Examining relationship marketing and strategic branding in b2b Greek SMEs: A family business development

  • Received January 29, 2022;
    Accepted March 16, 2022;
    Published September 7, 2022
  • Author(s)
  • DOI
    http://dx.doi.org/10.21511/im.18(3).2022.10
  • Article Info
    Volume 18 2022, Issue #3, pp. 110-120
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Α survey of relationship marketing, branding, and the family business life cycle is conducted to determine the extent to which these variables ensure their path to the next generation. The study examines whether interpersonal relationships apply to family SME businesses and how they adopt relationship marketing as their main strategy. The study provides an insightful benchmarking approach between family businesses in early stage (1st and 2nd generation) and well-established (3rd and 4th generation) companies. In addition, the adopted branding process is examined. A qualitative method was chosen for the interviews with five B2B Greek family companies in the trading sector. Family businesses are Greek, have a known brand name, and family members are involved in the decision-making process. All participants agree that personal or friendly relationships of the owner-founder with customers, suppliers, and staff are crucial at the launch of businesses, and growth is a synonym for business survival. Data analysis revealed that relationship marketing is not related to the stages of development, as different perceptions were observed among participants of well-established and companies in the early stage. The results also show a significant relationship between different stages of family business’s development and branding strategies, documenting that owners of well-established family businesses focus on organizational structure and culture. In contrast, owners of family businesses in the early stage rely on personal relationships. Branding strategy seems to be the appropriate approach for a family-owned business to survive in the marketplace and have succeed pass on to the next generations.

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    • Figure 1. Relationship marketing to family businesses
    • Figure 2. Brand from the family company point of view
    • Figure 3. Is family business nature a condition of progress?
    • Table 1. Sample characteristics
    • Conceptualization
      Irene Samanta
    • Data curation
      Irene Samanta
    • Formal Analysis
      Irene Samanta
    • Investigation
      Irene Samanta
    • Methodology
      Irene Samanta
    • Project administration
      Irene Samanta
    • Resources
      Irene Samanta
    • Validation
      Irene Samanta
    • Writing – original draft
      Irene Samanta
    • Writing – review & editing
      Irene Samanta