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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2018

Galina Biedenbach, Peter Hultén and Veronika Tarnovskaya

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of human capital and relational trust on business-to-business (B2B) brand equity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of human capital and relational trust on business-to-business (B2B) brand equity.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was conducted among the clients of one of the Big Four auditing firms in Sweden. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized effects.

Findings

The results demonstrate positive effects of human capital and relational trust on the core dimensions of brand equity. In the context of the professional services, human capital was found to have a stronger direct impact than relational trust on brand associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty.

Practical implications

The study provides practical recommendations for marketing managers on how to consider the nature of B2B brand equity and its determinants in developing successful branding strategies. The findings indicate that although relational trust has a positive impact on brand equity, it draws on the clients’ positive perceptions of the service providers’ human capital. Thus, investments that generate positive perceptions of a service provider’s human capital will strengthen its competitive position. Leading to the creation of relational trust and having a strong impact on the dimensions of brand equity, human capital is a strategic asset that needs careful management.

Originality/value

The study advances extant knowledge on B2B brand equity by examining contextual conditions and factors that are critical for building strong brands in industrial markets. The study demonstrates that clients’ perceptions about the knowledge, skills and abilities of service providers are more important than relational trust for enhancing B2B brand equity.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2018

Veronika Tarnovskaya and Galina Biedenbach

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamic process of brand meaning creation by multiple stakeholders during corporate rebranding in the digital environment.

Design/methodology/approach

By applying a symbolic interactionist perspective, the case study analyses a failed corporate rebranding of Gap. A variety of narratives by managers, consumers, designers, and marketing professionals were captured by collecting qualitative data on Facebook, Twitter, and professional forums on the internet.

Findings

The study demonstrates that the process of brand meaning creation is affected by the complexity of brand meaning negotiation within and between different stakeholder groups. The findings illustrate that the polarisation of brand meanings, in which both antagonistic and supportive forms co-exist, has a determinable impact on the outcome of corporate rebranding.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyses one case of corporate rebranding failure with the focus being on the four key stakeholder groups. Future studies could examine multiple cases of successful and failed corporate rebranding, including a broader variety of internal and external stakeholders.

Practical implications

Marketing managers should engage multiple stakeholders proactively during the process of brand meaning creation. They are encouraged to learn from antagonistic incidents of brand meaning negotiation as well as to utilise opportunities arising during constructive episodes of brand meaning co-creation.

Originality/value

The study contributes to previous research by exploring how the process of brand meaning creation can trigger the collision of brand meanings, which lead to the failure of corporate rebranding.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Galina Biedenbach and Siarhei Manzhynski

The purpose of this paper is to investigate perceptual differences between employees characterized by various levels of internal brand commitment and sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate perceptual differences between employees characterized by various levels of internal brand commitment and sustainability importance. The identified clusters of employees are compared considering the main determinants of internal brand commitment and their evaluations of a company’s sustainability performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted among employees of industrial companies operating in Belarus. Two hundred thirty-eight responses were analyzed by using the K-means cluster analysis. The analysis of variance was applied for evaluating differences between the three identified clusters.

Findings

Based on internal brand commitment and sustainability importance, the paper identifies three alternative clusters of employees: uncommitted sustainability laggards, committed sustainability followers and committed sustainability leaders. The results show that the three clusters differ in regard to the main determinants of internal brand commitment, which are brand orientation, internal brand knowledge and internal brand involvement. The findings demonstrate significant perceptual differences between the three clusters regarding their evaluations of a company’s sustainability performance. The assessment of sustainability performance focuses on sustainability objectives, sustainability policies and sustainability decision-making and disclosure.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted in the context of a transition economy. Future studies are recommended to develop a cross-cultural comparison of relationships between employees’ perceptions about sustainability performance, different determinants and the outcomes of internal brand commitment.

Originality/value

The paper makes a theoretical contribution to research on internal branding and sustainability by examining the potential interrelationships between internal branding strategies and sustainability performance.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Veronika Tarnovskaya and Galina Biedenbach

The main purpose of this study is to investigate perceptions about and contributing activities to business-to-business (B2B) brand value by corporate managers and local…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to investigate perceptions about and contributing activities to business-to-business (B2B) brand value by corporate managers and local stakeholders in the context of emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study examines brand strategies of a multinational company in the high-tech industry. By using NVIVO, this research analyses the brand narratives by corporate managers of Axis Communications in Sweden and local stakeholders in Russia, Brazil and India. The study evaluates perceptions about brand value and contributing activities emphasized by corporate managers, local managers, local partners and local end-customers.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that corporate managers underutilize contributing activities by local managers and other local stakeholders, despite these activities being central to enhancing brand value. This research provides insights into how corporate and local managers can develop successful brand strategies in emerging markets. Consequently, a general typology of contributing activities to B2B brand value by local stakeholders is proposed.

Originality/value

The company-centred approach to B2B branding stresses the importance of unique components of brand value and their consistent communication to multiple stakeholders. Prior studies provide limited evidence on how various stakeholders perceive brand value and enhance it through their contributing activities. Following the stakeholder-encompassing approach, this study advances branding research by examining perceptions about and contributing activities to B2B brand value by corporate managers and local stakeholders in a cross-cultural setting. Future studies are recommended to apply a stakeholder-encompassing approach in developed and transition economies and considering other relevant groups of stakeholders.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Galina Biedenbach, Maria Bengtsson and Agneta Marell

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of satisfaction and switching costs on the development of brand equity in the business-to-business (B2B) setting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of satisfaction and switching costs on the development of brand equity in the business-to-business (B2B) setting. The study considers the hierarchical effects between brand awareness, brand associations, perceived quality, and brand loyalty. Furthermore, the conceptual model examines the direct effect of switching costs on satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling was used to analyze 632 responses from the CEOs and CFOs of organizations buying auditing and business consultancy services from one of the Big Four auditing companies.

Findings

The findings demonstrate the significant impact of satisfaction and switching costs on brand equity in the B2B setting. Furthermore, the findings show the positive effect of switching costs on satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The study is conducted in the professional services context. Future research can examine whether the observed effects can be found in other B2B settings and considering various B2B services and industrial goods.

Practical implications

The study contributes to marketing managers’ understanding of how marketing actions aimed to increase satisfaction can affect brand equity. Marketing managers are provided with insights and evidence on how switching costs can impact satisfaction and brand equity.

Originality/value

The study tests a unique conceptual model focussing on the causal relationships between four dimensions of brand equity, satisfaction and switching costs. The findings provide a strong foundation for further investigation of links between the key marketing concepts: brand equity, satisfaction, and switching costs.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Ming Lim, Joana Cesar Machado and Oriol Iglesias

Abstract

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Francisco Guzman and Ulla Hakala

Abstract

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Cleopatra Veloutsou and Francisco Guzman

Abstract

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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