سرمایه گذاری، و یا عدم سرمایه گذاری در برندها؟ درایور های نام تجاری مرتبط در بازارهای B2B
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23821||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10681 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 7, October 2011, Pages 1082–1092
When allocating resources to brand investments, managers should consider the relevance of brands to the purchase decision process. Past research on consumer markets shows that brand relevance generally is driven by three functions: image benefits as well as information cost and risk reductions. This study is the first to investigate these underlying mechanisms of brand relevance in a business-to-business setting. Our main contribution is that, in contrast with consumer markets, brand relevance in industrial markets depends primarily on risk and information cost-reducing effects. Therefore, business-to-business firms should invest in their brands using tactics that support the reduction of risk and information search costs for customer decision making. This article also demonstrates that brand relevance differs across product categories, such that depending on the specific category, investing in brands may or may not be a promising strategy.
In addition to well-known consumer brands, such as Coca-Cola and Apple, many business-to-business (B2B) brands—including IBM, Intel, General Electric, Cisco, Oracle, and SAP—are among the world's most valuable brands (Interbrand, 2010). Brands are therefore relevant not only in business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, but also in B2B markets (for an extensive review see Glynn, in press). We interpret brand relevance as the “overall role of brands in customers’ decision making” (Fischer, Völckner, & Sattler, 2010, p. 824). Prior research conducted in B2C markets indicates differences in brand relevance across product categories (Fischer et al., 2002, Fischer et al., 2010 and Hammerschmidt et al., 2008), but no previous studies addressed product category-specific brand relevance in B2B markets. Yet, B2B firms need to understand whether or not brand relevance varies across product categories, as well as what drives their brand relevance. This study addresses both of these fundamental questions. If brand relevance differs across product categories, then information about category-specific levels should determine resource allocations for brand-building efforts. Investing in brands that operate in low brand relevance categories might be a less efficient investment than devoting resources to a brand with high brand relevance on a category level. Although we find in our empirical study that brand relevance differs significantly across categories, the small absolute amount of the differences suggests that brand relevance is not only driven by product-categories. We therefore assess additional drivers of brand relevance in a B2B context. In line with previous research, we measure the relative importance of brand functions that should determine brand relevance. In particular, brands reduce perceived purchase risks, reduce information costs involved in decision making, and evoke specific image effects, such as status. In B2C markets, image-related brand functions are the most important driver of the brand's influence on purchase decisions (Fischer et al., 2002) we test whether these results transfer to B2B markets. In contrast with findings from B2C markets, we find that risk reduction is the most important brand function for B2B settings. This might be due to the specifity of organizational buying behavior (Homburg, Klarmann, & Schmitt, 2010). This ranking regarding the relative influence of brand functions is highly important as it can determine appropriate strategies and marketing actions to increase the influence of brands and thus ultimately enhance brand equity. Accordingly, this study is motivated by both theoretical and practical interests. From a theoretical perspective, we detail contextual factors that may influence brand relevance in B2B markets and assess the effect of the category on brand relevance. From a practical perspective, our results offer guidelines to managers with regard to focusing on specific brand functions when developing communication strategies. Finally, our study offers researchers a means to explain heterogeneity in brand-building studies. In Section 2, we present our conceptual background and derive our hypotheses. In Section 3, we describe our study design and the methodological approach, before presenting the empirical study results in Section 4. We conclude with a discussion of our study contributions, implications for managers, and avenues for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Surprisingly little research assesses category-specific brand relevance measures. To our knowledge, only three studies appear in a B2C context (Fischer et al., 2002, Fischer et al., 2010 and Hammerschmidt et al., 2008), and ours is the first study to address this issue in a B2B setting. Thus we add an important explanation of the drivers that influence a brand's importance in buying decisions to growing research on B2B brands. With our empirical study, we assess two aspects. First, we test whether brand relevance differs across product categories and find significant differences that in absolute terms are low. Second, we assess how branding activities could enhance the B2B customer mindset and thus drive brand equity. As research on this problem is scarce (Glynn, in press), we therefore analyze the influence of typical brand functions (risk reduction, reduced information costs, image benefits) on brand relevance. In B2B markets, a brand's ability to reduce the perceived risk of the purchase decision-making process strongly influences the importance of brands; it is even the most important driver of brand relevance. The ability to reduce information search costs also significantly affects brand relevance. Image benefits do not significantly influence customer decision making in B2B markets though. In comparison with B2C markets, we find a reversed rank order of brand functions in terms of their importance; functional benefits outweigh emotional benefits in industrial transactions. Finally, we tested the influence of alternative control variables that might influence perceived brand relevance. The frequency and complexity of a purchase are of only minor importance. Professional buyers in a B2B context likely can handle decision-making processes, because they are familiar with such decisions and can rely on decision rules that have been successful in the past. The impact of business types on brand relevance reveals that specific investments by the buyer or the dependence of the buyer on the seller lead to greater brand relevance—especially in OEM and systems business types, which are characterized by comparatively high levels of specific investment by the buyer. Thus, higher brand relevance for such business types is reasonable. In systems businesses especially, it is difficult for the customer to switch vendors, so after the initial purchase decision, brands have greater influence. It should not be surprising then that some of the most valuable B2B brands mainly sell in a systems business setting, such as IBM, Cisco, SAP, and Accenture (see Interbrand, 2010).