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Cisco Case Study

How is building a brand in a business-to-business context different from doing so in the consumer market? Is Cisco's plan to reach out to consumers a viable one?

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Cisco Case Study Posting ID: 506232

How is building a brand in a business-to-business context different from doing so in the consumer market?

Business to business (B2B) are different from consumer markets, "B2B markets are unique due to their derived demand, long purchase cycles, and fragmented market structure" (Coviello and Brodie, 2001, p. 382). B2B focuses on product and buying process complexity. Consumer markets are characterized more by functional and buyer-seller interdependence.

When differentiating between B2B and consumer markets, the overarching difference is that B2B's customers are an organization; with a consumer market, the customer is an individual. Even with the different customer base, they both buy products that are similar. Additionally, there are different characteristics between B2B and consumer markets, as shown in the following table:

Market Structure Differences
Item Business-to-Business Markets Consumer Markets
Nature of demand Derived Direct
Demand volatility Greater volatility Less volatility
Demand elasticity Less elastic More elastic
Reverse elasticity More common Less common
Nature of customers Greater heterogeneity Less ...

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