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Walk the talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Alenius, Louise LU ; Lidén, Cecilia LU and Johansson, Angelika LU (2016) FEKN90 20161
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Abstract
Title: Walk the Talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Seminar date: 26th of May 2016

Course: FEKN90

Authors: Louise Alenius, Angelika Johansson and Cecilia Lidén

Supervisor: Merle Jacob

Keywords: Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the underlying factors that make up brand positioning strategies for B2B service companies. We also wish to provide a structured overview of how well suited current B2C strategies are to the more complex buying situation that characterizes the B2B field.

Method: In this study, an abductive research approach was chosen in addition to choosing a qualitative method. We... (More)
Abstract
Title: Walk the Talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Seminar date: 26th of May 2016

Course: FEKN90

Authors: Louise Alenius, Angelika Johansson and Cecilia Lidén

Supervisor: Merle Jacob

Keywords: Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the underlying factors that make up brand positioning strategies for B2B service companies. We also wish to provide a structured overview of how well suited current B2C strategies are to the more complex buying situation that characterizes the B2B field.

Method: In this study, an abductive research approach was chosen in addition to choosing a qualitative method. We conducted semi-structured interviews with CEO’s and other people with strategic responsibility in the management consultant industry. Four companies and a total of seven interviews were held in the respondents’ offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. For the analysis, pattern making and a cross-case synthesis were used. Trustworthiness and authenticity were chosen as methods of quality assurance.

Theoretical perspective: For the literature review undertaken in this study, both traditional and more contemporary theories were used to ensure a wide perspective. Authors such as Ries and Trout (1981) with their thoughts about positioning in the mind of the prospect as well as Porter’s (1980) generic strategies account for the historical context, while Urde and Koch’s five schools of positioning including brand and market orientations and Attia and Hooley as well as Mülbacher et al.’s approaches to positioning with a focus on internal resources represent the contemporary aspect.

Empirical foundation: Solely primary data was used in this study. Data was recorded through the interviews with the respondents and later transcribed, coded and analysed.

Conclusion: There is an inconsistency in how companies and the academia interpret the term ‘positioning’, and a framework that is entirely suitable for B2B companies is lacking. It is therefore difficult for the studied companies to design positioning strategies. Porter’s (1980) differentiating strategy is present among our studied companies, in addition to the brand orientation and the holistic perspective as described by among others Urde and Koch (2014) and Mülbacher et al. (1994). The reason these theories are represented is due to the contextual dependence, which is high in our case with a knowledge intensive industry, customized services, a service offering and a B2B field. However the factors used to differentiate the company, differ significantly and all these factors are presented in a new framework for B2B positioning factors. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Abstract
Title: Walk the Talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Seminar date: 26th of May 2016

Course: FEKN90

Authors: Louise Alenius, Angelika Johansson and Cecilia Lidén

Supervisor: Merle Jacob

Keywords: Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the underlying factors that make up brand positioning strategies for B2B service companies. We also wish to provide a structured overview of how well suited current B2C strategies are to the more complex buying situation that characterizes the B2B field.

Method: In this study, an abductive research approach was chosen in addition to choosing a qualitative method. We... (More)
Abstract
Title: Walk the Talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Seminar date: 26th of May 2016

Course: FEKN90

Authors: Louise Alenius, Angelika Johansson and Cecilia Lidén

Supervisor: Merle Jacob

Keywords: Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the underlying factors that make up brand positioning strategies for B2B service companies. We also wish to provide a structured overview of how well suited current B2C strategies are to the more complex buying situation that characterizes the B2B field.

Method: In this study, an abductive research approach was chosen in addition to choosing a qualitative method. We conducted semi-structured interviews with CEO’s and other people with strategic responsibility in the management consultant industry. Four companies and a total of seven interviews were held in the respondents’ offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. For the analysis, pattern making and a cross-case synthesis were used. Trustworthiness and authenticity were chosen as methods of quality assurance.

Theoretical perspective: For the literature review undertaken in this study, both traditional and more contemporary theories were used to ensure a wide perspective. Authors such as Ries and Trout (1981) with their thoughts about positioning in the mind of the prospect as well as Porter’s (1980) generic strategies account for the historical context, while Urde and Koch’s five schools of positioning including brand and market orientations and Attia and Hooley as well as Mülbacher et al.’s approaches to positioning with a focus on internal resources represent the contemporary aspect.

Empirical foundation: Solely primary data was used in this study. Data was recorded through the interviews with the respondents and later transcribed, coded and analysed.

Conclusion: There is an inconsistency in how companies and the academia interpret the term ‘positioning’, and a framework that is entirely suitable for B2B companies is lacking. It is therefore difficult for the studied companies to design positioning strategies. Porter’s (1980) differentiating strategy is present among our studied companies, in addition to the brand orientation and the holistic perspective as described by among others Urde and Koch (2014) and Mülbacher et al. (1994). The reason these theories are represented is due to the contextual dependence, which is high in our case with a knowledge intensive industry, customized services, a service offering and a B2B field. However the factors used to differentiate the company, differ significantly and all these factors are presented in a new framework for B2B positioning factors. (Less)
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author
Alenius, Louise LU ; Lidén, Cecilia LU and Johansson, Angelika LU
supervisor
organization
course
FEKN90 20161
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting
language
English
id
8887473
date added to LUP
2016-09-09 13:52:15
date last changed
2016-09-09 13:52:15
@misc{8887473,
  abstract     = {Abstract
Title: Walk the Talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry

Seminar date: 26th of May 2016

Course: FEKN90

Authors: Louise Alenius, Angelika Johansson and Cecilia Lidén

Supervisor: Merle Jacob

Keywords: Positioning, Differentiation, B2B, Services, Management Consulting

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the underlying factors that make up brand positioning strategies for B2B service companies. We also wish to provide a structured overview of how well suited current B2C strategies are to the more complex buying situation that characterizes the B2B field.

Method: In this study, an abductive research approach was chosen in addition to choosing a qualitative method. We conducted semi-structured interviews with CEO’s and other people with strategic responsibility in the management consultant industry. Four companies and a total of seven interviews were held in the respondents’ offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. For the analysis, pattern making and a cross-case synthesis were used. Trustworthiness and authenticity were chosen as methods of quality assurance. 

Theoretical perspective: For the literature review undertaken in this study, both traditional and more contemporary theories were used to ensure a wide perspective. Authors such as Ries and Trout (1981) with their thoughts about positioning in the mind of the prospect as well as Porter’s (1980) generic strategies account for the historical context, while Urde and Koch’s five schools of positioning including brand and market orientations and Attia and Hooley as well as Mülbacher et al.’s approaches to positioning with a focus on internal resources represent the contemporary aspect. 

Empirical foundation: Solely primary data was used in this study. Data was recorded through the interviews with the respondents and later transcribed, coded and analysed. 

Conclusion: There is an inconsistency in how companies and the academia interpret the term ‘positioning’, and a framework that is entirely suitable for B2B companies is lacking. It is therefore difficult for the studied companies to design positioning strategies. Porter’s (1980) differentiating strategy is present among our studied companies, in addition to the brand orientation and the holistic perspective as described by among others Urde and Koch (2014) and Mülbacher et al. (1994). The reason these theories are represented is due to the contextual dependence, which is high in our case with a knowledge intensive industry, customized services, a service offering and a B2B field. However the factors used to differentiate the company, differ significantly and all these factors are presented in a new framework for B2B positioning factors.},
  author       = {Alenius, Louise and Lidén, Cecilia and Johansson, Angelika},
  keyword      = {Positioning,Differentiation,B2B,Services,Management Consulting},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Walk the talk! B2B Positioning Strategies in the Management Consultant Industry},
  year         = {2016},
}