In order to create unique customer value and stay competitive also in the long run, customer-centric firms need to develop capabilities to identify relevant trends. The scarce existent research, notably on absorptive capacities, and common management practice suggest that customer interactions and internal cooperation increase future readiness. With data from a cross-industry management survey, we confirm that both factors indeed fully mediate the relationship between customer-centric orientation and future readiness. Multi-group structural equation analyses help to specify how organizational factors impact the creation of future readiness and provide rich managerial implications for resource allocation.
Marketing managers are supposed to be highly professional in taking information about markets and customer preferences into account when making strategic decisions. However, following the literature on decision behavior, people constantly engage in identity-based decision making which leads to ignorance of relevant information. In the context of managerial decision making, such behavior might jeopardize a firm's market orientation. In three experiments the authors investigate managers' strategic decisions in marketing when one alternative is somehow related to the identity of the decision maker. The findings show that managers tend to make identity-based decisions and ignore relevant market information. Finally, evidence is demonstrated that managers misleadingly project their self-identity-driven preferences onto the preferences of the consumers which clearly points out a detrimental identity effect with regard to managerial decision making in marketing strategy.
This work is devoted to the question of how managers can successfully probe latent needs and uncover future needs of customers, labeled as proactive customer orientation. Based on an observation of specialized proactive customer-oriented departments, expert interviews, workshops with managers, and a meta-analysis of existing research, two dimensions of proactive customer orientation are defined, proactive customer-oriented climate and proactive customer-oriented processes. New scales are developed for the two constructs, and the reliability, validity, and generalizability of the second-order measurement models are supported by an empirical study of 218 business-to-business firms and 202 business-to-consumers firms
Employee performance plays a vital role for the success of a service brand (Berry 2000; Vallaster and de Chernatony 2005). Other than with product brands, where consumers’ perceptions of a brand derive predominantly from a product’s tangible features, customers’ perceptions of a service brand depend highly on the behavior of front-line staff. It is they, through their demeanor, communications, and actions, who build an image of the service brand in the minds of customers. Of the variables that are likely to elicit brand-building behaviors on the part of front-line workers, effective leadership has been proposed as one of the key driving forces. Specifically, transformational leadership (TFL) as a leadership style oriented toward follower-development has been suggested to be of high value in the context of services brand building efforts (Vallaster and de Chernatony 2005). However, to date no specific attempt has been undertaken to conceptually and empirically substantiate this assumption. The purpose of this research is to explore how transformational supervisors may enhance brand-building behaviors on the part of front-line employees. We attempt to (1) conceptualize a new construct – employee brand building behavior; (2) adopt the concept of TFL to the specific domain of branding; and (3) explain the working mechanisms of the brand-specific transformational leadership process.
The present research project aims to overcome conventional branding theories assuming brand meanings to be under exclusive control by the legal brand owners. Due to the utilization of a practice-theoretical perspective systematic understanding on how and why unintended brand meanings emerge is pursued. The two distinct brand cases Birkenstock and NewBalance are investigated to study the contingency of brand meaning co-optation and contestation. Marketers should be encouraged to detect and prevent momentous brand disruptions.