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Revisiting “big ideas in services marketing” 30 years later

Leonard L. Berry (Department of Marketing, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 8 February 2016




“Big Ideas in Services Marketing”, published in 1987, identified seven precepts fundamental to the just emerging field; this paper aims to explore the relevance of these ideas three decades later and discuss what should be changed and what should be added.


Deep reflection on the central ideas proposed in a paper written 30 years ago through the lens of the author’s personal research and learning journey was the basis for preparing this retrospective essay.


The seven ideas presented in the original paper have stood the test of time although one of the seven “services branding” was incompletely developed. After 30 years, four more ideas need to be added, i.e. competing on value, meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations, saving customers’ time and effort, and generosity.


The proposals in the 1987 paper offered an early framework for consideration by scholars who have produced a worthy body of work and brought services marketing into its own as a legitimate discipline.



Berry, L.L. (2016), "Revisiting “big ideas in services marketing” 30 years later", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 3-6.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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