An Exploration of Customer-Based Brand Equity in Industrial Markets

Berger, Philipp (2017) An Exploration of Customer-Based Brand Equity in Industrial Markets. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Although interest towards the business-to-business (B2B) brand and its equity has increased over the last ten years (Klarmann & Fleischmann, 2014), the elements that have been identified and the models that have been developed appear rather disconnected (Leek & Christodoulides, 2011). One possible reason is that the theory that has been developed is rarely rooted in the B2B context (Keränen, Piirainen, & Salminen, 2012). This leaves a high potential to uncover further elements, their interrelations and underlying patterns by exploration (Keränen et al., 2012). The accomplished multiple case study follows an embedded and a holistic approach (Yin, 2009) by studying the similarities and differences of the cases and the subunits. The four cases represent one larger organisation and three smaller organisations. Three of these organisations purchase standard goods and one organisation purchases highly customised components. Using an adapted critical incident technique, the author accomplished two semi-structured interviews with 18 participants. The elaborated framework and the developed model offer a dynamic view of customer-based brand equity, consider the multifaceted nature of the industrial B2B context and take the multi-headed nature of the buying centre into account. Moreover, the findings have uncovered the buying centre’s general valued factors. The results show further that the characteristics of the assets vary depending on the business context and the business functions’ range of tasks. The fulfilment of the business functions’ task-based value factors appears to offer the possibility to address the selfimage. Furthermore, I propose to determine customer-based brand equity by the three main comprehensive brand assets: the brand’s knowledge, the capability and the attitude (see Figure 23). These assets and their detailed characteristics are valued throughout the business relationship (see Figure 24). A business relationship consists of a pre-contact, evaluation, clarification, survey, foreplay, delivery, proof of credit and a relationship phase. The influence on the brand’s image appears to be particularly strong during the evaluation and clarification phases. The capability and knowledge factors are found to be most influential during the beginning of the relationship and the attitudinal factors during the later phases. The value of an intensive relationship appears to depend on the potential for joint-work optimisation, the contribution towards the customer’s stated added value and the degree of interactivity. Moreover, the relationship begins with the perception— achieved through one-way communication—of the brand as a team. Only later does the business relationship become increasingly interactive and the perception develops towards a focus on the team members. Apart from the sales force, the engineers are found to be one of the most influential team members that contribute to the brand image.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business-to-Business brand; B2B
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 12:06
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:09

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