Drivers of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationships: Results from new product launches in the building material distribution channels
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Purpose: Research in marketing has shown that creating value for customer is critical for success. However, the question that remains involves which actor(s) manufacturers should create value for. Different actors within the distribution channel have different purposes and their perceptions of value may vary, with potentially conflicting agendas. Limitations in the existing literature promote the current study, firstly as there is not much understanding of what equals value for channel partners, and secondly because no one has yet developed an integrated framework describing the benefits and sacrifices that drive value for channel partners. In order to add to knowledge about customer value in business relationships, the objective of this research is to explore constructs that drive value for channel partners with a focus on the phenomenon of the new product launch.
Design/methodology/approach: This research adopted an exploratory case study approach. Five case companies – three wood product manufacturers and two building material resellers – were studied. Nine interviews ranging from 90 to 150 munities were conducted with managers who performed various functions in the companies.
Findings: The findings derived from in-depth interviews demonstrate that value for resellers is product-, distribution-, service-, and relationship-related. Brand is identified as a product-related value driver, a fact that has not been emphasised by previous studies. Supplier and reseller have slightly different views on certain value drivers, such as profitability, brand, and cost. Creating value for resellers can be achieved by generating benefits or decreasing the costs incurred in the processes of purchase, warehousing, transportation, selling, and marketing. This study also reveals that value demonstration and communication with channel partners are as important as value creation.
Originality/value: This study examines an important topic of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationship from both supplier and distribution perspectives. It analyses value drivers with a focus on the phenomenon of the new product launch, which is a strategically critical activity for both supplier and reseller.
Customer value, value drivers, wood products, builders’ merchants, building material distribution, distribution channels, new product launches
Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88480DiVA: diva2:604218