The r-button is a short name for a relationship button. This button can be used to request, establish and maintain relationships between entities on the Web, including transactions. In the latter sense an r-button can also be seen as a pay button, but its functionalities are not limited to transaction. (For more about how it might work in a transactional context, see EmanciPay.)
The r-button is being developed by the VRM community primarily to provide a means for individuals to express their interest in relating to vendors of goods and services -- on those individuals' terms, and not just those of the vendors. It can also be used by vendors to express interest in relating to individual customers on mutually agreeable terms.
The purpose of the r-button is to open and represent relationships are two-way rather than one-way. It is how VRM meets CRM, for the good of both.
The r-button will open markets to countless opportunities that are locked out by the lock-in approaches of traditional vendor-driven business relationships. In this old model, the vendor sets all the terms and conditions -- and in too many cases making only educated guesses at what customers actually want. With VRM, they'll know.
Here is the current basic r-button design:
The button combines reciprocal symbols for customer and vendor, each represented by "magnets" facing each other. These could also be the horseshoe-shaped latch in a padlock or a bike lock. Could be anything that means safety, privacy, respect and all of those within a relationship.
There will be smaller and simpler versions for use, for example, on mobile devices and in browser location fields (where symbols for RSS and bookmarks now appear).