An Exploratory Study of Business to Business (B2B) Brand Sensitivity - How do brands influence a German hospital’s buying decision-making process.

Kaminski, Kristin (2020) An Exploratory Study of Business to Business (B2B) Brand Sensitivity - How do brands influence a German hospital’s buying decision-making process. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/BUMA3169

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Historically branding was seen as having limited significance for organisations in industrial markets (Saunders & Watt, 1979). Research in the 1990s began to challenge this earlier view and delivered evidence of B2B’s branding relevance (Leek & Christodoulides, 2012; Veloutsou & Taylor, 2012) but still there is a lack of understanding when brands are the most significant in the context of B2B (Zablah, Brown, & Donthu, 2010). The researcher set out to investigate the B2B brand sensitivity in buying units of German hospitals. This required two prime investigations and analysis, to gain knowledge of the factors influencing brand sensitivity when buying medical devices. The researcher approached the investigation from a constructivist paradigm perspective and decided that a sector level case study approach of German hospitals was the most suitable method in order to explore in depth different aspects of the process and to get a comprehensive view of the situation (Yin, 2013). To gain ‘outsider’ research, qualitative semi-structured interviews have been the research method adopted, in order to understand why and how the situation occurred (Guba & Lincoln, 2005). The thesis highlights the role of brands in the context of organisational buying and provides guidance when brand sensitivity is present. In addition, B2B branding theory is enhanced and the managerial implications for managers in the medical device industry have been developed. The key findings of the thesis include the different participants in the buying unit of a German hospital and the influence factors for buying centre composition. Furthermore, the key findings show the factors that influence the decision making of a German hospital, and the parameters that have an influence on brand sensitivity are displayed. It is recommended to invest in branding strategies if the respective purchase decision is characterized by such a situation or the outlined brand values are required.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: B2B branding; Brand sensitivity; Decision-making; Decision-making process; German hospitals; Brand influence; Organisational buying; Buying units of German hospitals; Branding in industrial markets; Purchasing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Gloucestershire Business School > Marketing, Events, Hospitality and Tourism
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2021 12:26
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 12:55

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