Powerful brands create meaningful images in the minds of customers (Keller, 1993). A strong brand image and reputation enhances differentiation and has a positive influence on buying behaviour (Gordon et al., 1993; McEnally and de Chernatony, 1999). While the power of branding is widely acknowledged in consumer markets, the nature and importance of branding in industrial markets remains under-researched. Many business-to-business (B2B) strategists have claimed brand-building belongs in the consumer realm. They argue that industrial products do not need branding as it is confusing and adds little value to functional products (Collins, 1977; Lorge, 1998; Saunders and Watt, 1979). Others argue that branding and the concept of brand equity however are increasingly important in industrial markets, because it has been shown that what a brand means to a buyer can be a determining factor in deciding between industrial purchase alternatives (Aaker, 1991). In this context, it is critical for suppliers to initiate and sustain relationships due to the small number of potential customers (Ambler, 1995; Webster and Keller, 2004). To date however, there is no model available to assist B2B marketers in identifying and measuring brand equity. In this paper, we take a step in that direction by operationalising and empirically testing a prominent brand equity model in a B2B context. This makes not only a theoretical contribution by advancing branding research, but also addresses a managerial need for information that will assist in the assessment of industrial branding efforts
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