Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Transfer of brand knowledge in business-to-business markets: a qualitative study

Gupta, Suraksha, Melewar, TC, Bourlakis, M (2009) Transfer of brand knowledge in business-to-business markets: a qualitative study. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 25 (5). pp. 395-403. ISSN 0885-8624. (doi:10.1108/08858621011058151) (KAR id:53420)


Aim - This paper presents the approach of a one-to-one relationship for branding in business-to-business markets. With qualitative evidence, the paper clarifies the links between branding, relationship marketing and purchase intention of resellers and discusses the contribution of brand personified as brand representatives to the brand knowledge of resellers. The aim of this paper is to understand how this transfer of knowledge by brand personified as representatives of the brand is reflected in the selection process of brand for resale by resellers.

Design/methodology/approach - The theory is used to develop a testable model. Information from the field was gathered through 12 in-depth interviews of brand managers of international IT brands. These interviews helped to give a deeper insight into the topic and contributed to the categorization of different themes to be developed into constructs. Components that emerged from the interviews were from different disciplines and were useful in making linkages between these disciplines.

Findings – Interviewees associated the role of brand personified (as brand representative) as a conduit between brand and resellers. Given the findings, brand when personified as a human can be used to manage reseller relationships in a business-to-business network. The brand personified with its metaphorical properties enables the resellers not only to clearly understand brand-related information but also to make positive evaluations about the brand. Empirical research would be helpful to establish the indicators of brand personification and to enhance the understanding of the concept.


Practical Implications – The study will be useful for senior managers of brands operating in competitive and complex business-to-business networks. It will enable them to use the categories and components to ensure that their brand is the preferred brand for resellers operating in the network.

Originality/value – The approach will be helpful in linking different functions of the organization to measure the contribution made by employees representing the brand to resellers in competitive markets by imparting knowledge about the brand to resellers.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/08858621011058151
Uncontrolled keywords: Brand knowledge, business-to-business, brand representatives, brand relationships, brand value.
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Kent Business School (do not use)
Depositing User: Suraksha Gupta
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 00:15 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Gupta, Suraksha.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.