Strengthening B2B brands by signalling environmental sustainability and managing customer relationships

Mahdi Vesal, Vida Siahtiri, Aron O'Cass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Resource depletion and environmental pollution concerns are forcing manufacturers to pay greater attention to environmental sustainability. This is especially so for business-to-business (B2B) manufacturing firms who intensively use natural resources in their operations and are blamed for observable impacts on the environment. Despite investments in environmental sustainability practices by B2B manufacturers, studies provide little explanation about the extent B2B manufacturers obtain a positive brand image and superior market performance through environmental sustainability. Furthermore, research has not identified organisational practices that strengthen the path from environmental sustainability to market performance. Drawing on signalling theory, the customer relationship management (CRM) literature, attitude theory, and data collected from B2B manufacturers and their customers, we show that environmental sustainability practices provide positive benefits to B2B manufacturers' brand image, which, in turn, impacts market performance. Further, effective CRM and working with business customers with positive environmental attitudes are essential boundary conditions that strengthen the path from environmental sustainability practices to market performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Brand image
  • Customer relationship management
  • customer's environmental attitudes
  • Environmental sustainability

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