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Competence-based value framing for business-to-business customers

Creating and managing superior customer value

ISBN: 978-1-84855-172-5, eISBN: 978-1-84855-173-2

Publication date: 1 November 2008


This paper shows how business suppliers set up processes allowing the translation of their competencies into value for the customers. As such, this paper seeks to complement the dominant view in which competencies are seen mainly as valuable for the firm owning the competencies but not for that firm's customers. In so doing, the paper seeks to contribute to two bodies of research: the notions of core competencies in strategic management and of value for customer in business marketing. These two bodies of research interact infrequently thus far, leaving the question of how value is transferred unanswered. This question is relevant because competencies are immaterial, tacit, and non-tradable assets. Hence, the research question underlying the present paper becomes: How can competencies translate into valuable outputs and be made accessible to the customer? To answer this question, a qualitative approach is used that involves a multiple-case study analysis aimed at exploring the competence-based process of value supplying in business markets. Specifically, this paper suggests the following propositions: (1) Competence-based value analysis, where suppliers anticipate customers’ competence needs, require an end-market orientation. (2) Competence-based value creation implies an accumulation of know-how that overlaps with customer competencies. (3) Competence-based value communication builds on live communication tools that allow customers to get an ongoing experience of the value potential of competencies. (4) Competence-based value delivery is based on bundles of suppliers’ competencies into tradable means and direct access to competence tools.


Golfetto, F., Zerbini, F. and Gibbert, M. (2008), "Competence-based value framing for business-to-business customers", Woodside, A.G., Golfetto, F. and Gibbert, M. (Ed.) Creating and managing superior customer value (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 343-377.



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