The chapter presents how business-to-business (B2B) actors may use branding as a tool for maintaining strong, long-term business relationships with their customers. Current knowledge on how to maintain business relationships is presented, related to branding as a tool contributing to long-term and strong business relationships. The phenomenon is studied in detail through a case company, Verso Globe, which operates in the consultancy area and is specialized in sustainability issues. The authors conclude that shared values and norms lead to beneficial business relationships and help maintain them. Also, the case company is closely collaborating and co-creating with its customers, which leads to technological adaptation and increases mutual commitment. A reputation of sharing values, having interest to develop, and co-creating with customers benefits the company and builds the corporate brand. The company culture must, however, support the efforts that make the brand. It is therefore important for B2B actors to understand the customer’s values and use it as a basis for customer relationship management activities. Concurrently, the company’s own values and how it directs employees are elements of its culture, which is the basis for the corporate brand. The perfect match of business relationships is therefore lies in aligning values and norms between the partners.
Ruohonen, P., Vikström, S. and Saarela, E. (2018), "Maintaining B2B Relationships through Branding", Koporcic, N., Ivanova-Gongne, M., Nyström, A. and Törnroos, J. (Ed.) Developing Insights on Branding in the B2B Context, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 113-131. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78756-275-220181012Download as .RIS
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