All the talks around b2c, b2b and even b2g seem awfully outdated. Here I am proposing a new (may be radical) model.
It’s business to community.
What is it?
Since it is business to community, the most important thing is that it is founded and built on a cause. This is the crucial linkage between the business and the community. The business must be passionate about the cause and the cause in turn has to be valuable to the community. Therefore, whilst the business and the community collaborate on this together in the normal business sense, it is the common cause that drives them – not the financial relationships alone.
To build out this type of business, the key is to build the foundation through leaders (therefore the subset of this business model is “business to leader”). What differentiates leaders from regular business and customer is their intention to extend this beyond their own business and onto the entire community. In fact, these leaders will consider this business relationship as a tool to drive the prosperity of the community. This is different from CSR or ESG reporting in which the focus is internal but the target is external (usually an investment relationship) – which is also often the reason for the disconnect.
So what about the users?
Whilst the regular business activities revolve around the leaders, this business model concerns about the users too (the traditional ‘customers’ in the old business model). This is because whilst it strives for support from leaders, ultimately the business is built for the community. Therefore the business is fundamentally concerned with the user experiences at a cost that may go beyond the pure business relationship with the leaders. It is this irrationality that drives the behaviour change of the users from within. In fact, the intention is to make an impact to all the stakeholders within the community because everyone matters.
This business to community model is concerned with all the stakeholders within the community. Starting from the cause, this business model focuses on extending the traditional business relationships. It stretches the boundaries between stakeholders and enable the real sharing of responsibilities and benefits among the community. At the end of the day, when businesses look at themselves as catalyst rather than the center of the business world, we will be heading into the right direction of business relationships in the future.