Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Title: Brand Building – Differences between how business-to-business companies and business-to-consumer companies build their brands.
Authors: Louise Lönnqvist and Sofia Stierna
Supervisor: Svante Andersson
Level: Master thesis, Independent project in business administration (30 credits), Spring 2014
Keywords: Brand, Brand Building, Brand Equity, Business-to-business, Business-to- consumer.
Research questions: Q1: How can the brand building process differ between business-to- business companies and business-to-consumer companies? Q2: How can brand equity differ between business-to-business companies and business-to-consumer companies?
Purpose: The purpose with this study is to investigate the differences between how business- to-business and business-to-consumer companies build their brands. First the differences in the brand building process are going to be investigated. Furthermore, this leads to an investigation in how brand equity differs between business-to-business companies and business-to-consumer companies.
Theoretical framework: The theoretical framework starts with an explanation about what a brand is and an explanation of the differences between business-to-business companies and business-to-consumer companies. Furthermore, relevant theories about the brand building process and brand equity are discussed.
Methodology: A qualitative method and abductive approach were used in order to answer the research questions. Personal interviews were conducted with three business-to-business companies and three business-to-consumer companies in order to get a view over the brand building.
Empirical data: The empirical findings from the six interviews based on the theory are presented.
Analysis: The analysis is based on the theoretical framework together with the empirical data.
Conclusion: We have come up with the conclusion that all companies have their own brand building process and it does not matter if it is a business-to-business company or a business- to-consumer company, no major difference have been found. It is not important exactly how the brand building process looks like and which stages that are included, the key is that companies work with brand building in some way, although more studies are required in order to confirm the results. Furthermore, the two brand equity factors external brand loyalty and perceived quality are more important for business-to-business companies and the business-to-consumer prefer a combination of all the factors.