Antecedents and consequences of brand equity and brand value of business to business environments within the Gauteng province
Schoeman, Wilhelmus Hendrikus
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Branding and consciously aiming for a certain brand identity has been practised for over four centuries. Irrespective of whether it is a business to consumer or business to business environment, marketing and branding are aimed at increasing volume, and therefore revenue, but is also about adding some additional measure of value to the products or services on offer. Brand management practices have existed for decades, but brand equity as a central business concept for many organizations has only really emerged in the past twenty years. Even though there is huge interest in branding with a definite predominance of branding in consumer or business to consumer (B2C) markets, literature indicates that branding, brand equity and brand value in business to business (B2B) environments are handled and experienced differently to the extent that it has received little attention from academics. Therefore the question is firstly to determine the differentiating factors/elements in B2C and B2B environments and; secondly what corresponding factors/elements are there in B2C and B2B environments. The practical application of branding in business to business environment is consequently investigated to assess to what extent businesses are able to create brand value and brand equity. Larger businesses increasingly exhibits trends in recognising the importance of branding and brand names, while small and medium-sized business fare poorest when it comes to harnessing the potential of branding. Yet in the face of a changing business landscape, brought about by the current economic recession sparked by the U.S. subprime crisis of 2007, these businesses are beginning to realise the importance of having a strong brand name in order to achieve not only a sustainable competitive advantage, but also in a quest to remain ahead of the competition. Even though the valuation of brand equity and brand value is discussed, the actual calculation of such valuations does not fall within the scope of this study.
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