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How image and awareness relates to internal and external stakeholders' acceptance of B2B rebranding
Högskolan i Halmstad, Akademin för företagande, innovation och hållbarhet. Jönköping International Business School.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-0419-8654
Högskolan i Halmstad, Akademin för företagande, innovation och hållbarhet.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-8194-2053
Högskolan i Halmstad, Akademin för företagande, innovation och hållbarhet.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-2574-9099
2023 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

The acquisitions of brands by companies have become more frequent, representing a significant and effective way for firms to reach international new markets. This recent trend has led to a rise in rebranding, particularly in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. Since marketing literature primarily focuses on B2C brand strategies, literature on the field constantly overlooks B2B characteristics. This is sorely needed, because, despite massive investments, many acquisitions fail, especially international acquisitions where one faces cross-country differences. This is unsurprising because most companies' M&A considerations do not place much weight on brand strategy, and brand equity is typically not handled very well but is often treated as an after-thought compared to more pressing financial matters (e.g. how rebranding affects stock returns) and operational matters (e.g. descriptions of enablers and barriers to the rebranding process). Previous studies in this field emphasise how to do rebranding. However, they treat the brand itself as a black box —it is only how you execute the B2B rebranding process that is investigated, not which dimensions of the customer's brand knowledge should be prioritised. This is unfortunate, because rebranding an acquired brand without an idea of the desired end result is like navigating without a destination —even if you execute well, you will most likely not end up where you need to be. This paper addresses this gap by providing insights into the significant factors that drive B2B rebranding strategies, focusing on the transfer of brand equity from the acquired B2B brand to the acquiring company's brand.This study was conducted in one B2B firm going through rebranding process in the life science sector. Getinge was founded in 1904 in Sweden and is a global medical technology firm. The company provides equipment and systems in the healthcare and life sciences sector and has become a global leader in the field of Surgical Workflow. The international growth has been possible through incorporating new innovative offerings. These have been both internally developed, but also acquired internationally. A significant number of international acquisitions have been made throughout the years. In 2021 the company employed over 10,000 people worldwide, with products marketed in over 135 countries.Besides being one of the most valued companies in the sector, Getinge was chosen since the firm has initiated a rebranding process after a long-time international growth strategy, including acquisitions of many different international brands. Moreover, since B2B companies commonly rely on corporate, rather than product branding. Getinge is an appropriate choice since this study, therefore, focuses on a company that uses the same name for its company and its products.By examining an in-depth single case study of a multinational B2B company in the life sciences industry, this paper contributes to the research in international rebranding by validating that brand equity is a relevant consideration for B2B rebranding processes. Specifically, it argues that brand awareness transfer plays an essential role during the rebranding process, especially when it comes to external branding. Customers generally accept the new brand if the value proposition remains unchanged. However, they need to be made aware of the change to avoid confusion. Internally by contrast, the most significant challenge seems to be the transfer of brand image. Awareness is easy; during a rebranding process employees immediately become aware of the change. They however exhibit strong opinions for or against rebranding depending on their emotional connections to the old brand.These results extend the theory on international rebranding after M&As by demonstrating that the B2B context requires different prioritizations than consumer goods rebranding. The study shows how various stakeholders respond throughout the rebranding process. Firms can plan their rebranding process in mind that both brand image and brand awareness are important for brand equity during the rebranding process. However, firms need to prioritise one over the other depending on their specific audience (internal and external). Moreover, the realisation that awareness is a crucial success factor in B2B rebranding might help companies leverage brand equity in international M&As.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2023.
Nyckelord [en]
International growth, B2B Rebranding, Brand Acquisition, Customer-Based Brand Equity, Brand Awareness
Nationell ämneskategori
Företagsekonomi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-53447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-53447DiVA, id: diva2:1862681
Konferens
27th McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference, Kalmar, Sweden, August 30 – September 1, 2023
Tillgänglig från: 2024-05-30 Skapad: 2024-05-30 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-07-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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Aagerup, UlfAndersson, SvanteRamos, Manoella Antonieta
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Akademin för företagande, innovation och hållbarhet
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