A great deal of brochure design advice is generic – tips about layout, font choice and color with little in mind about the primary purpose of a brochure itself: to generate either leads, sales or interest for the company.

There’s a world of difference between effective brochure design in B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) industries. Each requires a different type of approach, not just to product and copy, but to the design of the brochure itself.

Ignoring these differences and applying B2B design principles to a B2C brochure, or vice versa, can have disastrous consequences for your marketing campaign’s return on investment and results.

In this guide, we’ll share four key differences between B2B and B2C brochures that you should keep in mind when designing, writing, printing and marketing brochure content for your business.

The most effective B2C brochures aim for immediate sale

In the world of business to consumer marketing, products and services tend to be on the inexpensive side – at least compared to B2B – and easy to sell immediately. This means that the goal of B2C brochures is often to produce an immediate sale.

This factor influences the design of B2C brochures. Rather than focusing on reasons the product may be better than other options on the market, they focus on benefits and unique selling propositions that result in prospects taking direct action.

Marketing tools like discounts, which aren’t as effective in B2B brochures, are highly effective in B2C. This is because they create a sense of urgency and provide an extra source of motivation for prospects to take action and purchase the product.

The most effective B2B brochures aim to generate leads

Since B2B products and services are so much more expensive than B2C products and services, they have a far longer sales cycle. This means that the goal of many B2B brochures isn’t to lead to an immediate sale, but to generate leads.

In B2B marketing, it’s far more effective to dedicate a lot of time to each lead and focus strongly on each sale than it is to spread your marketing far and wide. Thus, the instant sale focus of B2C simply doesn’t work in a B2B brochure.

Rather than designing your B2B brochure to lead people to take action immediately and make a sale, design it to increase interest in your product or service so that the reader is inspired to call in and ask for more, making them a valuable sales lead.

B2B customers typically have more questions to answer

Because the cost of B2B products and services is so much greater than B2C, as well as their scope typically being much greater, the average B2B customer has far more questions than the average B2C customer.

This means that the goal of many B2B brochures isn’t simply to promote a product or service, but to answer many of the most common questions prospects have about the offer itself, encouraging them to take action.

B2B brochures tend to be more informational and direct, stating features and major benefits, as well as providing direct answers. Design your B2B brochures to make it as easy as possible for people to take action in search of more information.

B2C brochures should focus primarily on benefits, not features

Many B2C sales are driven by emotion rather than cold logic. People buy new cars because they like the feel of driving them (or, in many cases, being seen in them) or purchase new clothes because they like the way they make them feel.

Because of this, it’s often far more effective to design your B2C brochure to show off a product or service’s benefits than its features. Features are a much more powerful selling point in B2B than in B2C, since transactions are considered for far longer.

If your B2C brochure is struggling to have the impact you’d like it to have, look at its focus. Is it designed to emphasize a product’s unique features, or is it designed with the benefits of the product in mind?