Master of Business Administration Executive
Faculty / School
Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
Year of Award
MBA Executive Research Project
Ever wondered what is the difference in the way business managers perceive brands like Apple and Siemens? While the former is a source of psychic satisfaction and it is almost imperative for every individual, whoever can afford; to buy one of these agents of divine pleasure, the latter is just a manufacturer of industrial goods, goods which are bought based on the purely objective assessment of the offers made by competing suppliers. What is intriguing here is that an individual, who may have just bought an exorbitantly expensive smart phone for no additional tangible benefits, all of a sudden converts into a perfectly rational machine while making the purchase decision for an upcoming capital investment. It just doesn't add up! The very belief that B2B buying is purely rational and objective is the topic of this research. The whole study was broken down in two parts: the first part attempted to gather statistical evidence and draw conclusions on the rational versus emotional debate while the second part was focused on analyzing the significance of knowing the needs and expectations of the target customers and providing value to the customers that they really 'Value'.
This research proved statistically that contrary to the popular belief, buying behavior In B2B markets is a mix of rationality and emotions. Research found out that B2B buyers do have brand loyalties which are dictated by their past experiences with particular brands. This loyalty, however, is not absolute and buyers may abandon their preferences especially when faced with cheaper alternatives. It was also evident that buying is a more emotional experience in B2B markets as it involves a greater amount of personal risk. Buyers run the risk of losing their professional credibility and reputation if a B2B purchase goes awry, therefore to mitigate this risk- they become more brand conscious especially in instances where a high value or business critical purchase decision is under consideration. The perception of quality was also found to be positively correlated with price however; this correlation was inconsistent when participants were presented with cheaper alternatives, as was also witnessed during the question on loyalty. This is an important inference which clearly manifests the sensitivity of B2B buyers to prices. The significance of brand image was investigated next and It was found that buyers also have loyalties for the brands that they have never used and these loyalties are based on perceptions such as market leadership, perceived quality, trustworthiness and overall positive image.
In the second part of the research, the need for knowing the target customers was analyzed and it was shown statistically that not having sufficient information about the needs and nectations of the target customers can actually be detrimental to the brand image. Based on the conclusions drawn in the first part of the research, it was also shown that the emotional Dart of the human brain takes over the rational part if brand message is communicated cor ectiv Therefore, it is important to pitch personal value, in unison with business value, which risonates more with the influential, emotional mind of the target customer.
Siddiqui, M. Z. (2014). B2B buying-rational or emotional? (Unpublished graduate research project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-emba/304
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