Your project proposal must give as much information as possible about what you intend to do and how you will go about it. It must be typed on A4 size paper and contain the following:
1 Your Contact Details
Name, Degree and Class Name, Registration ID Number, email address, phone number where you can be reached during your project work (please provide theses details for every member of the project group).
2 Project Title
Investigation of the Effects of Branding in Business-to-Business Relationships A case of industrial organizations in United Kingdom
3 Purpose of the Project and your Reasons for Choosing it.
The purpose of this project is to investigate and provide an analysis of the industrial branding and business relationship management in order to bring a contribution which will narrow down the gap that exists in B2B branding literature. The project will specifically examine the factors that influence industrial branding that are meant to reduce inconsistencies in the literature and resolve the uncertainties that organizations are likely to face. In addition to this, the project will provide an understanding on whether brands are significant in long-term relations and the role that trust has as a part of the business relationships and emotional brand values that are encountered by organization. Through this study therefore, the researcher will also be able to offer a better understanding of the extent to which organizations should engage and make investments on branding strategies.
4 Project Question(s)
The research question that are linked to the current study is;
In which way does the industrial branding affect the business relations and how can this understanding be used in supporting B2B brand decision making in various relationship stages?
5 Personal Learning Objectives
Through the completion of the current project I intend to learn the significance of branding in B2B related studies and also get an understanding of its significance which will support my ability to work better in future. The other aspect is that I will get to have an understanding on the significance of the trust as a part of the business relationships and emotional brand value.
6 Relevant Past Studies
The past studies that have been done in this area have brought about in relation to the business relations and concept of trust. (Dotzel & Shankar, 2019) has indicated that the relationships that are found in organizations have some differing characteristics as compared to the B2C relationships which includes the aspects such as the fact that B2B relationships are more long term, sophisticated and interdependent. The establishment and maintenance of this relationships should be handled with high priority (Homburg et al., 2013). Cohen (2011) has further brought the statement that the benefits that are linked to long-term relationships can be both tangible in nature which includes such benefits as the financial gains as well as the provision of intangible benefits such as safety and sharing of knowledge. Mäläskä et al. (2011) has brought pout the Interaction model which is aimed at explaining the dynamic relationships that exists between B2B relations and the surrounding in which the actors are embedded in. one of the majorly considered aspects in this model is the interaction process between the various actors which enables for relationships to become long term characteristics. Austin & Seitanidi (2012) has indicated that the business relationships that are encountered in the business world have the potential to grow over time and develop into multiple relationship phases with each including various elements such as the amount of interaction. Dowell et al. (2013) has brought into place a suggestion for the decision of the relationship between businesses into five distinct phases which include the pre-relationship stage, the early stage, the development phase, the long term phase and the final phase. The other model that has been brought out by authors is the termination model of business relationships (Mitrega et al., 2012). This model indicates that to be able to establish a relationship, the concept of reputation has a significant impact. Huo et al. (2015) has indicated that the reputation of a business can lessen the initial uncertainty and cautiousness of other parties for whom it will offer information concerning the possible business partners they will have a relationship with. Whereas on the other hand, an organization’s reputation has the potential to influence the behaviours of partners in the initial phases of a relationship building.
The other concept that is of significance is the relationship value in B2B relationships. Haas et al. (2012) has indicated that the relationship value concept brings a description of the mutual objectives of a b2b relationship to develop value which is considered to be beyond the business reason and exchange of goods. Kramer and Porter (2011) has indicated that the creation of a relationship value is the most significant aspect for a business because of the various benefits that come with it. This includes the ability of the businesses to resist external forces from the economy or the coming with innovative operations that are as a result of sharing knowledge between to businesses. The other concept is the concept of brand equity which has been described by Theurer et al. (2018) to be used interchangeably with brand value. Brand equity consists of five sub concepts that are considered to be significant in relationships in business which are, brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality, brand association and other assets. Brand loyalty has been described by Nam et al. (2011) to exist when customers proceed to buy products even though competitors offer equal or superior products. Brand awareness has been described to be when consumers can identify or remember certain levels of a brand (Guzmán et al., 2012). The perceived quality is the judgement that consumers have of the branded products as compare to the competitive offers that are available in the market. The brand associations are linked to the specific characteristics that are linked to a brand which affects the consumer emotions directly.
7 Sources of Data
The current study will make use of two kinds of data which are the primary data and secondary data. The primary data will be collected through the use of interviews which will be used to collect data from the consumers linked to the company and also the workers that work in the company. This will provide a chance to collect fast hand information. The secondary data will be collected through the review of published articles and books which will support the primary data that has been collected. The second aspect is the use of the internet to collect company information that will be used in the study. The google scholar will be of great assistance too because it will form the source of peer reviewed articles that will be used in the research.
8 Proposed Methodology
The research methodology that will be used in the current research is the qualitative research method which involves the collection of primary data through the use of interviews. Saunders et al. (2007) has indicated that qualitative methodology of data collection is a method of data collection which does not involve the use of numerical numbers. These data that will be collected from the interviews will be analysed together with the concepts and theories mentioned in the literature review to be able to come up with an exclusive conclusion which answers the research questions. The interviews that will be conducted will be conducted with two groups which is the consumer linked to the company and the employees of the company which will provide data for analysis of the study.
9 Anticipated Problems
The problem that is being anticipated in the current study is the difficulty of collecting primary data. This comes about from the fact that currently there is a pandemic which has led to the government restricting social gatherings and encouraging social distancing. This therefore makes it difficult to meet with the study participants and conduct the interviews. This will be countered by making use of the digital form of data collection and holding interviews which is the use video calls. To be able to avoid the inconvenience of the interviewees, each of the individuals that will agree to take part in the study will be asked to choose the time and platform that they would like to be interviewed within a given period of time. The other problem that might be encountered is the fact that some of the participants especially the employees to the organization might not provide all the information that is needed for the research because of fear of being prejudiced against by the organization they work for. This will be tackled by ensuring that the study participants personal information and anything that might disclose their identity is kept away from the study. This will ensure that their anonymity is maintained.
10 Outline of Chapters
This research paper will be structured with six chapters. The first chapter will be the introduction which will provide the background of the study, the description of the problem and provide the purpose and research questions. The second chapter will be the theoretical framework which will provide the overview of the concepts and theories that are linked to brands and brand relationship in relation to the past studies that have been done by other researchers in field. The third chapter will be the methodology which will provide the reader with the method that is used in the study which includes the approach of the research and strategy used, the research design, the reliability and validity and the ethics of the research. The fourth chapter will be the findings and analysis part, which will provide the reader with an outline of the study outcomes. The fifth chapter will be the discussion part which will provide the reader with the discussion of the research findings in relation to the theories and concepts that have been mentioned in chapter two. The last chapter will be the conclusion which will provide the reader with the conclusion of the study which includes the final answer to the research question.
11 Expected Schedule
How long do you expect to take to complete your project? State as precisely as you can:
- the overall time scale, including key milestones;
- the target date for completion of your first two chapters;
- other deadlines which you intend to set yourself;
- when you expect your final draft to be ready, and the target date for completion of your project.
- The entire period is from June to August
2）The first month on the end of June
- Final draft：18/08/2021
12 Group Agreement
If you intend to do your project with one or more other students who are taking the same degree programme as you are, it is important that you discuss at the outset what types of difficulties might arise in group work (e.g. interpersonal communication difficulties, what happens if one member of the group becomes indisposed, or people make different contributions according to their capabilities). Here you should write down the agreement that you have reached, and all members of the group should sign and date this agreement.
Signatures ………………………………………. Date ……17/06/2021………..
The supervisor’s role is to guide you through your project and to monitor your progress. Use the Supervisor Index on the intranet to identify a supervisor who has expertise in the area of your project.
Supervisor’s Name: ………………………………………………………………………………………..
Supervisor’s Signature: ………………………………………………………………………………………..
- Ethics Application
Does your research involve people? Yes/No
Will you be sending out questionnaires? Yes/No
Will you interview people on the telephone or face-to-face? Yes/No
Does your research involve observing people at work? Yes/No
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, please complete an Ethics Application (the form is available on MyPlace) and attach it to this Project Proposal Form.
Austin, J. E., & Seitanidi, M. M. (2012). Collaborative value creation: A review of partnering between nonprofits and businesses. Part 2: Partnership processes and outcomes. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41(6), 929-968.
Cohen, J. A. (2011). Intangible assets: valuation and economic benefit (Vol. 273). John Wiley & Sons.
Dowell, D., Heffernan, T., & Morrison, M. (2013). Trust formation at the growth stage of a business‐to‐business relationship. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal.
Dotzel, T. & Shankar, V., (2019). The Relative Effects of Business-to-Business (vs. Business-to-Consumer) Service Innovations on Firm Value and Firm Risk: An Empirical Analysis. Journal of Marketing, Volume: 83(5), 133-152.
Guzmán, F., Iglesias, O., Hakala, U., Svensson, J., & Vincze, Z. (2012). Consumer‐based brand equity and top‐of‐mind awareness: a cross‐country analysis. Journal of Product & Brand Management.
Homburg, C., Stierl, M., & Bornemann, T. (2013). Corporate social responsibility in business-to-business markets: How organizational customers account for supplier corporate social responsibility engagement. Journal of Marketing, 77(6), 54-72.
Huo, B., Ye, Y., & Zhao, X. (2015). The impacts of trust and contracts on opportunism in the 3PL industry: The moderating role of demand uncertainty. International Journal of Production Economics, 170, 160-170.
Haas, A., Snehota, I., & Corsaro, D. (2012). Creating value in business relationships: The role of sales. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(1), 94-105.
Kramer, M. R., & Porter, M. (2011). Creating shared value (Vol. 17). FSG.
Mäläskä, M., Saraniemi, S., & Tähtinen, J. (2011). Network actors’ participation in B2B SME branding. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(7), 1144-1152.
Mitrega, M., Forkmann, S., Ramos, C., & Henneberg, S. C. (2012). Networking capability in business relationships—Concept and scale development. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(5), 739-751.
Nam, J., Ekinci, Y., & Whyatt, G. (2011). Brand equity, brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Annals of tourism Research, 38(3), 1009-1030.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2007). ‘Research methods for business students’. Prentice Hall.
Theurer, C. P., Tumasjan, A., Welpe, I. M., & Lievens, F. (2018). Employer branding: a brand equity‐based literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(1), 155-179.