers, such as:
- Social media marketing
- Email campaigns
- Loyalty programs
If you’ve been in marketing long enough, you’ll be aware of B2B, but find yourself wondering what the practical differences (and advantages) are between B2C and B2B. The main divide, of course, is the target audience of the business. Before we dive into ideal marketing examples for B2C, let’s discuss this divide and how it impacts your marketing style.
B2B vs. B2C
In a B2C business model, the marketing and sales efforts are focused on appealing to the needs and preferences of a targeted kind of individual. This type of individual is, after all, the one who will be using the product or service for their own personal use. Furthermore, they’re often reliant only on their own funds to procure it.
In a practical sense, this reflects in the fact that B2C businesses often have high-volume transactions (multiple customers) with low transaction values (affordable for an individual). The key isn’t big profits on each sale, but instead multiplying the profits based on numerous smaller sales.
On the flipside, B2B stands for “Business-to-Business,” and it refers to businesses that sell products or services to other businesses or organizations. In a B2B business model, the marketing and sales efforts are focused on building relationships with other businesses, understanding their needs, and providing customized solutions.
B2B transactions typically have high transaction values, as they involve larger orders, complex solutions, and longer sales cycles. Given the fact that there are fewer businesses than individuals (and their focus is often on long-term solutions or products), the practical approach is to make a bigger profit on each sale to counteract the reduced number of sales.
B2C Marketing Examples
If you’re focusing on B2C marketing, your strategy will be far different than with B2C. How can you hit the right cord, while still being innovative? There are many examples of good B2C marketing from popular brands, which you can take inspiration from and improve upon. Let’s take a look at the best:
Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" Campaign
In this campaign, Coca-Cola printed names on their bottles and cans, encouraging people to share a Coke with friends or family members. This campaign was very successful, as it encouraged customers to purchase personalized bottles as gifts, which increased the natural amount of sales. An otherwise individual purchase became a bulk purchase for others.
The social nature of this campaign also generated a lot of buzz on social media. This created natural, user-generated content to further their marketing reach with very little oversight or contributions needed from the brand.
Nike's "Just Do It" Campaign
Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign has been around for decades and is still going strong. This campaign emphasizes the brand’s association with athleticism and inspires people to take action towards their goals, whether it’s running a marathon or just getting out for a jog.
The catch phrase angled to be a combination of encouragement and life advice, fostering a personal connection with their audience and even promoting the organic use of the term in other areas of life. This gave (and continues to give) the company a better presence in popular culture.
Apple's "Get a Mac" Campaign
This campaign featured a series of TV ads in which an Apple computer is portrayed as the “cool” and reliable option, while a PC is portrayed as clunky and outdated. This campaign helped establish Apple’s reputation as an innovative and stylish brand.
They continue to use this theme in other advertisements, not only creating a recognizable brand identity, but helping to separate their customers from others in a perceived sense of status. This good natured half-jab, half-selling point works to incorporate the brand into conversation and influence buying decisions long-term.
Dove's "Real Beauty" Campaign
This campaign aimed to challenge traditional standards of beauty and promote a more inclusive definition of beauty. Dove used real women of all shapes, sizes, and ages in their advertising, and encouraged women to embrace their natural beauty.
This was a social-conscious decision brought on by public opinion and influential movements, not only helping the company to be perceived as modern and thoughtful, but also removing themselves from the frowned-upon standards of the rest of the beauty industry.
This not only evolved and solidified their brand identity, but projected a sense of confidence and power to their target audience, making their products more appealing because of that ‘humanized’ connection.
Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" Campaign
This campaign featured funny ads that appealed to both men and women. The ads emphasized the brand’s association with masculinity and humorously showed the benefits of using Old Spice products.
This joking strategy made the brand more approachable and encouraged viewers to share, comment on, and seek out more of their advertisements, even if the individuals weren’t originally interested in the product on offer. This, as a result, not only spread the company’s marketing reach, but helped to ensure viewers kept the brand in mind going forward, which could influence buying decisions and brand recognition.
What Makes a Good B2C Marketing Campaign?
If you consider the above examples, a good B2C marketing campaign is one that accomplishes two things:
- Resonates with the target audience
- Establishes the company’s brand
- Encourages sharing and engagement
Good B2C marketing campaigns have the ability to connect with audiences directly by appealing to them in one manner or another. Nike appeals to people who are enthusiastic about sports, Apple appeals to consumers who care about aesthetics as much as they do efficient technology, and Dove appeals to women of all shapes, ages, and sizes, especially those with convictions about body positivity.
In addition to that, it’s important for a good B2C marketing campaign to clearly represent the brand. Not only will this approach make the marketing campaign more memorable, but it also helps the company stand out among competitors offering the same or similar offerings.