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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Minna Törmälä and Saila Saraniemi

This study aims to examine the roles of business partners in co-creating a corporate brand image.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the roles of business partners in co-creating a corporate brand image.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts different business partners’ perspectives to analyse corporate brand co-creative actions through a case study within a business-to-business company (B2B SME) context. Interviews with the case company’s manager and key business partners were used as the primary source of empirical data.

Findings

The study suggests a typology of seven roles which business partners adopt in corporate brand image co-creation: co-innovator, co-marketer, brand specialist, knowledge provider, referee, intermediary and advocate. The study also highlights the management of co-creative relationships in corporate brand image co-creation in the context of business partners.

Practical implications

This study increases the understanding of the complexities and dynamics related to corporate brand image construction and helps managers size the potential of business partner relationships in corporate branding and manage co-creative brand partner relationships.

Originality/value

The roles are examined by applying a conceptual framework built by combining branding research in a novel way with the role theory. The study also provides a multi-stakeholder perspective to brand co-creation.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2018

Hanna Komulainen, Saila Saraniemi, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Marianne Ylilehto

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the customer value experience conveys the restructuring of the service network in the banking industry. The banking sector has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the customer value experience conveys the restructuring of the service network in the banking industry. The banking sector has often been one of the early adopters of IT in terms of connecting their services and customers. While developing digital services, however, banks are also concerned that they are losing contact with their customers. At the same time, fast developing technologies enable new companies to enter the industry to offer their services. As a result, the service supply chains in the banking industry appear to be restructured.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data were collected by using a qualitative method of focus groups and interviews with end-users of banking services.

Findings

According to findings, customers value a holistic approach to the services, and such a holistic value cannot necessarily be provided by a single banking service provider because the ecosystem around such services is becoming more complex.

Practical implications

Service supply chains need to be restructured based on the end-customer value experience.

Originality/value

This study contributes to value research and especially to the discussion in service experiences by addressing some of the disruptions happening at the industry level. The paper shows that the focus should be on customer value because banks should understand that their services are not enough for the customers—they are only seen as banks, not as providers of the holistic value that is required from the customer’s point of view.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2017

Muhammad Anees-ur-Rehman, Saila Saraniemi, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Pia Hurmelinna-laukkanen

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand credibility, and financial performance of business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

The questionnaire was used in a survey to collect data from 250 Finnish B2B SMEs. The sampled firms were categorized into four clusters according to a two-by-two matrix, and their relationships with the brand performance outcomes were examined using one-way ANOVA and multiple regression.

Findings

The results indicate that strategic hybrid orientation is positively related to all three dimensions of brand performance, showing that two dissimilar orientations can complement each other in improving brand performance outcomes. However, the strength of complementary interaction seems to vary depending on the degree to which brand- and market-oriented attributes dominate in a firm’s strategy.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to provide empirical evidence to support the concept of strategic hybrid orientation for branding in B2B SMEs. This study aims to contribute to existing research on SME branding by capitalizing on B2B branding and strategic management literatures.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 May 2019

Hanna Komulainen and Saila Saraniemi

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding about how to improve customer value and to make mobile banking services a profitable business for banks and other…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding about how to improve customer value and to make mobile banking services a profitable business for banks and other financial actors. The study explores the user experiences and related value of a new mobile banking service.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is implemented as a case study that is phenomenological in nature and linked to an interpretive consumer study. Empirical data were collected through 14 semi-structured theme interviews and a diary method. The data were analysed by using a content analysis method.

Findings

The findings illustrate the importance of customer centricity in the mobile banking context by identifying customer experience and related value in a new mobile banking service. The study extends current understanding of customer experience as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon by including value related to process, the use situation and the outcome, and it identifies temporality as influencing and connecting all these aspects. The study identifies several aspects that help us to understand what creates value for the customer while using mobile banking services.

Research limitations/implications

As one limitation, this study was conducted in a developed country and the findings could be different in an emerging market context. Another limitation relates to the data, as the interviewees’ age range is quite limited, ranging between 20 and 40 years. However, they represent the consumers who normally use mobile services well and thus provide reliable data about their use experiences.

Practical implications

As the banking industry is currently experiencing rapid and widespread changes and customers become more demanding, it is crucial for banks and other mobile service providers to understand the everyday lives of their customers and to integrate their future services into the customers’ value creation processes as smoothly and inseparably as possible. The findings of this study will help banks and other financial institutions to develop their strategies and operations in regard to customer-oriented thinking, which will further help them to create long-term, profitable customer relationships and improve future viability.

Originality/value

The study contributes to bank marketing research and extends previous research on customer-centred service marketing by providing a framework that identifies the value related to customer experience in a new mobile banking service. It explores the experiences of actual mobile banking service customers’ and the related value, and thus provides original implications for both theory and practice.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2018

Heini Sisko Maarit Taiminen, Saila Saraniemi and Joy Parkinson

This paper aims to enhance the current understanding of digital self-services (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy [cCBT]) and how they could be better incorporated…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to enhance the current understanding of digital self-services (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy [cCBT]) and how they could be better incorporated into integrated mental health care from the physician’s perspective. Service marketing and information systems literature are combined in the context of mental health-care delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of 412 Finnish physicians was undertaken to understand physicians’ acceptance of cCBT. The study applies thematic analysis and structural equation modeling to answer its research questions.

Findings

Adopting a service marketing perspective helps understand how digital self-services can be incorporated in health-care delivery. The findings suggest that value creation within this context should be seen as an intertwined process where value co-creation and self-creation should occur seamlessly at different stages. Furthermore, the usefulness of having a value self-creation supervisor was identified. These value creation logic changes should be understood and enabled to incorporate digital self-services into integrated mental health-care delivery.

Research limitations/implications

Because health-care systems vary across countries, strengthening understanding through exploring different contexts is crucial.

Practical implications

Assistance should be provided to physicians to enable better understanding of the application and suitability of digital self-service as a treatment option (such as cCBT) within their profession. Additionally, supportive facilitating conditions should be created to incorporate them as part of integrated care chain.

Social implications

Digital self-services have the potential to serve goals beyond routine activities in a health-care setting.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the relevance of service theories within the health-care context and improves understanding of value creation in digital self-services. It also offers a profound depiction of the barriers to acceptance.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2010

Saila Saraniemi

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for destination identity and value system. It aims to use a case study to illustrate a destination brand identity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for destination identity and value system. It aims to use a case study to illustrate a destination brand identity development process in a national tourism office (NTO).

Design/methodology/approach

The single case study method is used. The data consist of theme‐based interviews of eight different level managers of a NTO. Theoretical discussion is based on destination branding and emerging identity‐based branding literature.

Findings

This study proposes a model of destination brand identity and value system that takes a holistic view to the destination branding. It illustrates concepts of brand identity, brand image, brand value and brand equity in the same figure, incorporating different level actors to the value creation process. The case study illustrates the value creation process in the initial stage of the identity‐based branding.

Research limitations/implications

The study is explorative and is based on an illustrative single country case study. The study uses emerging identity‐based branding approach and encourages more empirical research to be conducted in the area.

Practical implications

Practitioners may use the idea of taking a holistic view to destination branding, examining the destination from both the supply and demand side, acknowledging also other stakeholders' than customers' perspectives, especially when creating the destination brand identity.

Originality/value

The proposed model of destination identity and value system model adds to rare identity‐based destination branding literature incorporating different aspects of value to the same model with different level identities.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 65 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Saila Saraniemi

The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the various activities and processes undertaken by a particular national tourism organization (NTO) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the various activities and processes undertaken by a particular national tourism organization (NTO) in carrying out its goal of developing a destination brand.

Design/methodology/approach

A single qualitative case study is primarily employed, though the study draws on data from multiple sources of information.

Findings

The study affirms the co‐creation and stakeholder viewpoints from having modeled the branding process and outlining the complex interaction of destination‐branding activities in the country‐level context. The study provides a critical discussion of the different approaches to branding, and the adoption of branding philosophies, in the destination context.

Research limitations/implications

Though this paper is based on a single country case study, it provides a strong and empirically grounded framework for identifying, in‐depth, several key destination branding processes and activities in great detail.

Originality/value

The co‐creation view of brands and branding is a neglected area in destination‐branding literature. Destination‐branding research, in particular, lacks grounded models that profoundly describe branding activities. This study contributes to the lack of empirically grounded knowledge of destination branding.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Satu Nätti, Suvi Rahkolin and Saila Saraniemi

A deliberate and planned crisis communication strategy is an important part of key account management. The purpose of this paper is to draw links between key account…

Abstract

Purpose

A deliberate and planned crisis communication strategy is an important part of key account management. The purpose of this paper is to draw links between key account managers (KAM) and crisis communication and explore the elements critical to crisis communication in key account relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is qualitative. Data were gathered from people experienced in crisis communication and responsible for strategic accounts. The paper analysed managers’ stories of crisis processes and related communication in relationships.

Findings

Successful crisis communication requires an open and active crisis communicator, one willing to solve problems, and also the company being a partner worth trusting and the retention of the relationship being worthwhile for the customer.

Research limitations/implications

The present study focuses on the managerial view, and therefore a dyadic approach is suggested for future studies.

Practical implications

The role of the KAM as a crisis communicator and primary identifier of the crisis is emphasized.

Originality/value

Existing crisis communication discussions have been very media focused. This study focuses on the key account relationship and the related crisis communication. In addition, although earlier studies examine the influences of crises on business relationships (e.g. Salo et al., 2009; Thiessen and Ingenhoff, 2010; Tähtinen and Vaaland, 2006), research on crisis communication in business-to-business key account relationships is still scarce. The results will help to understand the characteristics of crisis communication in key account relationships and enhance communication with strategic accounts.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Jaakko Sinisalo, Heikki Karjaluoto and Saila Saraniemi

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers associated with the adoption and use of mobile sales force automation (SFA) systems from a salesperson’s perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers associated with the adoption and use of mobile sales force automation (SFA) systems from a salesperson’s perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative investigation of two business-to-business companies was conducted. Data collected from ten semi-structured interviews with directors or sales managers were analyzed to understand the main barriers to SFA system adoption.

Findings

The study confirms the existence of three barriers (customer knowledge, quality of information and the characteristics of mobile devices) to a mobile SFA system use and identifies two additional barriers: lack of time and optimization issues.

Research limitations/implications

The explorative nature of the study and the qualitative method employed limit the generalizability of the results. The propositions could be further validated and tested with a wider population.

Practical implications

Organizations wishing to speed the adoption of a mobile SFA system should evaluate the importance and significance of the five identified barriers to adoption, and plan how to overcome them. It is important for the providers of the mobile SFA systems to focus on developing systems that can exploit the different characteristics of each channel and, in parallel, overcome the inherent limitations of any single channel. The content of an SFA system should be customizable for each type of mobile device.

Originality/value

Ever increasing mobility has led to a rise in the use of smartphones and tablet PCs (tablets) in business and the consequent growth in the use of SFA systems. Although SFA systems have been studied for roughly 30 years, little is known of the impact of newly developed mobile devices on sales management and sales personnel.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Lauri Huotari, Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Saila Saraniemi and Minna Mäläskä

The present study aims to examine how business-to-business (B2B) marketers can influence content creation in social media. Social media tools are becoming an interesting…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to examine how business-to-business (B2B) marketers can influence content creation in social media. Social media tools are becoming an interesting component of B2B marketing because of the roles of personal relationships and interactions in these markets. However, research has not approached social media content creation from a B2B marketing perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Social media tools are becoming an interesting component of B2B marketing because of the roles of personal relationships and interactions in these markets. However, research has not approached social media content creation from a B2B marketing perspective. The present study examines how B2B marketers can influence content creation in social media.

Findings

The paper proposes that B2B firms engaging in social media as part of their marketing efforts should carefully consider the roles and activities of various users, which are directed to and by different internal and external users. B2B companies can influence content creation in social media directly by adding new content, participating in discussions and removing content through corporate user accounts and controlling employee social media behavior or indirectly by training employees to create desired content and performing marketing activities that influence other users to create content that is favorable for the company.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the theoretical discussion over B2B marketing communication and the role of social media in it.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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