An investigation of B-to-B brand value: evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Taiwan

Kaili Yieh, Ching Hsuan Yeh, Timmy H. Tseng, Yi Shun Wang, Yu Ting Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The importance of brand value has been increasingly recognized in business-to-business (B-to-B) marketing settings. Leek and Christodoulides (2012) proposed a comprehensive B-to-B brand value framework based on qualitative examination, which has yet to be quantitatively examined. As such, the objectives of this study are twofold: first, to quantitatively investigate Leek and Christodoulides’ (2012) B-to-B brand value framework and reveal the relative importance of the various attributes/elements; second, to explore whether the attribute/element priority in Leek and Christodoulides’ (2012) value framework differs for various types of buyers with respect to supplier characteristics, environmental factors, and situational factors. The research context is small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan. For industrial marketers, a better understanding of attribute/element priority pertaining to brand value is helpful in terms of marketing efficiency and success probability. Methodology/Approach: Based on data from 22 SME buyers in Taiwan, a cluster analysis was performed to classify SME buyers into different buyer groups based on supplier characteristics, environmental factors, and situational factors, while an analytic hierarchy process was used to indicate the preference structure under different buyer groups. Findings: The results reveal that the functional value items outperformed emotional value ones; further, quality, technology, and after-sales service were the top three elements of brand value. However, the attribute/element priority varied across different buyer groups. In general, the importance of functional value items was greater than that of emotional value items for most SME types. Top attributes/elements that exceeded 10% importance weight were almost all function-related, aside from emotion-related credibility—the primary concern (20.3%) of forced SMEs that held pessimistic perceptions regarding the economic environment, and procured within a highly concentrated market structure. Originality/Value: This research study contributes by indicating the relative importance of brand value attributes/elements in the SME context and examining whether the attribute/element priority varies for distinct types of buyers. Based on the results, a target marketing strategy is provided for B-to-B marketers to effectively design marketing offerings and create brand value for their business buyers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-136
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing

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