The Potential of B2B Lovemarks: A Managerial Perspective on Strong B2B Brands

Detta är en D-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Department of Business Administration

Sammanfattning: Kevin Roberts has extended the comprehension of strong consumer brands to a higher level where loyalty beyond reason is established. He calls this new status Lovemarks. As the concept of Lovemark has only been applied in B2C markets, this thesis is directed to find out the applicability of Lovemarks in B2B context. In order to fulfill the research purpose, three main questions are answered based on a cross-sectional research approach: What role do intangible factors play in B2B branding? Is the idea of B2C Lovemarks transferable to B2B context? How should a B2B Lovemark be characterized?The results of the qualitative interviews indicate insights of high investment and involvement, integrated brand communication, balance between function versus emotion, brand’s trustworthy personality, customer partnership, and finally, the potential establishment of B2B Lovemarks. Conclusively, first, functional performance is stressed as the key foundation of strong B2B brands. Second, emotional values are regarded as the driver of sustainable differentiation. Third, integration of internal and external branding building is crucial for overall brand loyalty. Fourth, trust plays a dominant role in emotional communication. Fifth, companies need to highlight customer partnership in industrial markets due to the high demand of commitment and cooperation. Integration and consistency are crucial for B2B brand building; at the same time, a balance between functional and emotional benefits is strongly required for Lovemarks in B2B industry. Therefore, it can be concluded that in a B2B environment, a redefinition of Lovemarks is realizable. The findings of this thesis are twofold; first, the authors present a conceptual framework which entails the developing process, prerequisites, key attributes and benefits of B2B Lovemarks. Second, managerial insights are provided both from the perspective of successful companies and less experienced companies in emotional branding, integrated brand communication and partnership building. This study offers a reflection on the possible efforts of incorporating intangible values into the brand strategy and thus improving and advancing brand management.