Forget B2B and B2C. The Real Startup Money Is In B2X.
Why so many startups start out selling to the wrong customer
As the line between business and consumer continues to blur, more and more startups have been asking whether they should be targeting B2B or B2C with their new products. The forward-thinking companies among them are already working on new and unique product strategies that cater to both at the same time.
Welcome to the era of B2X.
B2X is simply taking an agnostic approach to who you’re selling to. But it means more than just deciding to offer your product to anyone; it requires developing a product and devising a sales strategy that can conform to multiple requirements and use cases.
As with most recent new-business trends, this is another phenomenon grounded in the pre-pandemic that wound up accelerating during the lockdowns. A relatable example of this acceleration can be found in the viral growth of Zoom.
We Were Using Zoom Before Zoom Went Mainstream
Pre-pandemic, Zoom was an up-and-coming video conference app known mostly for offering a free version that ran unencumbered in a browser. You didn’t require a download, user technical aptitude or any other hassle on the receiving end. Send a Zoom link and you could schedule a presentation-style meeting in seconds with anyone in the world.
When the lockdowns hit, those same competitive strengths propelled Zoom to become the go-to meeting (pun intended) software for any company that hadn’t already locked themselves into a video-conferencing solution. It also became the standard for a newly minted B2C market — namely, for personal, leisure and entertainment use cases.
Zoom’s B2B-focused counterparts (for example Microsoft Teams and WebEx) scrambled to stop the bleeding of their market share in the B2B world , leaning on the fact that Zoom was always sketchy when it came to important business concepts like security and privacy. But it was too late: The tradeoff between secure communications and instant communications had a clear winner, and Zoom dominated the term war, especially in the B2C and C2C world.