B2B: from transaction to relationship

Our work as Brand Doctors takes place 40-50% in a B2B context. For clients who are active in this market, we speak to various target groups such as fleet managers, ICT professionals, DIY companies with a van, self-employed persons without or without legal assistance insurance, farmers, bicycle dealers, painters, doctors, installers and so on.

Roll shift

In many of these projects, we see a shift in roles among our B2B clients. A shift from a producer and / or supplier role to increasing added value.

For some of our clients, for example, this is a move from 'flat' sales to consultative selling. We also see, in a range of sectors, that business customers expect more and more added value in the form of partnerships, where they want their suppliers to dare to say no and to challenge their customers, in order to show their authority.

Some clear patterns are also visible in the service concept of business target groups. Relevant content tailored to the Buyer Journey plays an essential role in the business market. Numerous studies have already shown that the search for a costly excavator, complex ERP system or business insurance also begins online.

Content is definitely king in B2B.

The greater the customer value, the more relevant the added value of personal contact, but at the same time we also see that in a high-quality environment such as private banking, business customers increasingly do online themselves. Self-service is also extremely important in a B2B context and must therefore also be woven in a relevant way with personal contact and live events in the business customer journey.

DMU shift

We often see a DMU shift when developing new propositions. As you move up the value chain as a B2B supplier, your solution focuses on other DMU roles. Where, as a telecom or IT party, you have traditionally focused on the IT manager or CIO, you may need to contact the operational manager or CFO with your new proposition, which focuses more on business benefits in a broader sense. That is a challenge for many parties active in the business market. They must learn to think in terms of target group specific insights and benefits where technology is no longer central.

Shift from transaction to relationship

In general, we see a shift from transaction to relationship and that is one of the themes that makes working in this sector so much fun. Business customers, where it often concerns higher-quality transactions compared to consumer products, are pre-eminently long-term relationships. Online self-service content in a sophisticated mix with personal contact therefore plays a central role in this.

Do you want to accelerate?

As Brand Doctors, we are working on brand strategy en proposition development projects in the B2B market, large and small and medium-sized, for companies such as KPN, PON, bol.com, Walraven, E.On, Achmea, NS, DAS and many others. There is a team within Branddoctors that focuses specifically on business target groups and can help you with the necessary basic knowledge and tools to converse with these customers, for example in the form of co-creation, live or online.


Would you like to know more about our experiences with strategic issues and in the business-to-business sector? Send Peter van der Schouw then an email or make an appointment via Ellen.


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What we work for
KPN: One SME
KPN: One SME
Fellowmind: brand strategy and culture development
Fellowmind: brand strategy and culture development
Heineken: From brewer to service provider
Heineken: From brewer to service provider
Brand positioning for Kramp in which both dealers and end users are taken as the starting point
Brand positioning for Kramp in which both dealers and end users are taken as the starting point
Improve the Customer Journey for freelancers and small business customers of NS
Improve the Customer Journey for freelancers and small business customers of NS
Partner, Strategist

Peter van der Schouw