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Collaborative relationship bundling: a new angle on services marketing

José M. Barrutia Legarreta (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain)
Carmen Echebarria Miguel (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



This article proposes a new approach to bundling for both the marketing of services and relationship marketing. Reviews the literature on both bundling and relationship marketing and puts forward a new theoretical approach. Uses the case method as a means of defending the argument and justifies its use in this specific research project. Demonstrates that collaborative relationship bundling can constitute the strategic core of a company; at least, if the firm's primary goal is to maximise the opportunities of attracting valuable customers within competitive markets. Research bears out some results from previous studies, while it finds other results to be questionable. Shows that the strategic implications of bundling are only partially explained in terms of a price or product focus, which was what previous research had concentrated on. A specific price bundle can have more strategic implications than a different specific product bundle, due to the associative power of bundling and its interactive capacity. As an essential part of this approach, a company must define bundling through an in‐depth appraisal of the actual contextual experience of the customer, rather than focusing solely on reservation prices, which is where previous literature had laid its main emphasis. Calculates the lifetime value of the average customer attracted through bundling as compared to that of the average customer in the sector studied, and thus is able to demonstrate that the customer attracted through bundling is of greater value. The case method provides an in‐depth explanation but the results it provides may not necessarily be generalised into other contexts. Develops therefore a model to identify the factors that explain the success registered in the case selected for analysis. Puts forward 11 propositions suitable for comparative application in other contexts.



Barrutia Legarreta, J.M. and Echebarria Miguel, C. (2004), "Collaborative relationship bundling: a new angle on services marketing", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 264-283.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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