مقیاس شخصیت برند تجاری صنعتی: ساخت برندهای تجاری قوی در روابط بنگاه به بنگاه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23824||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9243 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 7, October 2011, Pages 1072–1081
To remain distinct and build strong business relationships in a competitive business-to-business (B2B) environment, an increasing number of industrial marketers attempt to exploit the potential of branding. However, brand management in the industrial sector is still at its starting point. For this reason, the authors introduce the concept of brand personality to industrial markets. Based on a series of qualitative and quantitative studies, the authors develop and validate an Industrial Brand Personality Scale. Furthermore, they examine whether brand personality perception differences exist among different types of industrial transactions and among different members in the buying center. The analysis yields a framework for theoretical discussion and provides B2B managers with a tool to build strong B2B brands in an increasingly competitive industrial market.
Marlboro inevitably triggers the image of a cowboy in our minds: adventurous, free, and cool. Similarly, Porsche may well conjure up thoughts of an ambitious young man: sporty, attractive, and high-income. However, what comes to mind when we think of SAP, General Electric, or Siemens? While brand management has long been a central tenet of consumer marketing, these examples show that its systematic use is less established in industrial markets ( Kim et al., 1998, Kotler and Pfoertsch, 2007, Mudami, 2002 and Mudami et al., 1997). Only recently has the increased competition in industrial markets – where service, reliability, and quality are now assumed minimum requirements rather than order-winning criteria – led to the fact that industrial firms pay more attention to the concept of branding ( Humphreys and Williams, 1996 and Zablah et al., 2010). In a highly competitive business environment, business-to-business (B2B) marketers are forced to successfully differentiate themselves by systematically steering their brands ( Bendixen et al., 2004 and Kotler, 1991). Previous research on B2B branding has primarily focused on identifying differences between branding in consumer versus industrial contexts (e.g., Brown, Bellenger, & Johnston, 2007), applying branding strategies already successfully applied in other markets – usually consumer markets – in the industrial context (e.g., Kuhn, Alpert, & Pope, 2008), and developing new measurements of brand equity for the industrial context (e.g., Jensen & Klastrup, 2008). While this research provides valuable insights, it does not provide B2B marketers with a systematic approach to position their industrial brands away from competition. Furthermore, while previous research has noted that emotional brand benefit associations have become increasingly important in the predominantly “rational” and “problem-oriented” industrial markets as a means of differentiation (Bergstrom et al., 2002, Gundlach et al., 1995 and Lynch and de Chernatony, 2007), due to an increase in commoditization of industrial markets (Madden et al., 2006 and Schultz and Schultz, 2000), again no research exists that provides industrial marketers with a comprehensive set of relevant B2B brand value associations. To help B2B marketers strategically develop a distinctive brand position, the concept of brand personality – defined as the “set of human characteristics associated with a brand” (Aaker, 1997, p. 347) – seems particularly fruitful. It provides a means to differentiation, offers both functional and emotional brand value associations, and encourages the customer to perceive the seller as an active, trustworthy partner (Johar et al., 2005 and Ward et al., 1999). Despite its value for B2B marketers, the concept of brand personality has only recently been examined in the industrial context. Campbell, Papania, Parent, and Cyr (2010) were the first to apply Aaker's (1997) well-established brand personality scale (BPS) in the industrial context to examine whether similarity in brand attributes affect the success of B2B relationships. Besides this notable exception, however, most research on brand personality has focused on consumer markets (Grohmann, 2009). Therefore, more research on brand personality is needed in the industrial context. This is all the more true as Aaker's (1997) BPS scale has been developed for consumer markets. The question arises, therefore, whether it can be applied to the measurement of brand personality for B2B brands, as industrial market transactions, in general, are significantly different from consumer market transactions. For example, industrial market transactions often involve multiperson(al) decision making bodies (i.e., buying centers; Mitchell, 1995), represent specific solutions to problems (Bendixen et al., 2004), involve high risk on the part of the buyer because of their scale (Kuhn et al., 2008), and require industrial firms to use components from well-respected suppliers to gain legitimacy and acceptance for their own goods (Mudami, 2002). Given this, it is possible that Aaker's (1997) scale needs to be adjusted to take the peculiar nature of industrial markets into account. Venable, Rose, Bush, and Gilbert's (2005) findings substantiate this reasoning. The authors found that Aaker's (1997) BPS was not encompassing enough when assessing brand personality in the non-profit context. Therefore, they complemented Aaker's (1997) BPS with the results of qualitative and quantitative studies and identified brand personality associations peculiar to the non-profit context. Against this background, the primary objective of this article is the development and validation of an Industrial Brand Personality Scale (IBPS) that helps industrial marketers to systematically steer their brands. More concretely, we aim to extent research on both brand personality and industrial brand management by addressing the following research questions (RQs): Is Aaker's Brand Personality Scale able to fully capture brand personalities in industrial markets (RQ1)? If not, what are the characteristic dimensions of IBPs (RQ2)? Moreover, we aim to examine whether different types of IBPs exist among different types of industrial transactions (RQ3) and among different members in the buying center (RQ4)? In the following, we begin by reviewing the relevant literature on industrial branding. Next, we develop and validate a brand personality scale for the industrial market on the basis of a series of qualitative and quantitative studies among B2B marketers. In this context, we also provide answers to the stated research questions. Finally, limitations, future research directions, and managerial implications are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main objective of this research was the conceptualization and measurement of brand personality in the industrial sector. The results of two qualitative and three quantitative studies indicate that brand personality constitutes a valuable instrument for industrial brand management and that IBP can be measured with a three-dimensional, 39-item scale. The dimensions highlight the importance of both functional and emotional brand associations in today's increasingly competitive industrial markets. To illustrate, the associations included in the Performance dimension are relevant to industrial buyers' objective and problem-oriented decision-making processes. As such, the Performance dimension helps B2B brands fulfill the information function. In contrast, the associations included in the other two dimensions highlight the importance of emotional differentiation from the competition. The emergence of the Credibility dimension corroborates our theoretical underpinning that industrial brands have to display trust to reduce participating partners' perceived risk and form close and long-lasting B2B relationships. As such, the Credibility dimension helps B2B brands fulfill a risk reduction function. Moreover, the emergence of the Sensation dimension highlights that aspects of self-prestige are also important in positioning industrial brands. As such, the Sensation dimension helps B2B brands fulfill a prestige function. In a series of quantitative studies we confirmed the structure and stability of the developed Industrial Brand Personality Scale (IBPS). This suggests that Aaker's brand personality scale (BPS), which was developed against the background of consumer markets, does not constitute the most suitable measurement for the industrial sector. The results indicate that general IBP perception differences exist within the industrial market, depending on the focus of the industrial transaction process. For example, we found that industrial brands with a focus on single transactions are perceived as more performing but less credible, whereas industrial brands with a focus on relationships are perceived similarly across these two personality characteristics. Moreover, across all types of industrial market transactions, industrial brands were perceived as relatively low in terms of the Sensation dimension. Furthermore, our results suggest that different members of a buying center perceive industrial brands differently in terms of their brand personality. For example, the same B2B brands were perceived as more credible by management (versus production executives), but more sensational by production executives (versus management). This finding reflects a typical principal agency theory problem that industrial brand management faces. The problem is based upon the premise that both the principal (management) and the agent (production) try to maximize their individual self-interests. Based on the assumption of divergent goals, risk tendencies, and existing information asymmetries, the danger exists that the agent (here procurement) will not decide and act in the interests of the principal (here management; Lewin & Johnston, 1996). While our research provides important insights, it also has limitations, provides opportunities for future research, and has direct implications for industrial brand managers.