نام تجاری خدمات B2B: آیا یک نام تجاری متمایز از ارائه دهنده خدمات لجستیک می باشد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23705||2008||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7459 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 37, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 218–227
Existing research has shown that strong brands serve as an important point of differentiation for firms, assisting customers in their evaluation and choice processes. Although there is considerable research on the branding of consumer goods and an increasing literature on industrial and service brands, little is known about branding in the context of business-to-business services. This research extends existing brand theory to a new setting, namely B2B services. Drawing on the results of two mail surveys, we examine B2B services branding in the context of logistics services. Findings suggest that brands do differentiate the offerings of logistics service providers and that brand equity exists for this commodity-like B2B service. Findings also support the extendibility of Keller's [Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1–22] brand equity framework into the logistics services context. However, results of this study show that; logistics service providers and their customers have different perspectives on the relative influence of brand image and brand awareness on brand equity. Implications of these findings for managers and directions for future research are offered.
All eyes were focused on the Gulf coast as Hurricane Katrina raced toward the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the fall of 2005. Businesses across the United States prepared to aid in recovery efforts. Workers at a Wal-Mart distribution center located 130 miles north of New Orleans loaded 45 trailers with bottled water and other emergency supplies for delivery as soon as the storm subsided. FedEx prepared 60 tons of Red Cross equipment for delivery to strategic locations (Inman, 2006). The swift, efficient logistical response of corporations was judged to be far superior to the capabilities of essential emergency service providers such as the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the Red Cross. The mayor of one city hit by the storm noted “The Red Cross and FEMA need to take masters classes in logistics and mobilization from Wal-Mart” (Inman, 2006, p. 28). As exemplified by Wal-Mart and FedEx, logistics can serve as a means for firms to differentiate themselves via the superior distribution of goods or the delivery of outstanding customer service. However, many firms lack the resources needed to meet customers' increasing expectations for logistics services. Companies are under constant pressure to provide not only reliable, timely deliveries, but also increasing levels of shipment tracking and delivery information. Outsourcing logistics services is an attractive solution, especially when companies experience changing requirements due to growth or special needs (Malykhina, 2004). For example, toy manufacturers have a very compressed shipping period, with 45% of sales related to the holiday season. Relatively small manufacturers such as Pressman Toy Corporation, with annual sales of $50 million, as well as industry giants such as Hasbro use third party logistics service providers to realize opportunities for gaining competitive advantage through improved logistics (Bonney, 2005 and Malykhina, 2004). There are hundreds of thousands of logistics service providers in the United States (i.e., carriers, warehousing firms, and third-party providers), and marketplace competition is fierce (Fuller, O'Conor, & Rawlinson, 1993). As firms continue to reduce the size of supplier bases to gain cost efficiencies (Baker, 1984, Burt et al., 2003 and Ulaga and Eggert, 2006), logistics service providers must find ways to distinguish themselves from others offering similar services in order to improve their chances of being included in potential customers' consideration sets. One way firms have distinguished themselves from competitors is by developing strong brands. Linking a brand with consistent, positive customer perceptions about a market offering increases customers' confidence in their expectations being met and reduces decision-making uncertainty (Riley and de Chernatony, 2000 and McDonald et al., 2001). This is especially critical for firms offering services, which primarily exhibit experience attributes that can be discerned only after purchase or consumption (e.g., banking services) or credence attributes that are difficult to evaluate even after purchase or consumption (e.g., legal services) (Blankson and Caliphates, 1999, Kamakura and Russell, 1989, Krishnan and Hartline, 2001, Nelson, 1970 and Park et al., 1986). Although there is considerable research on consumer brands and an increasing body of literature on industrial and service brands, there are few studies of brands in the context of B2B services. The purpose of this research is to explore B2B service brands, specifically examining logistics services, in order to answer our research question: “Does a brand differentiate a logistics service provider?” In the following section, we describe the logistics services context. Then, we review industrial and services branding literatures. This study employs the often overlooked technique of theory elaboration (Lee, 1999), which involves applying and extending existing theory into new settings or contexts. We adopt Keller's (1993) brand equity framework and propose hypotheses to explore relationships among basic branding concepts in the context of logistics services (Fig. 1). We then describe our research method and report results from surveys of logistics service providers and their customers. We conclude with implications for managers and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study of branding in the logistics services industry contributes to our understanding of brands and brand management in business-to-business service settings. First, the findings provide evidence for the existence of brand equity in this commodity-like industry. Second, brand awareness and brand image explained a significant amount of variance in brand equity, providing support for the conceptualization of brand equity as a psychological construct in this context. Finally, findings provide evidence for differences in perceptions between logistics service providers and their customers. Specifically, brand image was a significantly stronger driver of brand equity for customers, while brand awareness was a significantly stronger driver of brand equity for service providers.