سیستم مدیریت نام تجاری (برند) و رقابت شرکت خدماتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2047||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 2, February 2013, Pages 148–157
Despite the growing body of literature acknowledging that strong brands are crucial for firms' long-term competitiveness, little research examines how firms should manage their brands internally to maximize their value and the firm's commercial performance. On the basis of the brand management system (BMS) that Kim and Lee (2007) and Lee, Park, Baek, and Lee (2008) describe, the current research extends these authors' work and develops a multidimensional BMS scale comprising three dimensions: brand orientation, internal branding, and strategic brand management. The BMS represents the basic internal management infrastructure necessary to sustain brand-building activities and brand equity creation. The study also conceptualizes the BMS as a dynamic capability that constitutes a potential route to acquiring a sustainable competitive advantage. The data from a sample of 151 knowledge-intensive business services firms show that the BMS effectively helps firms to perform better than their competitors and that market orientation and innovativeness are key antecedents for the development of the system. These results contribute to the scarce literature on managing brands in business services.
Many academics and practitioners acknowledge nowadays that creating strong brands is one of the key factors for achieving a competitive advantage and guaranteeing the firm's long-term survival (Zablah, Brown, & Donthu, 2010). Brand building involves the development of systematic and structured management processes (Merrilees, Rundle-Thiele, & Lye, 2011), although research on how best to develop the internal management of the brand to maximize its market value and the firm's commercial performance is scarce (Lee, Park, Baek, & Lee, 2008). In this sense, Madhavaram and Hunt (2008, p. 77) underline the need to “conceptualize a brand management capability”, that is, the firm's ability to develop and nurture a strong brand or an effective portfolio of strong brands. Kim and Lee (2007) and Lee et al. (2008, p. 849) introduce the “Brand Management System” (BMS) concept. These authors define the BMS as a set “of any systems, organizational structure, or culture of a firm supporting brand building activities”. The BMS represents the way firms should conceive and develop the internal management of their brands to facilitate the creation and maintenance of strong brands in the long term, and constitutes a distinct concept from both the specific brand-building activities and the organization's culture. Following the theoretical development of the strategic marketing literature, this study defines the BMS as an organizational dynamic capability that allows firms to continuously adapt to the rapid pace of market evolution leading to the sustained development of strong brands (Ni and Wang, 2008 and Teece et al., 1997). The definition of the BMS as a dynamic capability encapsulates a systemic orientation at the heart of the construct. Previous research analyzes the BMS as a single construct, ignoring its potential internal structure and does not define the system as a marketing capability. Thus the first objective of this research is to advance in the literature by conceptualizing the BMS, analyzing its dynamic capability nature and testing its underlying dimensions. The second objective of this study is to examine the relation between the BMS and firm performance in order to verify whether the system improves firms' competitiveness in the long term and hence constitutes a valuable organizational capability (Grant, 1995). From this perspective, the potential antecedents of the BMS are also of academic interest and constitute one of the “key research avenues for marketing strategy” (Madhavaram & Hunt, 2008, p. 78). Accordingly, the third objective of this study is to analyze the role of the firm's innovativeness (Aaker, 2007) and market orientation (Lee et al., 2008) as key determinants of the development of a BMS. The recent literature that examines the link between capabilities and performance highlights the need to evaluate concurrently the impact of various capabilities to achieve a further understanding of their relative contribution to firms' competitiveness (Merrilees et al., 2011). Market orientation (Hooley, Greenley, Cadogan, & Fahy, 2005) and innovativeness (Madhavaram and Hunt, 2008 and Menguc and Auh, 2006) are also themselves valuable marketing capabilities. Thus the fourth objective of this research is to examine the relative contribution of innovativeness, market orientation and the BMS to firms' performance. Finally, the study here seeks to extend the literature on business-to-business branding. Research into branding is at an incipient stage of development in the business-to-business context compared to the business-to-consumer literature (Baumgarth, 2010 and Zablah et al., 2010).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The current research stresses that successful branding is not just about smart, creative brands, but also about well planned and executed brand management (M'zungu et al., 2010), and seeks to provide further insights in the brand management literature. Strong brands need to be well developed internally and the BMS seeks to help managers to gain a clearer picture of how best to manage the brand internally in order to maximize its value and the firm's long-term competitiveness. As Fig. 1 shows, the BMS constitutes the basic internal management infrastructure that sustains first the brand-building activities and, subsequently, brand equity creation. The BMS underlines the firm's need to assume the strategic importance of the brand (culture or brand orientation), aligns employee behavior with what the brand means (internal branding), and guarantees an efficient allocation of resources in its long-term management (strategic brand management). In this respect, the BMS, by combining culture, management systems and working processes, may become one of the firm's most valuable organizational capabilities, since the system is knowledge-based and also allows the firm to combine and use other resources efficiently (Madhavaram & Hunt, 2008). Thus this study broadens the definition of the BMS that Lee et al. (2008) offer and, in line with the research of Ballantyne and Aitken (2007) and Brodie, Glynn, and Little (2006) conceptualizes the BMS as a marketing dynamic capability that allows firms: (1) a continuous resource re-allocation to adapt to evolving markets; and (2) to adopt a management perspective that acknowledges the current social, interactive and dynamic nature of brands by developing a coherent brand culture and an organization-wide commitment to its consistent delivery. Thus the conclusion is that the BMS is a dynamic marketing capability that allows firms to be in a better position to carry out all their brand-building activities and to be able to develop brand equity efficiently. In this way, the current research contributes to the scant literature available on marketing capabilities (Merrilees et al., 2011), provides new insights because research in branding has mainly focused “on brands as assets as opposed to brand management as an organizational capability” (Louro & Cunha, 2001; p. 868), and responds to recent calls for the conceptualization of the brand management capability (Madhavaram and Hunt, 2008 and Ratnatunga and Michael, 2009). Before managers can develop a BMS they need to understand what dimensions make the construct manifest. The results confirm that the BMS includes the three expected underlying dimensions: brand orientation, internal branding, and strategic brand management. Some authors define brand orientation as a construct embracing both a “cultural” and a “behavioral” perspective (Baumgarth, 2010), which conceptually makes this dimension closer to the description of the BMS. However, the measurement of brand orientation in prior research evaluates whether or not the brand is important in the business strategy (Wong & Merrilees, 2008), which corresponds to the definition of brand orientation in the current work. The BMS scale developed in this study can function as a diagnostic tool to evaluate whether the organization is in a situation to develop a strong brand. But the strategic brand management sub-dimension does not include items measuring the monitoring and evaluation of the brand image in the marketplace. This may be because the sample firms lack the appropriate control procedures, or because they do not consider such procedures to be useful. Both situations represent obstacles or difficulties for brand management, like the ones that Wong and Merrilees (2008) identify, since evaluation procedures help firms justify their investments and make the necessary changes to their action plans. Another contribution of the current work is to offer empirical data on brand management from the perspective of industrial services firms. Most research on brands has involved consumer markets and adopted an analytical perspective centering on the product (Brodie et al., 2009). The results also confirm that the BMS contributes to an improved business performance, although indirectly, since customer performance completely mediates this relation. This outcome is in line with Lee et al.'s (2008) argument that firms' efforts to manage their brands do not immediately improve their financial and market performance. Instead, these effects come via the BMS's impact on the firm's commercial performance in terms of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and so forth. Because the performance measures refer to the results the firm achieves relative to its major competitor in the past three years, these results reinforce the idea that the BMS is a complex organizational capability that allows firms not only to sustain their brand building activities but also to improve their long-term competitiveness. With regard to the key antecedents of the BMS, the current work analyzes the effects of innovativeness and market orientation among the sample firms. According to the results, both innovativeness and market orientation have a positive effect on the development of a BMS, with market orientation having the stronger effect. But in any case both effects are significant, which underlines the importance of firms adopting a market orientation and an innovative culture for the development of a BMS. This result also contributes to the recent research stream that underlines that interdependencies exist among organizational capabilities, or in other words, that firms may need some mix of capabilities to develop other capabilities (Merrilees et al., 2011). The results of this study also allow the authors to compare the impact of the BMS, market orientation and innovativeness on customer-related performance, which acts as a full mediator in the relation between capabilities and business performance. Previous research analyzing the effects of innovative culture and market orientation on performance generally involves manufacturing firms, so the current study extends the analysis of the contribution of these variables to service firms' competitiveness. Considering both direct and indirect effects in the conceptual model, the results indicate that the BMS, innovativeness and market orientation have a positive impact on customer and business performance and that market orientation exerts the strongest impact on both performance indicators. This work suffers from a number of limitations. First, the research is cross-sectional. Thus the authors cannot be sure that the causal relations that the results identify will not vary or even lose their significance over time. A longitudinal study would overcome this limitation and strengthen the current results further. Second, the measurements were based on the subjective perceptions of a single respondent in each firm, which is a potential source of common method bias. Ideally, researchers should collect data from several sources within each firm to avoid this problem, which would allow them to explore interrater reliability (James, Demaree, & Wolf, 1993). But using multiple informants may also reduce the response rate, which would limit the generalizability of the results. Other unmeasured variables may have also played a crucial role in the conceptual model of this research, thereby accounting for some of its findings. Additionally, this work develops and validates the BMS scale in a specific context: knowledge-intensive business services firms. Thus this study provides opportunities for future research. First, researchers should replicate this study with different samples, in different industries and considering other potential antecedents of the BMS. Similarly, the reflective vs. formative nature of the BMS construct deserves future investigation, as is currently happening in the literature with more consolidated concepts such as market orientation and service quality. Another possible future line of research includes investigating why the items that measure the monitoring of the brand image in the strategic brand management subdimension of the BMS do not survive the scale validation process, or the variables that may threaten the development of the BMS.