روابط برند و ارزش ویژه برند در فرانچایزینگ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2972||2011||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 7, October 2011, Pages 1103–1115
Previous research suggests that building brand equity enhances the competitive advantage of retailers in B2B markets. However, limited attention has been paid to the concept of brand equity in B2B retailing contexts, particularly in franchise channels. This study seeks to understand how brand relationships can be leveraged to enhance brand citizenship behavior and ultimately brand equity in franchise channels. Accordingly, this study explores franchisees’ perceptions of their franchise brands, leading to a new conceptualisation of ‘franchisee-based brand equity’. An interpretive research design is employed, comprising of semi-structured interviews with key informants. Findings suggest that franchisors play an important role in promoting brand citizenship behaviour of franchisees, which in turn enhances brand equity. The study provides insight on how to effectively manage brand relationships to enhance franchisees’ brand citizenship behaviour and brand equity. The concept of brand relationships has been discussed widely in consumer markets, but has received limited attention in B2B contexts. In response, this study provides new insight in B2B branding and specifically, in how brand relationships may enhance brand citizenship behaviour and brand equity in B2B markets.
For many business-to-business (B2B) firms, the development and effective management of their brand(s) is critical in creating sustainable competitive advantage (Randall, 1997). According to Keller (2003, p. 60), brand equity is “…the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand.” Brand equity also refers to the added value bestowed by the brand to the product (Farquhar, 1989). Consequently, firms with strong brands are able to attain a sustainable point of differentiation (Aaker, 1996) and achieve greater financial leverage (Ind, 1997) compared to those without. For example, Katherine Sampson, the founder and Managing Director of Healthy Habits franchise in Australia, states that “The best way to solidify the business's position in the market is to develop the brand” (Chandler, 2009, p. 62). Guided by this philosophy, Healthy Habits managed to achieve a 480 percent increase in revenue from $2.5 million to $14 million and grew from 2 stores to 32 in 18 months (BrandsRPeople2, 2010). This evidence illustrates the importance of brand equity in B2B channels. However, whilst brand equity is one of the most salient topics to both academics and practitioners, it remains under-researched in B2B markets (Han & Sung, 2008). Brand building is as important in B2B markets as it is in business-to-consumer (B2C) contexts (Mudambi, 2002) as building brand equity can insulate firms against competitors and enhance market share (Keller, 2003 and Lynch and de Chernatony, 2004). Thus, brand equity is an important strategic tool for retailers as it can lead to improved performance in terms of sales and profitability (Davis and Mentzer, 2008 and Nannery, 2000). However, despite the increased focus on retail brand management, limited attention has been paid to the concept of retail brand equity in prior literature (Pappu & Quester, 2006). Further, limited prior research on B2B branding has explored strategic and tactical issues related to building and managing of B2B brands (Lindgreen, Beverland, & Farrelly, 2010). Thus, despite the increased recognition of the role brands play in B2B markets compared to B2C operations, we know comparatively less about brand building and brand management in B2B markets (Lindgreen et al., 2010). Since brand equity is a result of the overall brand image created by the sum of brand associations as perceived by customers (Michell, King, & Reast, 2001), it is important for managers to clearly comprehend the contribution made by retailers in B2B brand building. Firms in the modern era have grown to understand their staff and other stakeholders as brand ambassadors in the brand building process, in particular those involved in delivering the brand promise (de Chernatony, Cottam, & Segal-Horn, 2006). Thus, in the current study, we explore franchisees’ perceptions of factors that are viewed as fundamental in building franchise brands in such B2B channels. Brand equity from the retailer's perspective is encapsulated in three conceptual ideals, namely; (i) the equity associated with the retailer's brand, (ii) the equity associated with the retailer's store brand, and (iii) the retailer's perceptions of the brand they sell (Baldauf, Cravens, Diamantopoulos, & Zeugner-Roth, 2009, p. 2). In this paper, we capture franchisees’ perceptions of the brand they are associated with; as a result we introduce the term franchisee-based brand equity (FBBE). Whilst a number of brand equity models have been advanced in recent years (e.g., Baldauf et al., 2009, Broyles et al., 2009, Spring and Yoo and Donthu, 2001), there is need for additional models that present more detailed empirical research on brand equity in various contexts (Keller, 2003). In particular, despite the uniqueness of brand management in franchise channels (see Pitt, Napoli, & Merwe, 2003) no distinct models have been advanced to explain brand equity in this particular marketing channel. Bordonaba-Juste and Polo-Redondo (2008) describe a franchise channel as a system of interdependent firms that make products or services available to consumers through negotiation and exchange. In conventional B2B channels, dyadic relationships can be assumed to be equal, yet this is not the case in franchise systems. Specifically, in a franchise channel the franchisor sells contractual rights to market goods and services using its brand name and business practices to franchisees (Combs, Michael, & Castrogiovanni, 2004). Consequently, the distribution of products in franchises is governed by a contract which is a vehicle to centralise operations and control the efforts of other members in the distribution channel (Ronald & House, 1971). In such constrained business environments, franchisees need to form strong attachment with the franchise brand name to enhance its brand value. Thus, besides the legal/contractual relationship, there is need to understand other factors that can create value for the franchise brand and the franchise channel as a whole. Given this background, this paper addresses the following two research questions, based on franchisees’ perceptions: (i) How to promote brand equity in franchise channels? (ii)What promotes franchisees’ brand citizenship behaviour? This study seeks to understand how brand relationships can be leveraged to enhance brand citizenship behaviour and subsequently brand equity in franchises. The paper is structured as follows: First we discuss the theoretical foundations underpinning this study, followed by a review of literature on brand equity (focusing on franchisees), brand relationship management and brand citizenship behaviour. The research methodology and results are then presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results, research implications for scholars and managers and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study adopted an inside-out approach to B2B brand management and a relationship perspective in providing a framework of how a well-managed brand relationship system could enhance BCB and ultimately FBBE. Bearing in mind the exploratory nature of this study, we suggest that franchisees as crucial customer contact points require constant monitoring to ensure consistent BCB that enhances brand equity. Franchise brand building anchored on strong and positive brand relationships is perhaps the best way of doing business in such complex and freedom-constrained marketing environments. Thus, franchisees can best position themselves in the market and differentiate themselves from non-franchised firms by establishing powerful brand relationships. In simple terms, our study propose that franchise managers who aim to improve franchisees’ BCB and FBBE, should provide the following: continuous franchisor support; provide a rich brand portfolio; communicate often and effectively; socialise formally and informally; provide clear contractual terms; use less coercive power; and lastly resolve any arising conflicts as quickly and efficiently as possible with their franchisees. This can possibly result in a satisfied franchisee who is willing to exert extra effort in his/her business activities. Generally, if the franchisee is ‘happy’ the positive attitudes are likely to enhance positive perceptions towards the brand. Eventually, the resulting effects will spill over to end-consumers, thereby enhancing the brand equity across the entire franchise channel.