|Keywords:||B2B SME; Competence Network; Corporate Branding; Corporate Brand Building; Social Sciences; Economics and Business; Business Administration; Samhällsvetenskap; Ekonomi och näringsliv; Företagsekonomi|
|Full text PDF:||http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26745|
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the effects of competence networks on corporate branding in B2B SMEs and to develop a conceptual model of these effects. After reviewing the relevant literature that explores the field, eight components of corporate branding in an effective growth stage of an SME have been identified. Founders Alliance is a competence network in Sweden that was chosen as a case for our study. Representatives of five B2B SMEs within Founders Alliance were interviewed in order to understand what components of corporate branding the competence network influences. The study shows that even though B2B SMEs join competence networks for other reasons than improving their corporate branding, the corporate branding nonetheless is affected. However, the eight components of corporate branding are affected differently. Competence networks have no effect on three out of eight components of corporate branding, namely, controlling the corporate personality, assuring employees’ involvement and maintaining corporate image. Competence networks have possible effects on emphasizing brand-oriented strategic thinking, maintaining corporate identity and maintaining corporate brand communications. Finally, competence networks have an effect on managing corporate branding relationships and monitoring with feedback.