Don’t miss the value of culture and motives in B2B

Business Handshake

We all get this cultural ground in our early years from our community. Added to this our personal motives have a direct association to our cultural background and guidelines. These motives lead all our decisions. But our culture and motives are not static and it develops through our lives. We leave our childhood community, we begin our studies and we see the foreign countries, meeting with people who have a different cultural background and we get our first job. All this will develop and change our personal values and behaviour.

Let’s combine this to B2B communication and how the culture based motives steer the business decisions. There is plenty of research about how culture affects to consumer buying behaviour, but not that much in the field of corporate businesses. So a bit of creativity is now in place. Hm- the people who make buying decisions are the same humans and have the same variety of cultural background as on consumer market, right? So their buying motives and behavior are supposed to be the same. But we must notice that there is a flavour of the company’s guidelines, regulations, legal aspects that has an effect to our personal values and behaviour. It would be interesting to see a research results of how personal values would have an impact to corporate level buying decision.

We have seen more and more over the recent years that corporations define strategies and values to take more care of the environment we live in, care of sustainable development, care of fellow citizens and of employees’ welfare to point some topics out.

What does this mean for B2B buying behaviour? Company want to deal with other companies who appreciate the same values on a corporate level. When marketing to the corporate customers you need to consider these cultural values. But it would not realize if the management level is not up to date and write them into corporate mission and values. Once they are there, there comes the hard part to put it into practice throughout the whole company. Every employee in the company should reflect the unified values and operate under the same cultural umbrella to make the company successful.

As companies make business together there is a complex cultural tangle by mixing corporate level and our personal cultural backgrounds. Suppliers direct sales who work closely with corporate customers need to know what are the values for the customer and drives the buyer. We all know people do the business together and you succeed best if you have matching cultural values with the customer and you should have a match on his personal level.

My key topic I want to point out is a value of “cultural match in B2B”. When the customer company evaluates new business partners they look for the culture and value match in addition to traditional business requirements they have.  The way the business to business works is changing. Are you with it?


BBAdvisor: Chapter Sixteen : Culture And Cross Cultural variations in consumer behavior

Management Study Guide: Decision Making in an Organizational Context

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3 Responses to Don’t miss the value of culture and motives in B2B

  1. lauripek says:

    Very good post. Writer makes
    good point how culture and motives can affect buyer´s decision in business world.
    This is something that should look at. Its good to hear that ethical and motives are affecting in B2B business and maybe someday it is one of the most important factor. Although sometimes few companies still competes with price and usually motives are less important in these cases.

  2. jjniilola says:

    Thanks for your comments. I too wish this trend would come more common in future. Sure in many cases the price point of view is leading the competition. But I see those who do the background research and build their proposal on similar values as the customer appreciate would win on a long run. Even more important is that the company culture and values should change to meet the standards the customer base have.

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