A framework of brand value in B2B markets: the contributing role of functional and emotional components
Leek, S. and Christodoulides, G. (2012) A framework of brand value in B2B markets: the contributing role of functional and emotional components. Industrial Marketing Management, 41 (1). pp. 106-114. ISSN 0019-8501
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2011.11.009
The creation of value is admittedly a critical task for marketers regardless of industry. This paper focuses on a type of value that has traditionally been perceived as irrelevant to industrial markets and argues that brand value facilitates the progression from goods and services value to relationship value. To address the limited amount of research on B2B branding from the suppliers' point of view, we complement insights gained from a literature review with ten exploratory interviews with B2B supplier managers, and develop a framework of brand value applicable to industrial markets. This identifies both the functional (i.e., quality, technology, capacity, infrastructure, after sales service, capabilities, reliability, innovation) and emotional qualities (i.e., risk reduction, reassurance, trust) important for the development of industrial brand equity. Situational (e.g. nature of the purchase) and environmental factors (e.g. the economic situation) affecting suppliers' perceptions of the importance of brand in a B2B context and the role of functional versus emotional brand qualities are discussed. The value of the brand as a driver for the development of business to business relationships is also highlighted. The framework provides a basis for B2B practitioners to build their brands in such a way as to make a functional as well as an emotional connection with buyers that is more likely to lead to a supplier–buyer relationship.