As you might have worked out, 'prosumer' is a combination of two words: professional and consumer. I discovered it recently when I came across a blog on Econsultancy, all about the prosumer model and what B2B companies can learn from it.
Econsultancy used UberRUSH as an example. Launched this spring, it's a courier service similar to its private hire sister company, Uber Garage. One of the main reasons it has done so well is because of the fact that users already know the Uber interface. The RUSH service simply involves another tab in the app, so that it's immediately familiar to a huge number of users.
And what can B2B companies take from this? That a service needs to treat business prospects as consumers, rather than prospects to add to a marketing funnel. By copying consumer facing interfaces it makes the user experience as familiar as possible.
While B2B is traditionally considered less transparent than B2C, corporate and consumer are now merging. Econsultancy says that B2B should learn to talk to customers in a "frank manner" and this will work to their advantage.
As well as being more transparent, B2C companies are often thought to be better at branding - mainly because so much of B2C relies on first impressions. However, B2B need to start shouting about the good things they do; this will simply be an extension of that 'consumer facing' mentality.
It's interesting that this has popped up as a debatable subject. At Proctor + Stevenson we have been talking to our clients and 'prosumers' about this change for years, and we do believe that long-term relationships are built on successful strategies and real relationships. Ultimately, we need to remember that we are just a bunch of people consuming in our business! It's not only important to understand and relate to your customers' values, but also ensure you are treating them like humans - 'prosumers' - and that every piece of marketing considers this, forever more!