Cisco Case

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

Before answering this question, let me first define what Business to Business or B2B. Then I introduce what business to consumer or B2C in short form. Both B2B and B2C describe the nature and selling process of goods and services. While B2B products and services are sold from one business to another, B2C products and services are sold from a company to the final user. Any products or services exchanged in B2C mode can be considered a part of B2B. However, products which are transacted in the B2B market are never a part of B2C. An example will clear the difference between B2B and B2C. Personal Computer, for example, is a typical product of B2C. When a Cyber Café orders PC for a large quantity, the transaction is considered B2B transaction and as a result, the product is no longer B2C, but B2B.

Building a brand in a business-to-business context is different from doing so in the consumer market because of the nature of buyers. In the B2B mode, buyers are normally another manufacturer, wholesaler or a retailer. While in the B2C market, transactions occur between a company and end users. By entering a new markets Cisco has gained new competitors such as IBM, Microsoft etc. In order to compete against these competitors Cisco uses the outstanding methods of both business to business and the consumer marketing. Initially, Cisco has been selling products to other businesses. B2B markets are generally small vertical markets, often niche in size. Branding in B2B is centered on the relationships of many different companies. This is quite visible in the case study when Cisco developed partnerships with Sony, Matsushita, and US West in order to co-brand its modems with Cisco logo for the interest of building brand value and recognition.

As said earlier, the target…...

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