Radically Honest Blog

B2B Vs B2C Product Management: Differences and Similarities

When a product is made, it can take one of two paths: the B2B (business-to-business) one, where the product provides an effective solution for other businesses and the B2C (business-to-customer) path, which focuses on improving the lives of individual consumers.

But are these really separate paths, or are there more similarities between them than we think? Is our tendency to pigeonhole and disconnect one from the other a flaw? Well, we won’t leave you to figure it out on your own. This post will cover:

  • What defines B2B product management and B2C product management
  • The distinctions and overlapping traits of both B2C and B2B product management
  • How different are the hats that product managers wear in the B2B vs B2C arenas?

What is B2B Product Management? 

From its name, you might have gathered that business-to-business products are made by businesses for other businesses. It’s all about providing a solution, or two, or more that help those other businesses improve some aspect of their operations. While businesses might seem a smaller niche to cater to, the stakes are often higher than that of B2C products.

With so many industries and types of products within each of them, B2B product management involves everything from software as a service offerings like Slack, HubSpot, and Asana to manufacturers that provide all the nuts and bolts for other manufacturing companies.

What makes it so different from B2C product management is its relationship with its customers – in this case, clients. Instead of just making a transaction, the relationship hinges more so on nurturing inter-business relationships and providing those super customized solutions.

What is B2C Product Management? 

Our other type of product management is more what you picture if you go to a shopping mall. Business-to-customer products have the individual consumer as the end user. The product could be a meal kit delivery service for busy parents or a fashionable new hoodie for teens – there’s a lot more emphasis on marketing to a specific audience and personal appeal.

B2B product management hones in on architecting a really good product design. Yes, it needs appeal too, but it doesn’t have as much of a balance between the two as a B2C product. B2C product management also requires fostering deep customer relationships, which look a little different from B2B product management. Brands need to win customer loyalty through providing stellar product and customer experiences accompanied by a neat brand story.

The Key Differences Between B2B and B2C Product Management 

Although we’re still dealing with products in either type of product management, they’re different enough to the point where product development and management look vastly unique in their own spaces.

  • Understanding the Audience and their Expectations: With B2B products, the person buying the product isn’t often the end user themselves. It might be a manager or team leader who needs it for their department, which means you’ll need to juggle both the needs of the decision-making and the end user. B2C doesn’t have that split – it’s just one purchaser who’s also the end user. They’ll expect a product that speaks right to their needs and preferences and no one else’s.
  • Gathering Feedback: What the customer thinks about your product is what makes or breaks its success, and B2C and B2B product management use different types of feedback channels and interpretation techniques to find out. In B2C, product managers aggregate all sorts of feedback from a spectrum of channels, while B2B PMs usually personally interact with the customer base in an immediate manner. With B2C, there’s also a bit more of a connecting-the-dots type feel, where spotting patterns and trends help guide product development.
  • Sales Cycles: Interestingly, the niche customer base of a B2B product means that sales cycles are a lot longer and more drawn out. You’re typically dealing with a more expensive and complex product with longer commitments, meaning that you’ll have to collaborate with a bunch of other stakeholders. B2C markets have much shorter cycles because of the nature of their products. There are broad reasons why a consumer buys something – it could be a quick dopamine fix, personal need, or aesthetic appeal. They see, they like, they buy, whereas B2B products are bought with a very logical purpose.
  • Product Release: Getting to release a product is a big deal for both B2B and B2C product management. After the fact, though, B2B products might only go through a couple of feature additions and tweaks, while B2C products go through a lot more changes – bigger ones too. The end user customers with B2C products crave user-friendly and high-performing products, but B2B customers need a stable and consistent experience that won’t affect how their business is running.

Similarities, Identical Bits Between B2B and B2C Product Management

Rip through the initial layers of differences, and you’ll find a pretty strong foundation of similarities that bind B2B and B2C product management together.

  • Customer Centric: Whether it’s a B2B or B2C product, the product should act as a solution to something. For B2C, it could be something that simply brings the customer joy or solves a need, while a B2B product might be able to automate a time-consuming task for businesses. All product strategies should be centered around the customer and their desires and pain points, and even seek to exceed their expectations in order to become a powerful product.
  • Strong Relationships: The power of relationships keeps things running in both the B2B and B2C realms. That bond between businesses and their customers carries significant weight, as it determines how those products are seen and engaged with. The actual interactions between the forms differ, but forging and maintaining those relationships stays consistent between them.
  • Cross-Collaboration Between Teams: To bring a product to fruition, there needs to be harmony between all the teams involved in product creation. Sales teams focus on bringing the product to market, marketing teams conjure up ways to catch the audience’s eye, and development teams work on creating the product itself. Have just one team fall apart, and the whole operation falls apart, regardless of whether you’re in B2C or B2B product management.
  • Feedback is Valuable: No matter where the feedback is coming from or how it’s interpreted, it’s a valuable tool that links products to users and vice versa. It gives product managers and their teams a real chance to improve and alter the product for the better.

Okay, But is a PM’s Job Different in B2B and B2C? 

So, what about the person at the helm of the product management ship? Is the product manager’s role drastically different in B2B and B2C terrains?

At the heart of the product manager’s role is making and launching a service or product that has value to the user and aligns with their own inherent business goals. They’re the nexus for the customers, the teams involved in the project, and the market, with their own crucial responsibilities.

If we place that product manager into a B2B space, they’ll be honing their focus on business dynamics and structures and need to coordinate more with the many stakeholders rather than go full force on analyzing a customer. Slot them into a B2C space, and the product manager will go for a more traditional approach that involves putting themselves into the shoes of their customer base – learning them and figuring out what makes them tick.

The PM’s Hot Take 

It’s been hammered into our brains for years in the industry – B2B and B2C product management is different. Now, we’re learning that they share a lot more than we might give credit for. The overall goals of product management stay the same between them – to deliver an awesome product and satisfy the user – but their paths sort of go their separate ways at times. Although product managers will typically work in one or the other, there’s less of a binary between the two, which means there are worthy insights in both spheres that we could take stock of.


Despite all the nuances within product management, it can be relieving to realize that the ultimate objective remains the same: creating things that people love and find valuable in some way. 

Be it B2B or B2C product management, Fibery facilitates planning, collaboration, communication, and reporting so you can deliver exceptional product value no matter the end user. Start your 14-day trial today and check out what Fibery can do in the product management space!


Q: What is the difference between B2B and B2C product management?

When we’re differentiating B2B and B2C product management, we’re mainly looking at the needs those products aim to meet and who the end users are. With B2B, products are designed for other businesses, helping them make some aspects of business operations run smoother. Here, the end user might not even be the buyer, as it’s often managers or department heads who do the purchasing. This is quite the opposite of B2C product management, where the end user is the purchaser and the product is specifically tailored to the audience.

Q: What is the difference between B2B and B2C sales management?

B2B sales management involves selling to other businesses. It’s generally characterized by a longer sales cycle, higher purchase prices, corporate-level decision-making, and fewer but more significant clients. B2C sales management concerns the individual customer. Rather than take a niche approach, sales require a broader approach for a larger and more diverse customer base. Sales cycles are shorter due to the fact that mass marketing strategies are usually in play.

Q: What is B2B product management?

If you’re managing a product that is designed for other businesses, like CRM software, cybersecurity solutions, cloud services, and other enterprise software, that’s B2B product management. Instead of targeting general customers in a specific demographic, you’re specifically targeting other businesses.

Q: What is B2C product management?

The B2C product management world involves creating products for consumers. It’s often what people think of when they think of product management – getting in tune with customer needs and lifestyles and then creating products that fit that mold.

Psst... Wanna try Fibery? 👀

Infinitely flexible product discovery & development platform.