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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Kjell Toften

To test empirical relationships between export market information use and export knowledge and export performance.

2225

Abstract

Purpose

To test empirical relationships between export market information use and export knowledge and export performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Confirmatory factor analysis, using LISREL 8.50, based on a postal survey. The setting selected was the Norwegian seafood industry, mainly consisting of a number of small and medium‐sized firms with a strong export dependency.

Findings

The results indicate that “instrumental/conceptual” use of information positively affects both export knowledge and export performance, while “symbolic” use does not affect either. Export knowledge is found to have no direct influence on export performance in this study.

Research limitations/implications

For generalisation purposes, longitudinal studies in multiple settings would be preferable to this cross‐sectional survey in a specific setting.

Practical implications

Firms accumulate knowledge and expertise by integrating and incorporating information that has been processed, interpreted and used. This study underscores the importance, for success in export markets, of a commitment to systematically generating, disseminating and responding to export market information. There are clear implications for the management of market intelligence and planning, to enhance the firm's performance.

Originality/value

Provides a better understanding of export market information use and its consequences, by integrating it with the concepts of export knowledge and export performance, and testing their structural relations.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Kjell Toften and Trond Hammervoll

The purpose of this paper is to present a concise status of niche marketing research and thereby provide a basis for further scholarly enhancement and insights for practitioners.

9620

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a concise status of niche marketing research and thereby provide a basis for further scholarly enhancement and insights for practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes the form of a literature review.

Findings

Reasons for why and when to pursue niche marketing, key success factors for implementing niche marketing and the potential problem areas are identified. Avenues for advancing knowledge about niche marketing are discussed.

Research limitations/implications

Practitioners benefit from this comprehensive review of findings and insights from previous research. Scholars benefit from this review, as it summarizes and identifies key areas for future niche marketing research.

Originality/value

There has be no known scholarly article assessing the status of niche marketing research since Dalgic and Leeuw's seminal work.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Kjell Toften and Trond Hammervoll

The purpose of this paper is to better understand how strategic orientation guides the marketing strategy and marketing efforts of niche firms, by addressing the questions of…

1549

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand how strategic orientation guides the marketing strategy and marketing efforts of niche firms, by addressing the questions of which strategic orientation niche firms apply and how managers in niche firms handle the potential problems associated with different strategic orientations. Based on these findings, managerial implications are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research in terms of in‐depth interviews of key informants in six niche firms in the seafood and wine industries.

Findings

The niche firms appear to be product oriented and customer oriented at the same time. They overcome the potential problems related to the respective strategic orientations by focusing on their product‐related strengths, while benefiting from their close and few customer relationships.

Practical implications

Managers in niche firms should focus on high‐quality products, specific product concepts and the continuous improvement of these. In addition, they should initiate and develop close and long‐term relationships with a few trusted business customers.

Originality/value

This research paper is one among very few papers that present findings related to niche firms and their choice of marketing strategy. This paper of strategic orientation can contribute to a better understanding of how niche firms prioritize, allocate resources and choose strategies.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Kjell Toften and Trond Hammervoll

The limited academic literature available on niche marketing has mainly focused on market‐specific factors, and the discussion has in particular centred on the characteristics of…

5368

Abstract

Purpose

The limited academic literature available on niche marketing has mainly focused on market‐specific factors, and the discussion has in particular centred on the characteristics of what a niche is and what causes it to exist. In an attempt to fill this gap in the literature, the purpose of this paper is to identify the strategic capabilities of niche firms.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, aspects regarding niche marketing and strategic capability are identified and briefly discussed with reference to the existing literature. Next, the methodology for the research at hand is presented, followed by a discussion of its findings. The paper then continues with the conclusion of this research, followed by pinpointing some of its limitations and providing recommendations for future research.

Findings

All the investigated case firms follow a focused differentiation strategy to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. The focus aspect of the niche firms' strategy is mirrored in the reported narrow geographic market focus, which could be limited to only one country, a limited number of customers – one sole customer in one case – or a limited number of customer types. With regard to strategic capabilities, the results were rather similar across cases, particularly for each pair of case firms within similar sectors (wine, organic salmon, and stockfish). From the case firms' point of view, it is clear that having access to high‐quality raw material is critical to their strategy of delivering high‐quality products. Finally, many of the identified resources and competences appear rather static, or fixed over several years.

Originality/value

The strategic capabilities as identified in this paper can be described and placed at different stages within the firms' value chains. Each stage has its own set of important strategic capabilities. These stages are: inbound logistics, production or refinement, and marketing and sales.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Kjell Toften and Kirsten Rustad

To explore the perceived attributes of export information quality provided by export assistance sources, in order to provide some guidelines for how these information suppliers…

1963

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the perceived attributes of export information quality provided by export assistance sources, in order to provide some guidelines for how these information suppliers can improve the quality of their offered information.

Design/methodology/approach

Twelve in‐depth personal interviews of export managers were used as the data collection method. The setting selected for this research is the Norwegian seafood industry, which mainly consists of a number of small and medium‐sized firms with a strong export dependency, and thus well positioned to address export‐specific issues.

Findings

Four service aspects are important: reliability (delivery within agreed deadline), responsiveness (rapid feedback and good communication flow), assurance (credibility and honesty) and empathy (able and willing to serve individual needs). Six aspects related to outcome are important: form and comparability (concrete, specific, precise, comparable and up‐to‐date), infrastructure (distribution, logistics and storage), general marketing (economics, trends and culture), specific marketing (detailed information regarding, e.g. price fluctuations, consumer preferences, distributor assessments, credit valuation), production/supply (volumes, quotas and availability) and regulatory framework (customs, market access and regulations).

Research limitations/implications

These findings are not fit for generalizing purposes and future research could test these results in a quantitative study. Further, the effect of other variables such as firm size and export experience could be examined and linked with different dimensions of export market information use.

Practical implications

Suggestions for providers of export information on how to improve the process of supplying information to exporters and the type of information needed by exporters and how exporters can influence this process and results are provided.

Originality/value

This paper identifies attributes of export information quality as perceived by exporters and thus enables subsequent information quality measurements and information quality improvements.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2009

Kjell Toften and Trond Hammervoll

This paper aims to explore how internationally oriented niche firms define and choose their markets and customers and how they position their products, and thereby add to the…

13030

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how internationally oriented niche firms define and choose their markets and customers and how they position their products, and thereby add to the limited research knowledge regarding niche marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents exploratory research based on structured in‐depth interviews of key informants in five firms.

Findings

Niche firms do not seem to follow the STP‐process. The selection of customers and markets is the result of tradition, chance or the firm's production philosophy, and the firms make few attempts to position their products. The firms rely on resource‐based advantages, high‐quality products and personal relationships when competing in the market.

Research limitations/implications

The selected methodology makes these results alone unfit for generalising to a larger population. Improved theoretical models are needed for generating more knowledge about niche firms and their efforts in crafting marketing strategies, possibly by extending relationship marketing theory.

Practical implications

A niche firm's marketing strategy should be based on a customer‐valued competitive advantage and differentiation should be applied in terms of both intangible and actual use criteria. Niche firms should strive for long‐term, personal relationships and customer commitment. Also, there seems to be some room for following one's own personal convictions and ideas when crafting a marketing strategy, even though this approach certainly is not in line with the structured marketing strategy process suggested in textbooks.

Originality/value

This study offers exploratory findings on how export‐oriented niche firms define and choose their markets and customers, and how they position their products. The standard STP‐process as proposed in general textbooks is not appropriate for international niche firms.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 43 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Trond Hammervoll and Kjell Toften

The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore important value‐creation initiatives in buyer‐seller relationships (BSRs).

1741

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore important value‐creation initiatives in buyer‐seller relationships (BSRs).

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review and the presentation of an appropriate conceptual framework, an exploratory study of 14 BSRs in a variety of European industries is undertaken using in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with key informants.

Findings

The findings justify a distinction being drawn between two types of value‐creation initiatives: those that are important in transaction‐based arrangements (in which efficiency is paramount); and those that are important in interaction‐based relationships (in which effectiveness is paramount). Of the ten value‐creation initiatives identified in the literature review, seven were found to be of importance in the BSRs of the present sample.

Research limitations/implications

Despite genuine attempts to select a heterogeneous sample, most of the data did come from sellers. Future studies could look more deeply into buyer data to explore these issues in BSRs.

Practical implications

The paper provides managers with practical guidance on the selection of appropriate value‐creation initiatives in various types of BSRs.

Originality/value

The paper reports the first known empirical study of value‐creation initiatives in BSRs.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Kjell Toften and Svein Ottar Olsen

Building on prior research in organizational knowledge, learning, and memory, this paper suggests that export market knowledge may provide a deeper understanding of the…

2775

Abstract

Building on prior research in organizational knowledge, learning, and memory, this paper suggests that export market knowledge may provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between export market information use and export performance. Specifically, a conceptual model is developed linking different dimensions of information use to different dimensions of organizational knowledge as well as to export performance. This is then used to generate research propositions that provide insights into how export market knowledge integrates with export market information use and affects export performance.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Jonathan H. Deacon

350

Abstract

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Content available
Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Aron O'Cass

953

Abstract

Details

European Business Review, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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