During the autumn 2009 I conducted a literature review for my pre-diploma work on business-to-business branding online, which in my opinion has implications for how B2B companies could use social media. The main findings of the study suggest that B2B brand strategies should be aligned towards and reinforce the overall business strategy, whilst striving for consistency throughout every customer touch point in order to achieve interactive effects from branding in multiple mediums.
Internal marketing is important to obtain consistency, as the employees ultimately are the ones responsible for delivering upon the brand promise.
These principles are also essential when engaging in social media.
The study investigates the impact of information technology by exploring academic contributions on B2B branding by addressing four related research questions.
- To what extent do academics agree on how to approach branding strategies?
- How does internal marketing reinforce the brand strategy?
- How does the online environment affect the external dimension of the branding triangle?
- What impact will social media have on branding?
The main emphasis of the study is how the online environment is perceived and what impact social media will have on B2B branding. In order to address these questions the study explores issues with branding strategies and internal marketing.
The conceptual framework for the literature review was built upon Kotler and Pfoertsch thorough book «B2B Brand Management». The literature review was conducted by systematically reviewing all articles related to B2B branding in the two branding journals «The Journal of Brand Management» and «The Journal of Product and Brand Management». The search only found 23 articles which demonstrates the novelty of the field of B2B brand management.
The literature review was graded a ‘B’. The main critique is that even though the work is thorough and well done, the reason why it could not be awarded an ‘A’ was that the methodology used was too narrow; by reviewing only two journals this study does not give a complete overview of the field of business-to-business branding online.
About the Study
Title: B2B Branding Online – A literature review
Type of work: Pre-diploma work
Date: Written autumn 2009, handed in in mid December 2009
Author: Haakon Jensen
Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management
Norwegian University of Science and Technology