The Power of Behaviour on Client Perception of Corporate Brand : A Case Study of a Swedish Consultancy Firm within Public Procurement
Sammanfattning: The aspect of relationships has been underlined to be of substantial significant within B2B contexts, particularly within consultancy, all alongside the importance of trust within the clientsupplier interaction. An element that has been claimed to derive directly from the client-supplier experience and voiced to be of key in order to reach success. It has been stated that the behaviour of consultants can be generalized to the corporate brand, individual demeanours and actions declared to be of essential influence of affecting customer perception of the company and its brand. It has been remarked that, “employees are the public face of the organization, and their performance affects customers' interpretation of the brand”. Public procurement has been described as a process for the purchase of goods and services made by the public sector, procurements regulated by LOU, i.e. special laws and regulations. All member states of the European Union are subjective to procurement directives, injunctions regulating each procurement. In service marketing, traditionally, clients have relied on long-term relationships or been guided by recommendations from external parties when selecting supplier. Public procurement regulations have enclosed such use of informal selection bases, whereas instead requirements for supplier are obliged to be based on objective criteria and non-personal sources. The restriction of non personal-relationships between client and supplier derived the problem question of potential consequences the regulation might bear. Thereupon, the purpose of this study was to examine the corporate brand image of a knowledge- intensive service firm operating within the public sector. The empirical findings for this study were collected through semi-structured interviews with 5 Swedish customers of Ecenea Väst, a consultancy firm operating within the public sector. The role of the theory were of abductive view, were theory was developed, refined and adjusted throughout the process. The findings of the interviews where analysed using a content analysis approach. The empirical investigation of this study confirms previous studies arguing for the importance of relationship and trust within service marketing, particularly consultancy. It also concluded that it is the behavior of the consultants that influence the client's perception of the company’s image and brand.
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