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Abstract

Researchers in disciplines such as sociology, psychology, and management have widely recognized the power of stories. Storytelling research in marketing has been limited in its focus on advertising and branding. Less effort has been made to understand the role of stories in personal selling. The current study explores the role that storytelling plays in the exchange between salesperson and buyer. The authors use qualitative inquiry combined with extensive literature search to examine storytelling by salespeople. Ideas from the humanities, psychology, management, and marketing literature are juxtaposed with insights from depth interviews and field observations of 81 buyers and sellers. Based on these insights the authors identify core themes and a model for storytelling in sales, and point to managerial implications of storytelling.

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... Nevertheless, transportation has been used as a point of departure in several studies examining how consumers process advertising stories, and occurrences of transportation have been shown in this setting (e.g., Brechman & Purvis, 2015;Chang, 2009;Ching et al., 2013;Escalas, 2004b). Transportation among consumers has also been observed as a result of salespeople's storytelling in face-to-face encounters (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). The message form, rather than the aim of the story consumption, thus seems to be the key element in inducing transportation. ...
... This process increases the likelihood of creating counterarguments (Escalas, 2004a). Yet this effect is inverted in the case of narrative transportation, because transportation has been shown to reduce critical thoughts (Brechman & Purvis, 2015;Escalas, 2004a;Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). Presumably, one factor contributing to this is that allowing for critical thoughts (e.g., disagreement with the sender's claims) can interfere with story enjoyment, and such interference is something we expect that most consumers wish to avoid (Söderlund & Sagfossen, 2015). ...
... Given that positive judgments affect purchase intentions positively, it might be assumed that such judgments also have an impact on other consumption-related behavioral intentions. One intention type that occurs with particularly high frequency in the consumer-related literature is word-of-mouth intentions, and it has been suggested that stories are likely to positively impact such intentions (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). The following is thus hypothesized: ...
Article
The persuasiveness of stories and their influence on consumers have been acknowledged in marketing, particularly within the advertising field. In marketing practice, brand stories are increasingly also appearing on product packages. However, packages differ from ads in significant ways as communication channels; for example, the space for messages on a package is limited by the size of the package. This study reports findings from two experiments comparing consumer responses to fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) packages with and without short brand stories. The findings show that even a short brand story included on FMCG packaging has a positive impact on consumers’ affective, attitudinal, product value, and behavioral intention responses to the brand.
... These stories elicit various emotions in the audience (Nie et al. 2017). The storytelling mode of communication has been studied in varied fields including travel (Hsu et al. 2009;Akgün et al. 2015), retail (Gilliam and Zablah 2013;Gilliam and Flaherty 2015), entrepreneurship (Dakoumi and Abdelwahed 2014), branding (Lundqvist et al. 2013) and consumer products (Delgadillo and Escalas 2004). These studies have focused on the narrative as written text (Lundqvist et al. 2013;Akgün et al. 2015) or word of mouth mode of communication (Delgadillo and Escalas 2004;Gilliam and Flaherty 2015). ...
... The storytelling mode of communication has been studied in varied fields including travel (Hsu et al. 2009;Akgün et al. 2015), retail (Gilliam and Zablah 2013;Gilliam and Flaherty 2015), entrepreneurship (Dakoumi and Abdelwahed 2014), branding (Lundqvist et al. 2013) and consumer products (Delgadillo and Escalas 2004). These studies have focused on the narrative as written text (Lundqvist et al. 2013;Akgün et al. 2015) or word of mouth mode of communication (Delgadillo and Escalas 2004;Gilliam and Flaherty 2015). Although these studies undoubtedly advance knowledge in storytelling, they fail to look at it as a tool for marketers and how storytelling in advertisements translates to attitude formation and behavior. ...
... Humans think in narratives Holt and Holt 2004) and hence the storytelling style of advertisement can influence the way consumers think (Zaltman 2003;Wang et al. 2007;Woodside et al. 2008a). By providing information that consumers can positively associate with, these advertisements can guide the audience in the decision-making process (Gilliam and Zablah 2013;Gilliam and Flaherty 2015;Nie et al. 2017). Not every advertisement has a story, and it has been shown that ads with a story are more persuasive than those without one (Kim 2019;Li et al. 2019;Pazzanese 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Storytelling in advertisements has always been recognized as a potent and effective means of branding. However, the core elements of a story that translate to positive consumer attitudes are not fully understood. This study aims at understanding the attitudes of consumers toward storytelling video advertisements that contain humor and drama as their principal elements and how they translate to brand attitudes. Three stimuli-based experimental studies were conducted via Mturk. Study 1 (n = 232) was aimed at understanding the effect of affective reaction and cognitive evaluation on the attitude toward storytelling humorous advertisements. Study 2 (n = 252) considered the effect of the same variables on the attitude toward storytelling dramatic advertisements. Study 3 (n = 284) aimed at understanding the effects of attitude toward humorous and dramatic storytelling advertisements on the attitude toward the brand. Results indicated that the most significant driver of attitude toward humorous storytelling advertisements is affective reaction, whereas cognitive evaluation influences attitude toward dramatic storytelling advertisements. Attitude toward humorous storytelling advertisements contributes more to brand attitude formation than dramatic storytelling advertisements. The results of the study can help marketing executives develop advertisement strategies that can lead to favorable attitudes toward the brands being advertised.
... Nevertheless, transportation has been used as a point of departure in several studies examining how consumers process advertising stories, and occurrences of transportation have been shown in this setting (e.g., Brechman & Purvis, 2015;Chang, 2009;Ching, Tong, Chen, & Chen, 2013;Escalas, 2004b). Transportation among consumers has also been observed as a result of salespeople's storytelling in face-to-face encounters (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). The message form, rather than the aim of the story consumption, thus seems to be the key element in inducing transportation. ...
... This process increases the likelihood of creating counterarguments (Escalas, 2004a). Yet this effect is inverted in the case of narrative transportation, because transportation has been shown to reduce critical thoughts (Brechman & Purvis, 2015;Escalas, 2004a;Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). Presumably, one factor contributing to this is that allowing for critical thoughts (e.g., disagreement with the sender's claims) can interfere with story enjoyment, and such interference is something we expect that most consumers wish to avoid (Söderlund & Sagfossen, 2015). ...
... Given that positive judgments affect purchase intentions positively, it might be assumed that such judgments also have an impact on other consumption-related behavioral intentions. One intention type that occurs with particularly high frequency in the consumer-related literature is word-of-mouth intentions, and it has been suggested that stories are likely to positively impact such intentions (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). The following is thus hypothesized: ...
Chapter
The persuasiveness of stories and their influence on consumers have been acknowledged within the fields of advertising, tourism, and services. Despite these findings, stories have not caught the attention that they deserve in the product and brand literature. Nothing indicates that stories would have less of an effect when applied to brands. It is especially intriguing that stories—of various kinds—have become ubiquitous on product packaging in practice. Yet there are no studies on the effect of such stories on the consumer’s response to the brand. Can it be taken for given that consumers will react more positively to a package when some of the brand information is presented in story form? Packages have limited space and are filled with information required by law, which is not the case for advertisements. Thus, findings from advertising cannot be directly applied to packing. Currently, there is scant empirical research that directly investigates the impact of short brand stories on consumer responses, and such research is particularly lacking on packaging, where stories are ubiquitously used in practice. This study uses a between-subjects experiment to test hypotheses pertaining to the impact of a short brand story communicated on a packaging on consumers’ brand responses. The chapter shows that a company originated short brand story, which is added to the marketing communication of an existing, fast-moving consumer brand packaging produces a higher level of on brand attitude, perceived value, and behavioral intentions as opposed to when no story is present.
... If stories are told to take consumers on an emotional journey (Merchant et al., 2010), it is organizational status as a critical boundary condition upon which narrative transportation impacts the decision maker's attitudinal responses. Although no empirical research has examined the outcomes of narrative transportation in B2B advertising, conceptual frameworks surrounding storytelling have been developed in industrial sales (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015) and retail sales (Gilliam & Zablah, 2013). This lends support to the view that stories can foster narrative transportation or story immersion. ...
... In sales encounters, buyers are wary of overly persuasive and pushy salespeople, so they look for hints and indications that salespeople are trustworthy. Stories are a believable way of communicating those hints and signals to decision makers, which ultimately strengthens the decision maker's trust (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). In this way, stories told about buying and selling experiences can strengthen the ties between the decision maker and the supplier. ...
... Conclusions from this research might also suggest that marketers consider using stories as a way to integrate their marketing communications across both advertising and sales (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). Stories about a company or brand presented through mass media advertising may be referenced in sales presentations to help salespeople more effectively develop a connection with the buyers. ...
Article
This research investigates stories about buyer-seller experiences in B2B advertising. In two studies, the authors explore the impact of stories and narrative transportation in advertising on decision makers’ attitudinal responses. In Study 1, findings from a Fortune 100 company's buyer panel indicate that stories told using narrative advertising were positively related to the decision maker's trust in the supplier, ability to form personal connections with the supplier and the tendency to advocate for the supplier. Moreover, the organizational status of the decision maker (C-suite versus non-C-suite executives) was examined. Results demonstrate that the effect of these relationships were stronger for C-level decision makers than non-C-level decision makers. In Study 2, depth interviews were conducted with C-level decision makers. Findings reinforce results from Study 1 and provide additional insight into C-level decision makers’ perspectives on stories and narrative transportation. Implications for how stories about buyer-seller relationships can benefit organizational decision making are discussed.
... Some studies demonstrate that storytelling is a high performing tool in different contexts (Adamson et al. 2006, Alvarez et al. 2002, Erkas et al. 2007, Gruen 2000, Pera 2017, Zammita et al. 2016). In the sales context, the motivation to use stories is rooted in the fact that stories can be very helpful to inform and persuade customers (Gilliam et al. 2015). Thereby, storytelling becomes more and more important at online advertising and for presenting products or brands on e-commerce platforms (Woodside 2010). ...
... Writing online blogs and telling stories via Twitter are prominent examples for this application. In business context, such as sales and IT development, studies show that storytelling skills are necessary for a positive effect on the success of a story (Gilliam et al. 2015, Gruen 2000. These skills can be learned either by practicing or by taking courses, which convey how to write good stories (Gilliam et al. 2015;Gruen 2000). ...
... In business context, such as sales and IT development, studies show that storytelling skills are necessary for a positive effect on the success of a story (Gilliam et al. 2015, Gruen 2000. These skills can be learned either by practicing or by taking courses, which convey how to write good stories (Gilliam et al. 2015;Gruen 2000). Following Gilliam et al. (2015), on the one hand, trainings can foster good storytelling; on the other hand they can prevent bad storytelling, which is very important for the success of a story. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Storytelling has been used for a long time as a powerful communication tool. In the time of digital transformation storytelling is rediscovered on online platforms for e-commerce or crowdfunding projects. Digital storytelling is also increasingly used in the social media context, including online blogs, on Twitter or in the form of online reviews of services and products. Across all these digital settings, storytelling is used in order to transport a complex content more vividly to the audience and to ensure that the audience remembers the content as long as possible. In these digital forms of storytelling, textual description is frequently supplemented by digital elements like video, pictures or hypertexts. Recognizing importance of these developments, in this paper we provide an overview of existing studies on storytelling with a particular focus on information systems settings.
... The field of organization has a well-established tradition in studying narratives (Weick, 1995;Czarniawska, 2004;Brown et al., 2008;Bartel and Garud, 2009;Fenton and Langley, 2011). But research on the topic remains scarce in marketing globally, in business to business specifically, and even more so in technological innovation in business contexts, despite several recent endeavours (see for example, Lowe and Hwang, 2012;Makkonen et al., 2012;Araujo and Easton, 2012;Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). ...
... Recent efforts focused mainly on the sales side (e.g. Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015) have proved the relevance of using narratives in this context. Additionally, Lacoste and La Rocca (2015) highlight further avenues of research related to narratives in industrial settings and its effects in networks. ...
... Some attempts have been developed to comprehend the use of narratives in sales encounters, Gilliam and Zablah (2013) and Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) explored the usefulness of storytelling to establish bonds between sellers and buyers, finding that sellers that employ stories create a sense of knowledge and expertise of the product and reduce at the same time counter-argumentation. Similarly, Haas et al. (2012) examine the value of narratives within sensemaking processes in the development of sociocognitive constructions of value in business relationships. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The acceleration of technological innovation and the magnitude of its potential impacts on business and society have increased exponentially. Sellers of technologies face the challenge to give sense and legitimise their offer in a context of uncertainty. Technology sellers construct narratives about their technology that often result in a " technological hype ". Buyers and network partners try to read through the " hype " to avoid technological fads. In spite of the importance of this phenomenon, research in industrial marketing has rarely studied narratives and even less so in the context of the adoption of technologies; their construction and appropriation remain an open question. This paper analyses Cisco's campaign tomorrow starts here, with the aim to identify the narrative elements that Cisco uses to give sense to its innovations and the relations between actors and technologies. The examination of the data-set offers a specific description of five narrative strategies (deliberate or unintentional) used by Cisco in its endeavour to give sense, institutionalise and legitimise its offers. The main contribution of the paper is to expand the understanding of the making of marketing strategies of technology companies, reducing the gap between the existent research in industrial marketing regarding narratives and business relationships.
... The communication style used by salespeople is a relevant dimension of verbal communication; Williams and Spiro (1985) argue that salespeople are more effective if they match their own communication style to that of the buyer. Another interesting approach to adapting how a message is communicated (without necessarily changing the message content) is the use of storytelling (e.g., Gilliam and Flaherty 2015;Gilliam and Zablah 2013). Couching persuasive communication within stories may heighten the attention of buyers and may help buyers relate better to the salesperson. ...
... Nor would the use of self-reports be appropriate. Measuring the nature or characteristics of stories used in interactions is difficult and should use direct observation, video recordings, or buyer perceptions (Gilliam and Flaherty 2015). Salesperson communication style can be determined using the measures of Williams and Spiro (1985). ...
... In terms of how communications are transmitted, research on the display of emotions and other nonverbal communications by salespeople is limited, particularly in sales settings; thus, this topic remains wide open to sales researchers. Similarly, other topics discussed have received only limited research in the sales domain, including displayed affect (e.g., Marinova, Singh, and Singh 2018), storytelling (e.g., Gilliam and Flaherty 2015), the use of personal pronouns (e.g., Packard, Moore, and McFerran 2018), the use of the buyer's name, and the effects of the salesperson moderating his or her communication style (Williams and Spiro 1985). In addition, as suggested by a knowledgeable reviewer, the interaction effects between verbal and nonverbal elements of the transmission would be of interest. ...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive selling theory is one of the most important topics studied in the marketing literature. Professor Weitz and colleagues are responsible for foundational research on this topic. Weitz conceptualized adaptive selling at both the macrolevel (treating it as a single construct) and at the microlevel, where he delineates five specific steps that constitute the adaptive selling process. While research exists at both levels, most research has focused on theory development using Weitz’s macrolevel conceptualization. Thus, rich avenues for future research exist for microlevel adaptive selling theory. This article first draws a conceptual distinction between macrolevel and microlevel adaptive selling research. Next, it recommends strategies for measurement at both levels. Finally, using the ISTEA model, this article organizes divergent research into a microlevel framework and a research agenda with specific questions for future research is developed.
... If stories are told to take consumers on an emotional journey (Merchant et al., 2010), it is organizational status as a critical boundary condition upon which narrative transportation impacts the decision maker's attitudinal responses. Although no empirical research has examined the outcomes of narrative transportation in B2B advertising, conceptual frameworks surrounding storytelling have been developed in industrial sales (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015) and retail sales (Gilliam & Zablah, 2013). This lends support to the view that stories can foster narrative transportation or story immersion. ...
... In sales encounters, buyers are wary of overly persuasive and pushy salespeople, so they look for hints and indications that salespeople are trustworthy. Stories are a believable way of communicating those hints and signals to decision makers, which ultimately strengthens the decision maker's trust (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). In this way, stories told about buying and selling experiences can strengthen the ties between the decision maker and the supplier. ...
... Conclusions from this research might also suggest that marketers consider using stories as a way to integrate their marketing communications across both advertising and sales (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). Stories about a company or brand presented through mass media advertising may be referenced in sales presentations to help salespeople more effectively develop a connection with the buyers. ...
Chapter
Past academic research addressing storytelling has mainly been approached from the business-to-consumer (B2C) context. These studies have credited stories as a fundamental source for emotional buying behavior in consumers. Although storytelling has the ability to evoke greater emotions in consumers, marketing research has not examined its application in the business-to-business (B2B) context, particularly within the advertising realm. Drawing on the B2C literature, this study offers an exploratory examination of the benefits of storytelling in B2B advertising. The authors reveal that stories told to organizational buyers foster a deeper, emotional connection to the selling firm. Results directly indicate that there is indeed power in telling stories to members of the buying center because it influences their purchase behavior and decision-making process. We also demonstrate that there is significance in telling stories to organizational buyers who have been historically thought of as purely rational beings. In fact, our findings debunk the notion that organizational buyers respond to marketing communications on the basis of economic value alone. At the heart of this research, we establish that storytelling can be fruitful in B2B advertising.
... Language serves to inform, persuade, entertain and even transport consumers during the sales encounter (Escalas, 2007;Otnes et al., 2012;Webster and Sundaram, 2009). Sales researchers have looked at specific aspects of language including powerless language (Areni and Sparks, 2005), the structural and grammatical nature of language (Areni, 2003), and social and face tending behaviours (Campbell and Davis, 2006) but have not yet thoroughly examined stories or metaphors (Boozer, et al. 1990; Gilliam and Flaherty 2015;Van Enschot and Hoeken, 2015). Salespeople are left to use stories and metaphors as best they can despite their explanatory power. ...
... Stories and metaphors are distinct constructs but share notable powers of sensemaking, listener engagement and rapid product description. Stories chronologically and causally relate events in a plausible and compelling manner (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). Thus, salespeople can use stories to quickly gain attention and memorably explain products or services Stories and metaphors in retail selling (McAdams, 1993;Schank and Berman, 2002). ...
... Stories and metaphors each influence information processing in their own way as they tap into consumer's existing schemas; this can impact memory, affect, attitudes, intentions and behaviours in the consumers' purchase process (Escalas, 2007;Kim et al., 2012;Puccinelli et al., 2009;Shen et al. 2015).This may apply to prepurchase and purchase stage behaviours of need recognition, consideration and choice (Lemon and Verhoef, 2016). Stories should also prove effective in service recovery efforts in the postpurchase stage (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015;Voorhees et al., 2017). ...
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose future directions for research into stories and metaphors as concise communication tools that are particularly salient for the fast pace of today’s retail sales environment. Design/methodology/approach A cross disciplinary approach is taken to propose new avenues for sales communication research. Findings This work highlights research possibilities into the contextually sensitive constructs of stories and metaphors with associated theoretical approaches. This could improve research into stories and metaphors as communication techniques for retail selling. Research limitations/implications The findings indicate that stories and metaphors are highly engaging sensemaking tools that salespeople can use in retail sales encounters. The lack of existing literature within the sales domain suggests a significant learning curve in demarcating the use of these tools. Practical implications Stories and metaphors are presently used by salespeople but without the benefit of extensive scientific understanding. This paper builds a foundation for research that could bring clarity to the use of these tools in retail selling. Originality/value Researchers will benefit from a finer grained conceptualization with which to examine sales communication. The proposed research should get sales practitioners a clearer understanding of using stories and metaphors in sales encounters.
... Brands are central assets for business firms (Dabirian et al., Forthcoming;Ducan et al., Forthcoming;Seyedghorban et al., 2016), but the understanding of the role of narratives in branding strategies is still limited. The rare investigations have tended to focus on the impact of narratives on, and their use by, audiences (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015;Lowe and Hwang, 2012;Wallnöfer and Hacklin, 2013). Simakova and Neyland (2008) proposed a rare foray into the issue of narrative making in a business-to-business (B2B) context. ...
... To offer a fine-grained explanation of various phenomena, organization studies, strategy and marketing researchers (Cayla and Arnould, 2013;Czarniawska, 2004;Fenton and Langley, 2011;Vaara et al., 2016) have resorted to narrative theory. In B2B marketing, research has focused on the innovation process (Araujo and Easton, 2012), investment decisions (Wallnöfer and Hacklin, 2013), sales relationships (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015), and the formation of identities within business networks (Lowe and Hwang, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose With the rise of digital media and content marketing, business-to-business (B2B) technology firms increasingly use narratives in their marketing strategy. If research has studied the impact of narrative on audiences, the structuration of the narrative strategies is still an overlooked area. The purpose of this paper is to understand the structuration of narrative strategies. Design/methodology/approach Authors studied the cases of narratives on the Internet of Things produced by two leading technology firms, IBM and Cisco, between 2012 and 2016. Material includes advertising campaigns, blogs, written customer cases, white papers, public speeches and selling discourses. Findings The research highlights the importance of metanarratives as the core of the structuration of seemingly different contents. It also shows how firms tap into fundamental mythic archetypes and broader sociocultural narratives to try and legitimate the emerging technology. Finally, research also introduces the concept of transmedia strategy and illustrates its use by the two firms studied. Research limitations/implications The results are based on only two cases of multinational firms, limiting the generalization of the findings. Practical implications The results of the research may encourage firms to use more narrative branding strategies. They also offer directions for the key elements to manage when elaborating a narrative strategy (defining key metanarratives, identifying and using broader sociocultural narratives, designing a transmedia strategy). Originality/value The paper is among the first to try to understand the structuration of narrative branding strategies. While exploratory, it contributes to research on B2B branding and digital branding by bringing the narrative into B2B branding research.
... Stories are particularly useful from a sales perspective. In a study of professional sales professionals, Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) found that stories can be used for a variety of purposes such as to persuade, inform, and build bonds with the customer. Many salespeople also use personal stories as ice breakers when meeting with a client for the first time. ...
... Similarly, one might also not want to begin a collaborative relationship with business stories. As one veteran buyer in the study noted: "If they come in for a first meeting and start sharing their successful stories with what they have done with company xyz, I'm not with them" (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). Still, success stories can be more effective than facts and evidence for the purpose of persuasion (Dal Cin, Zanna, & Fong, 2004), and is a valuable tool for sharing the value of your research to organizational stakeholders (Sinar & Grubb, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research collaborations are two-way streets. To obtain support from organizations, academics must communicate the value of their research projects to the stakeholders. In their focal article, Lapierre et al.(2018) described this process as the academic "sales pitch", one that must be "short yet attention grabbing" (p.20). Academic research in industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology, however, is rooted in esoteric jargon (e.g., validity and reliability) and unconvincing evidence (e.g., r and r²) (Highhouse, Brooks, Nesnidol, & Sim, 2017; Rynes, 2009). These concepts are difficult for non-academics to understand and may even undermine the value of our work (Brooks, Dalal, & Nolan, 2014; Kuncel & Rigdon, 2012; Mattern, Kobrin, Patterson, Shaw, & Camara, 2009). CEOs and other senior leaders often have limited time, attention, and expertise to process your pitch: A bad one could effectively derail the collaboration before it even began.
... Storytelling encompasses the social and cultural activity of sharing stories. Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) explore the role that storytelling plays in the exchange between salesperson and buyer. They found that stories are informative and interactive, providing a useful tool for information exchange. ...
... Stories can also be persuasive, as the salesperson seeks to convince buyers. Lacoste and La Rocca (2015) comment on the paper by Gilliam and Flaherty (2015), arguing that buyers actively participate in the storytelling process by initiating, interrupting and complimenting stories. Storytelling may help buyers pursue their role of adding value to the marketing of the organization. ...
Article
In this article we explore a key challenge in the innovation process around how an innovation might be articulated and communicated in organizations. Articulating innovative ideas, refining them, drawing others into the vision and gaining their support is a key part of this process. It is essentially a process of “storytelling”— constructing and sharing stories that reflect on personal experiences and involvement in the innovation process. This paper is based on managers' own perceptions about storytelling throughout the innovation process. Twenty‐nine semi‐structured interviews were conducted with innovation managers and other senior managers from UK construction/infrastructure project‐based firms. The findings demonstrate that storytelling is essential for presenting innovative ideas and getting interest and support from others. It also plays a key role in motivating organizational members to innovate, and in promoting innovation success stories more widely. It is through storytelling that the image of firms as being and becoming “innovative” is constructed.
... The deliberative route emphasizes a thorough evaluation of information compared against preexisting knowledge (Cacioppo, Petty, Kao, & Rodriguez, 1986;Cialdini, Petty, & Cacioppo, 1981) and appeals to the cognition of the information processor . Persuasion is enhanced when the evidence presented by the SP is judged to be timely and accurate (Agnihotri, Rapp, & Trainor, 2009;Keillor et al., 1999;Malthouse, Haenlein, Skiera, Wege, & Zhang, 2013;Mohr & Nevin, 1990;Palmatier, Dant, Grewal, & Evans, 2006), and counterarguments are mitigated (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015), engaging the rational thought process. Information content and SP diligence underscore the transactional effectiveness of this approach to communication. ...
... In addition, emotional appeals exert their functional influence at an abstract global (vs. concrete transactional) level (Rust, Lemon, & Zeithaml, 2004;Ulaga & Eggert, 2006), at which imagery impressions are created (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). ...
Article
The importance of communication skills of the salesperson (SP) on buyer satisfaction is fait accompli. However, how various facets of listening, along with the core components of SP’s communication (i.e., content and diligence) contribute to the value creation process is poorly understood. The current research presents a conceptual framework to explain these effects and tests the model empirically. The authors conceptualize a framework for how critical aspects of SP’s communication with customers differentially influence imagery versus transactional value creation. This process is explained with an application of the dual process theory. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theorized pathways within a sample of buyers of a large manufacturing firm in the United States. Results exhibit that while various facets of listening differentially contribute to the two value types, the core aspects of SP’s communication mainly effect transactional value creation. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed.
... Kronolojik bir sırada birbiriyle ilişkili olaylar ve sonuçlardan oluşan bir öykü olarak ifade edilen hikaye (Delgadillo & Escalas, 2004), insanların hayatındaki önemli noktalara ve duygulara dokunabilmektedir. Hikayelerdeki göstergelerle (yer, karar, davranış, tutum, sonuçlar vb.) dinleyicilerin farkında olmasına, yoğunlaşmasına, empati kurmasına, kendi hayatıyla karşılaştırmasına ve anlatılanları hatırlamasına imkan veren hikaye anlatımı (Woodside, 2010), sosyoloji ve psikoloji gibi disiplinlerde etkili bir anlatım yöntemi olarak kabul görmektedir (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). ...
... Güncel dijital ve mobil pazarlama iletişimi ortamı da, hikaye anlatımının ana iletişim stratejilerinden biri olarak kullanılmasını desteklemektedir. Müşterilerin, hikayeler aracılığıyla satın alma kararlarıyla ilgili bilgi edinmesi (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015) ve markalarla etkileşim kurabilmesi söz konusudur (González vd., 2017). El yapımı ayakkabı markası Josefinas, her yeni ürünü için değerleri, yaşam tarzını, duyguları ve arzuları hikayelerle anlatmıştır. ...
... Some scholars research the participation of the recipient in the story, like the incorporation of the recipient's evaluation in storytelling (Norrick, 2010;Bertrand & Espesser, 2017), the questions of recipients (Koike, 2009), etc. The functions of storytelling also draw much attention, like functions in advertisement (Harris, 2007), in sales industry (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015), in family communication (Thorson, Rittenour, Kellas, &Trees, 2013;Frude & Killick, 2011) etc. Also in storytelling the speaker tends to display some affective stance (Voutilainen et al., 2014), such as anger, especially in complaint stories, so the recipient will respond accordingly, sometimes with complaint stories of their own to make affiliation with the speaker's affect (Selting, 2010;Selting, 2012). ...
... The study of Theobald (2016) shows how children manage interaction in storytelling and how children invoke and accomplish competence in their interaction. Based on the study on storytelling in advertisement by Harris (2007) and other scholars, Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) investigate the role of storytelling in personal selling, core themes and a model for storytelling in sales are identified in their study. Thorson et al. (2013) examine how individual's satisfaction as well as the ways they negotiate the telling of a family story are combined to predict their perceived quality of the storytelling interaction, to construct identity and culture. ...
Article
Conversational narrative or storytelling is a prevalent activity in everyday talk. This paper, drawing on the speech act theory and conversational analysis methodology, examines the conversational storytelling in performing a few types of illocutionary acts like assert, warn, object, advise in Chinese everyday talk. It is found that storytelling plays several significant roles in performing some types of illocutionary acts, i.e. to make a point, to build rapport among friends and even to reduce the face threat. Conversational storytelling may occur immediately after the expression of an illocutionary act, and sometimes before it to indicate certain illocutionary force.
... Narratives in marketing have been used in four different fronts: selling narratives, strategical insights, innovation and product development. The literature in selling narratives focuses on comprehending the role of stories in personal selling, their impacts in the buyer-seller exchange and their effect in the network (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015;Lacoste and La Rocca, 2015;Makkonen et al., 2012;Araujo and Easton, 2012). Among the benefits found in the literature, we emphasise the virtue of narratives to transport the audience (Green and Brock, 2000;Polleta et al., 2011) engaging the audience and reducing counter arguments from the buyer side (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). ...
... The literature in selling narratives focuses on comprehending the role of stories in personal selling, their impacts in the buyer-seller exchange and their effect in the network (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015;Lacoste and La Rocca, 2015;Makkonen et al., 2012;Araujo and Easton, 2012). Among the benefits found in the literature, we emphasise the virtue of narratives to transport the audience (Green and Brock, 2000;Polleta et al., 2011) engaging the audience and reducing counter arguments from the buyer side (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). Furthermore, recent studies developed by Cayla and Arnould (2013) and Cayla et al. (2014) prove the contributions of narratives to ethnography and their functionality to obtain market insights. ...
Conference Paper
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The number of technological disruptions increases as do the rhythm of their development and the magnitude of their business and economic consequences. Despite the significance of the phenomenon, the number of works on this topic remains comparatively limited in business marketing. Latest technological trends and the rise of so called intelligent, autonomous and connected products, have been presented as the new industrial revolution. Nevertheless, few attempts have been made in recent years to offer a comprehensive and critical appraisal of the knowledge on technological adoptions. This paper constitutes an effort to put together the fragmented body of research on marketing implications on the adoption of technologies in industrial markets setting. The purpose of the paper is to propose a critical review of research on technology adoption; to this aim, we analyse studies conducted in business marketing to show their contributions and limitations to what we add an overview of research conducted in other areas (organ-isation, strategy, information system). We identify research avenues that open research on technology adoption in business markets to sociocultural perspectives that could be a springboard for future works.
... individual-derived stories told in organizations (Martin, Feldman, Hatch, & Sitkin, 1983;Reissner, 2011); storytelling to customers by salespeople (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015); and corporate storytelling about people, strategies, and policies to internal and external stakeholders (Dowling, 2006;Gill, 2015;Marzec, 2007). This study builds on the latter level of analysis and explores how organization-driven stories influence employees' attitudes toward BDA. ...
Article
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The emergence of big data analytics (BDA) has posed opportunities as well as multiple challenges to business practitioners, who have called for research on the behavioural factors underlying BDA adoption at the individual level. The purpose of this study is to extend the information systems (IS) research on storytelling and to explore the role and characteristics of deliberate storytelling in individual‐level BDA adoption. This case study used the grounded theory approach to extract qualitative data from 24 interviews, field notes, and documentary data. The explicit contributions of the study to the literature include (a) increasing our understanding of the facilitating role of deliberate storytelling in individual‐level BDA adoption, (b) identifying four deliberate storytelling patterns and seven underlying corporate stories disseminated by organizations to influence individual behaviour, and (c) defining the core characteristics of effective deliberate storytelling. This study has multiple implications for business practitioners and demonstrates how deliberate storytelling can be used as a facilitating mechanism in daily business practice.
... Pulizzi, 2012; Hamond, 2017) research into the role of storytelling in retailing has been more limited. That said, Gilliam and Zablah (2013) suggested that product stories told from a business point of view were likely to be most effective in influencing customers' purchasing intentions in one-time sales encounters, while Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) explored the role that storytelling plays in the exchange between salesperson and buyer. Erickson and Carlsson (2014) revealed that slow fashion retailers were using storytelling to communicate their ideology to customers. ...
... At this point in the interview process, 22 interviews capturing 36 unique experiences were completed. Size of the sample and process followed are typical for qualitative inquiry (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015;Hughes et al., 2012;Pryor et al., 2013). The overall research process utilized is depicted in Figure 1, and the interview configurations and quotes representative of the coding scheme can be found in the web Appendix. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the entrepreneurial practice of intellectual capital sharing (ICS) with client organizations and assess its potential for collaborative business-to-business (B2B) relationship building. B2B collaborations within the traditional marketing paradigm are restricted due to perceived opportunism. Design/methodology/approach The research is based on the grounded theory approach and involves 22 semi-structured interviews with the employees of a focal organization and its five client organizations regarding 36 implemented projects. Interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed via constant comparison to surface codes, categories, concepts and themes from which the authors developed propositions based on the particular context of this study. Findings ICS approach helps customers to reconstruct sellers’ identity from one characterized by opportunism and arm’s length relationships to one defined by openness and collaboration. Identified benefits of ICS include higher trust, commitment, social bonding, value co-creation, individual and organizational performance and learning. Eight propositions and a model of ICS consequences are presented. Research limitations/implications The context of the study is limited to a single industry – financial services – however, the findings should be highly relevant for other sales contexts characterized by low buyer trust. Practical implications Entrepreneurial marketers can engage in ICS approach quickly at minimal cost, as the capabilities and talent are typically already internal to the organization. Originality/value This paper examines a unique relational approach to serving clients called ICS that de-emphasizes the sale. Subject matter experts help buyers overcome challenges outside the scope of the traditional marketing paradigm.
... The use of narratives has been studied in industrial settings under the lens of sales, innovation and co-creation. Gilliam and Zablah (2013) and Gilliam and Flaherty (2015) examine the use of storytelling in commercial exchanges, showing that sellers that are engaged with the narrative style are able to demonstrate a sense of knowledge and expertise with the product offered, therefore, counter-argumentation is reduced and have impacts in the development of commercial bonds. ...
Conference Paper
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The introduction of new technologies raises a set of doubts concerning the relationships that need to be established with other actors in the business network to obtain the expected benefits. Therefore, managers develop mental representations known as network pictures aiming to comprehend possible interactions between actors, resources, activities and environmental factors which serve as a blueprint for strategic development. The existent literature focuses primarily on how managers utilise network pictures as a retrospective tool to analyse current business relationships that allow to determine improvements or the establishment of new business relationships. Nevertheless, previous research does not explore widely the construction of the network pictures per se and the power of conscious influences exerted by external actors. This paper argues that the construction of network pictures can be intentionally guided by sellers through narratives, allowing the creation of fictional scenarios where interactions between actors, resources, times and boundaries are exemplified in a subtle way. In this way, network pictures can be considered as a prospective tool that allows foreseeing possible interactions. The aim of this papers is to enhance the comprehension of network pictures and how its construction can be manipulated through narratives, enhancing technological diffusion in benefit of the seller interests. Taking the case of Cisco's strategy Tomorrow starts here and There's never a better time, this study exemplified how narratives are able to create fictional scenarios where multiple relationships are depicted, facilitating the development of initial network pictures.
... For example, Gilliam and Zablah (2013) explored the effect that different types of stories have on consumers' purchase intentions regarding onetime sales encounters. Gilliam and Flaherty's (2015) qualitative study found that salespeople use stories with the purpose of transferring information, establishing credibility, persuading and making buyers more comfortable and communicative. ...
Article
We have all listened to and told stories. People are captivated by good stories since they have the power to translate us into new worlds and enable us to live the lives of others. In addition, our thoughts and emotions seem bound by the structure of stories. However, not only do consumers interpret their exposure to and experiences with brands through stories, but stories can persuade and strength the brand. Nowadays, companies are making efforts to build their brands through storytelling. After reviewing the concept of story and some of the impacts that arise from storytelling, this exploratory research analyses the use of this practice by Spanish companies from six different sectors. Content analysis is applied to identify differences among companies that use or do not use storytelling, and the characteristics and elements used in 104 stories from 247 websites are analyzed. Additionally, through a cluster analysis, four different groups of stories are identified. The results show the main objectives of the stories, the plots and the archetypes used, among other aspects. Nevertheless, storytelling is underused by most Spanish companies and there is room to increase the quality of stories. Managerial implications of these findings are also discussed.
... Marketing studies have previously examined storytelling in advertising (Escalas and Stern, 2003), branding (Woodside et al., 2008), and personal selling (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). Storytelling is commonly studied in contrast with informational content (Edell and Staelin, 1983;Fu et al., 2012). ...
Social networking in the form of online communities and social groups is a characteristic of social media communication that has profound implications on the identity dynamics and behavior of social media users. Drawing from social identity theory, this research brings the social identity construct (i.e., followers' perception of the self in relation to the influencer community) to the literature on influencer marketing and examines the effect of followers' social identity, along with their interest fit and the influencer's opinion leadership, on their purchase intention. This research also examines the moderating role of storytelling, a pervasive approach of social media influencers, in enhancing the social identity-purchase intention link. Empirical results from 467 Instagram users show that all three factors positively impact followers' intention, but social identity has a more salient effect than the others. Storytelling posts can enhance these effects. Studying influencer marketing through the social identity angle contributes to a better understanding of influencer marketing effectiveness.
... Along these same lines, Evans et al. (2012) argued that salesperson credibility is a powerful moderator, impacting the effectiveness of rational SITs on performance outcomes. In terms of how salespeople can establish credibility, research is sparse, with the recent exceptions of Gilliam and Flaherty (2015), who argue that one purpose of storytelling is for salespeople to establish credibility by building bonds with buyers, and Arndt et al. (2014), who note that salespeople build credibility by discussing their credentials (e.g., education, experience, etc.) and signaling benevolence (e.g., expressing interest in the well-being of the customer). Future research could examine, for example, the role of asking intelligent questions to signal expertise. ...
Article
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To advance research on salesperson influence tactics (the means through which salespeople persuade buyers), scholars need strong measures. We update the existing theoretically derived taxonomy of seller influence tactics (SITs), improving definitions and measurement of the original six SITs and adding a seventh influence tactic, personal appeals, to the taxonomy. The article begins by reviewing the broader persuasion and influence literature and then, more specifically, the interpersonal influence literature. The SITs taxonomy is placed in context of this literature and specific recommendations are made, including the suggested use of this taxonomy in sales research. A multistage process was used to update the measures, including a literature review, feedback of domain experts, several rounds of pretests, and a final study using 322 professional buyers to evaluate measurement characteristics and establish nomological validity for the updated SITs taxonomy. Through this work, we have broadened the appeal of the SITs framework by incorporating a new influence tactic, which will be of interest to sales researchers, and provided updated definitions of the constructs and improvements to the items used for each influence tactic. Strong arguments support the use of the SITs taxonomy versus alternative taxonomies, giving researchers confidence in their use.
... In relation to new product development, such activities amount to 'executing' innovation (Ernst et al., 2010). Sales have then the important function of communicating a novel offering to customers (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). In B2B markets, sales often support the deployment of a new solution in customers' operations, which may include adapting the offering to the needs of specific customers (Brito, 2011;Terho, Eggert, Haas, & Ulaga, 2015). ...
Article
Developing new products, and customer involvement in the process, have been frequent topics in the management literature. Focusing on the benefits and risks of customer involvement, prior research mostly black-boxed the process through which customers are involved. Little has been reported on the activities and timing related to customer involvement in new product development (NPD), and the literature provides limited guidance for how to orchestrate customers' involvement. Building on a longitudinal case study of the development of a new product over five years, we offer a comprehensive model of customer involvement in the NPD process, and elaborate on the role of sales in customer involvement. The contribution of this paper is threefold: first, we develop the concept of customer involvement as a pattern of interactions at the interface of the customer and supplier organizations. Second, we posit that NPD in a B2B context is an iterative process consisting of various parallel sub-processes. Third, we demonstrate that in a B2B context, sales function plays a central part in interfacing the supplier and customer organizations. Based on our findings we identify organizational capabilities critical for developing an effective customer-supplier interface.
... Digital storytelling is a complex and diverse marketing tool. For example, it includes studies on story content and consumer memory (Fournier, 1998), branding (Woodside, Sood, & Miller, 2008), buyerseller relationships (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015), retail service encounters (Gilliam & Zablah, 2013), digital leaning via video games (Padilla-Zea, Gutiérrez, López-Arcos, Abad-Arranz, & Paderewski, 2014), and new food products (Fenger, Aschemann-Witzel, Hansen, & Grunert, 2015;Nie, Da Liang, & Chen, 2017). However, despite the technological and creative processes involved in digital storytelling, theoretically based research on digital storytelling in tourism-related crowdfunding has been neglected. ...
Article
Digital storytelling is a key factor used by fundraisers to attract investors to crowdfunding projects. Despite the important role of digital storytelling in consumer persuasion, research on the effect of digital storytelling on consumer behavior is scarce in the visitor economy crowdfunding sector. The objective of this work is to create and verify a theoretically integrated research framework including three-dimensions of digital storytelling as a reflective second order factor (perceived esthetics, narrative structure, and self-reference) and concepts of unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) (performance expectancy, social influence, effort expectancy, facilitating condition, and intention). Results reveal that digital storytelling has highly significant effects on facilitating condition, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and social influence in descending order. Investors' intention to crowdfund is also significantly affected by facilitating condition, performance expectancy, social influence, and effort expectancy in descending order, offering significant theoretical and managerial implications in leisure and tourism.
... Разрабатывая свой метод, Дэвид Армстронг учел известный психологический фактор: истории более выразительны, увлекательны, интересны и легче ассоциируются с личным опытом, чем правила или директивы. Они лучше запоминаются, им придают большее значение и, как следствие, они оказывают на поведение аудитории сильное влияние [6]. Что особенного в очерках Татьяны Тэсс -это умение увидеть в самой жизни увлекательное, трагическое, интересное и новое, а значит, понять тенденции развития [9]. ...
Article
В данной статье рассматривается использование технологий сторителлинга, как способ подачи социальной повестки дня в современных медиа, на примере интернет-издания «Такие дела». На основе анализа содержания материалов журнала авторы находят в них приемы, присущие сторителлингу и приходят к заключению о том, что особенности данных методов позволяют вызвать интерес и более личное восприятие информации у читателей.
... Despite the abundance of studies on the effects of storytelling in advertising (Brechman and Purvis, 2015), retail and personal selling (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015), and charitable giving (Nguyen, 2015), applications in a tourism context are still developing. There is a paucity of research investigating the role, constituents, and effects of storytelling in destination branding, particularly exploring whose stories should be told and how these stories should be construed. ...
Article
Concerns have been raised that destination branding often overlooks the destination's internal stakeholders, and in some cases, has resulted in a brand identity that does not reflect the meanings and emotions that residents attach to places. Consequently, scholars have advocated for a more participatory approach to destination branding in which residents’ sense of place can be acknowledged, represented, and operationalized. This paper synthesizes these arguments and demonstrates that such an approach can be achieved by embracing residents’ place stories. Through storytelling, residents construe different facets of the place identity that is the foundation of destination brand identity. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the role, constituents, and effects of storytelling in destination branding, particularly exploring whose stories should be told and how these stories should be conveyed. In doing so, a participatory approach to destination branding is presented that employs residents’ place stories as a genuine form of participation in the destination branding process. Lastly, an agenda for future research is proposed, and practical implications for destination marketing practice are discussed.
... In this study, two BRC types (narrative versus non-narrative) were provided to respondents as stimuli. The author developed narrative BRC with elements of narrative which previous researches commonly emphasized (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). In addition, the author produced a non-narrative BRC stimulus in a format that lists factual information and arguments according to the definition of argumentative advertising (Lien & Chen, 2013) (see Appendix). ...
Article
COVID-19 is bringing changes in B2B sales and marketing strategies. Digital interaction with potential customers has become more critical. Business-reference content (BRC) is the most shared content, mainly using narrative format, available to potential customers through digital touchpoints. Reducing perceived purchasing risk has been recognized as the primary benefit of using BRC, but empirical research on this has been insufficient. Therefore, this research investigated the underlying mechanisms of BRC and related processes that lower risk perception based on narrative transportation theory. For empirical analysis, a serial-parallel mediating model was established in which BRC type (narrative versus non-narrative) influences purchase intention through the mediation of narrative transportation and perceived purchase risks – functional risk and financial risk. In this experimental study, an online survey was conducted in which 233 purchasing managers in Korean companies participated. The analysis confirmed that the BRC type had a significant effect on the level of receivers’ narrative transportation. In addition, serial-parallel mediating effects through narrative transportation (primary mediator) and perceived functional risk and perceived financial risk (secondary mediators) were all significant. This research provides meaningful implications in that it broadens the theoretical understanding of BRC by presenting the integrated BRC effect model. Also, it clarifies the importance of narrative BRC in B2B marketing practices.
... Digital storytelling is a complex and diverse marketing tool in the context of digital technology application. It includes research and application in different fields and perspectives, including story content (Fournier, 1998), audience memory and empathy (Nie et al., 2017), brand communication (Woodside, Sood, & Miller, 2008), user relationship (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015), online encounters (Gilliam & Zablah, 2013), and digital learning (Padilla-Zea, Gutiérrez, López-Arcos, Abad-Arranz, & Paderewski, 2014). The UTAUT framework has been used to assess the likelihood of successful adoption of digital technologies and to better understand audience drivers (Venkatesh et al., 2003;Venkatesh et al., 2012). ...
Article
Crowdsourcing enterprises increasingly seek to attract and persuade makers to contribute their creativity and wisdom through digital storytelling, however, what are the effective components of digital storytelling and the persuasive effect of digital storytelling on creative crowdsourcing intention are still unclear. To fill this gap, this study explores how digital storytelling persuades makers to generate creative crowdsourcing behavioural intention by utilising Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). Results reveal that the persuasion activity of digital storytelling has a positive effect on creative crowdsourcing intention. The effective components of digital storytelling are mainly composed of aesthetic perception, narrative structure and self-reference. UTAUT and its four core concepts (performance expectation, effort expectation, social influence and facilitating condition) mediate the impact of digital storytelling on the creative crowdsourcing intention, which reveals the persuasive source of digital storytelling. We highlight the theoretical implications as well as the practical applications in creative crowdsourcing.
... Organizational literature has long viewed organizations as storytelling systems and viewed organizational stories and narratives as vehicles to build institutional memory, social control, strategy development (Barry & Elmes, 1997;Boje, 2011;Boyce, 1996), manage B2B salesforce (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015), B2B advertising (Anaza, Kemp, Briggs, & Borders, 2020), as well as new product development in B2B (La Rocca, Moscatelli, Perna, & Snehota, 2016), B2B branding (Bonnin & Alfonso, 2019), and brand identity (Iglesias, Landgraf, Ind, Markovic, & Koporcic, 2020;Törmälä & Gyrd-Jones, 2017). Narrative strategies can help actors and networks of actors make sense of the future (Mäläskä et al., 2011). ...
Article
In a hyperconnected world, branding is moving away from single, organization-driven ownership to shared ownership. Motivated by the continuous advancements in digital technologies for B2B brands, this research uses a rhetorical and discursive approach to build a framework of B2B brands legitimacy. This conceptual framework integrates multiple levels of social discourse, from brand texts to stories and narratives, to illustrate how the connections between these and brand legitimacy are made through language. We describe how B2B brands can use the rhetorical elements of logos, pathos, and ethos to achieve an advantageous position within their field's discourse. We identify B2B brand reputation, awareness, and credibility among the benefits of having a brand legitimacy within a network of actors and provide propositions and empirical guides to substantiate the proposed framework.
... In this regard, (Shen, Lieberman and Davenport 2009) believe that in the world of storytelling the human capacity to narrate stands out, this has a parallel relationship with language by associating descriptions of stories and human scenes, where they describe characters, emotions and different sequential topics of an event. According to the abovementioned information, storytelling refers to the most common way of communication, in other words (Woodside, Sood and Miller 2008) say it is narrating stories, which is present in all stages of life, since for years people accumulate, use and transmit information in the form of events, this pattern of dissemination, according to (Gilliama and Flaherty 2015), (Bowman et al., 2013) and (Marshall and Adamic 2010) seeks to persuade, link or transmit messages, in order to create simple connections in a creative context that is essential to establish a meaning and emotional connection, since it is a fundamental part of human cognition. (Denning 2006) and (Kumar and Gupta 2016) state that at the moment of incorporating narration and advertising in the businesses, it is necessary to keep in mind that this is a tool with commercial ends, which seeks to accomplish a business' purpose, with strategies based on current trends, selection of media and market. ...
... Service provider's offer of narrative strengthens the retailer-customer relationship and often enhances customers' trust and favorability toward the product or service (Gilliam and Zablah, 2013). The provision of stories is also effective in business-to-business exchange, as it builds a trustful relationship between the buyer and the seller (Gilliam and Flaherty, 2015). ...
The circular fashion system (CFS) posits that clothes not only need to be designed and produced sustainably but also need to circulate among consumers for as long as possible to minimize waste. Fashion industry experts believe that circular fashion will be the dominating future trend of the industry, and many brands and start-ups have launched platforms following the CFS where consumers can exchange or donate their used clothes. However, circular fashion still needs to overcome the negative images associated with second-hand clothes, such as contamination. What can decrease consumers' concerns with used clothes as well as promote circular fashion effectively among consumers? Based on the narrative competence theory, this study examines the effects of providing the product history of clothes on enhancing consumers' trust, perceived benefits, attitude, and usage intentions toward circular fashion service. An online experiment was conducted with 238 U.S. consumers. Results revealed that providing product history enhances consumers' trust toward the service and the perceived hedonic, social, and economic benefits of the service. Greater trust and hedonic benefits of the service enhance consumers’ attitude toward the service, which consequently increase their intentions to use the service. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed in this paper.
... Sales might be inside-out or outside-in (La Rocca, Moscatelli, Perna, & Snehota, 2016). The inside-out function entails communicating an offer to customers and helping them choose the most suitable option (Gilliam & Flaherty, 2015). In the early stages of a product's life cycle, sales also encourage new solutions to buyers' operational problems, which may require adaptations to the offering, according to customer needs (Terho, Eggert, Haas, & Ulaga, 2015). ...
Article
Outside-in marketing is a powerful driver of superior firm performance, especially for firms in dynamic, competitive markets. The use and application of outside-in marketing has flourished in the past four decades, but research that synthesizes and extends understanding of this approach is missing, such that extant literature remains fragmented and scarce. This paper aims to deliver a theoretically grounded, managerially relevant framework to guide outside-in marketing research and business practices. Specifically, it offers an integrative conceptualization of outside-in marketing, examines its evolution over the past four decades, and provides business cases that depict how organizations have implemented outside-in marketing. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of research domains pertinent to outside-in marketing, combined with business examples, this article establishes an evolving theory of outside-in marketing, comprising four key tenets and seven testable propositions.
Article
The emergence of digitally connected products and big data analytics (BDA) in industrial marketing has attracted academic and managerial interest in smart services. However, suppliers' provision of smart services and customers' adoption of these services have received scarce attention in the literature, demonstrating the need to address the changing nature of customer-supplier interactions in the digital era. Responding to prior research calls, this study utilizes ethnographic research and a storytelling lens to advance our knowledge of how stories and BDA can enhance customers' attitudes toward suppliers' smart services, their behavioral intentions and their actual adoption of smart services. The study's findings demonstrate that storytelling is a collective sensemaking and sensegiving process that occurs in interactions between customers and suppliers in which both parties contribute to the story development. The use of BDA in storytelling enhances customer sensemaking of smart services by highlighting the business value extracted from the digitized data of a reference customer. By synthesizing insights from servitization, storytelling, BDA and the customer reference literature, this study offers managers practical guidance regarding how to increase smart service sales. An example of a story used to facilitate customer adoption of a supplier's smart services in the manufacturing sector is provided.
Article
In buyer-supplier negotiations, both parties shape the relational and contractual dimensions of their collaboration. Being able to influence the other party during negotiations is therefore vital to improve performance outcomes. This research takes a configurational approach to investigate how buyers can use narratives in different power situations to influence suppliers and improve their relational and economic negotiation results. In our first study, we conduct narrative writing workshops to identify typical design elements of such narratives. In our second study, we employ fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to determine how different configurations of these design elements influence narratives’ effectiveness in different power situations. Our theoretical contributions are twofold. First, we expand narrative transportation theory, showing that narratives consist of interlinked design elements and that narrative effectiveness is a causally complex phenomenon. Second, for the field of supply chain management, we develop theory by introducing narratives as an additional means of influence in buyer-supplier negotiations and by examining the interplay between narrative design elements, structural power, and negotiation outcomes that are specific to the buyer-supplier relationship. Based on the configurations of narratives that we found were effective and ineffective in different power situations, we derive propositions to advance theory on buyer-supplier negotiations.
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В статье обосновывается положение о целесообразности применения коммуникативного метода в процессе речевой подготовки студентов - будущих юристов. Автор делится опытом проведения ролевой игры «Судебные прения» / «Судебное заседание» на занятиях по речевым дисциплинам «Судебное красноречие» и «Юридическая риторика». Делается вывод о важности применения ролевых игр для профессиональной коммуникативной подготовки будущих специалистов в области юриспруденции.
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The modern sales role has been described as that of a knowledge broker who shares salient information, beyond what the customer already knows, to influence sales outcomes. However, the literature is mostly silent on actual customer learning (i.e., if customers learn from a salesperson's knowledge brokerage attempts). This research explores customer learning within the lens of the ADDIE instructional process, which we adapt from a classroom setting to the more dynamic world of B2B sales. As educators, we propose that salespeople utilize a variety of influence tactics to transfer knowledge that drives customer learning. We investigate how different influence tactics play a role in the development of both basic and advanced customer learning outcomes. Specifically, using both dyadic survey data and objective sales outcomes, we find that influence tactics have diverging effects on both customer learning types and ultimately profitability. We identify that in the absence of formal tests or assignments used in the classroom to assess learning, salesperson perceptions of customer learning can be misaligned with customer assessments of learning. Our research highlights the importance of basic and reflective customer learning as drivers of sales performance outcomes.
Article
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Marka ve marka bileşenleri pazarlama açısından önemli değerlerdir. Rekabet açısından marka, işletmelere farklılık, farkındalık ve imaj sağlamakta ve işletmeleri rakiplerinden bu yönleri ile ayrıştırmaktadır. Dolayısıyla gerek rekabet açısından gerekse tüketiciler açısından marka, farkındalık sağlayan, iletişimi kolaylaştıran ve duygusal ilişkiyi güçlendiren bir araçtır. Marka hikâyeleri de markanın bir bileşeni olarak tüketiciler ile iletişim sağlamada önemli bir argümandır. Firmalar marka hikâyeleri ile tüketicilerin zihninde farklı bir yer edinebilirler. Bu açıdan bu çalışmanın amacı marka hikâyelerinin tüketicilerde oluşturabileceği etkilerin belirlenmesidir. Bu amaca yönelik olarak iki ayrı örneklem grubunda anket çalışması uygulanmıştır. Elde edilen sonuçlara göre tüketiciler açısından marka hikâyeleri anlatı aktarımı, daha az eleştirel düşünce ve daha yüksek ağızdan ağıza aktarım niyeti taşımaktadır.
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As a requirement of human nature, storytelling is an important part of social life. Businesses that are aware of this are making an effort to build their brands through narrative ads. Since there are various ways and elements of storytelling, trademarks can reach their target audiences more effectively by producing storyized ads and messages using these ways and elements. In this exploratory study, the meaning of the concepts of story and storytelling in the literature and some effects arising from storytelling are reviewed, the websites and social media accounts of 167 members of the Birleşmiş Markalar Derneği (BMD) are analyzed separately in terms of features and elements. For this reason, content analysis was used to evaluate brands according to their storytelling usage, and it was determined that 57 of 167 brands' websites were using storytelling elements. Then, the stories were divided into four different groups by performing a two-stage clustering analysis, and the differences and similarities of these groups from each other were evaluated. According to the results, it was found that the authenticity, conciseness and reversal that should be in a good story are seen in most of the storyized brand advertisements, but the humor element is used less frequently. In addition, the ordinary man and hero archetypes are used more frequently in the advertisements of BMD member brands, and the presence of various storylines in the advertisements draws attention. As a result of the evaluations, it is determined that storytelling is not used by many BMD member brands, the reasons for this situation and suggestions for developing storytelled messages are discussed in the conclusion part of the research.
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In this review, we explore the evolution of scholarly research about organizational storytelling over the past 40 years in a sample of 165 papers published between 1975 and 2015. We contend that organizational storytelling has established a conventional foothold beside the dominant, scientific narrative of organization studies. Meanwhile, the voice of critical storytelling in organizations has emerged, confirming (and extending) five organizational storytelling themes identified by Rhodes and Brown’s (2005a): sense-making (and subverting); communicating (and manipulating); change, learning (and challenge); power (and dissent); and identity, and identification (and alienation). Our review reveals the growing influence of critical management studies, emphasizing the role stories play in disrupting conventional narratives, enriching our understanding of present and future storytelling in organizations and of organizations in general.
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Storytelling is a powerful tool used by brand marketers. However, most brand stories are neither memorable nor effective. This research proposes a model for increasing the effectiveness of brand storytelling through the use of incongruity. Incongruity can challenge the expectations of brand storytelling held in the minds of consumers (i.e., the brand story schema). This increases attentional focus on the story and triggers more complex cognitive processing. This level of processing is necessary for effective narrative transportation, or immersion into the story. This research identifies the key elements of storytelling (e.g., character, setting, and plot) and demonstrates how marketers can introduce incongruity through these elements. Moderating factors and brand outcomes are introduced to improve implementation and foster strategy development.
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This study explores the influence of organic food storytelling on consumer response. A random sampling method was used to select organic food retail stores and markets, and then collected 578 valid samples by a quota sampling method. Four storytelling types, including individual story, environmental story, price story, and food therapy story, were based on interview results. Based on partial least squares results, organic food storytelling indeed led consumers to prefer natural food, with food therapy storytelling being the most important factor that influenced their preference for natural food. This was followed by environmental story, price story, with the individual story being the last one. Except for the individual story type, the other three story types established more positive consumer attitudes toward organic food. The preference for natural food increased consumers’ purchase intention, followed by attitude toward organic food, and finally by individual story.
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Marketing analytics students who can communicate effectively with decision makers are in high demand. These “analytic unicorns” are hard to find. The Master of Science in Customer Analytics (MSCA) degree program at Xavier University seeks to fill that need. In this paper, we discuss the process of creating the MSCA program. We outline the program objectives and course requirements, and discuss the types of students we recruit. Finally, we introduce storytelling skills as a way to help marketing analytics students become analytic unicorns. Student learning outcomes (SLOs), methods of assessment, and learning exercises are included to aid in implementation.
Conference Paper
Storytelling can be used in various ways in business. Storytelling marketing emphasizes a unique story and mythical meaning of the product, rather than its practical function. In this article, we will analyze various consumption values in a case study of coffee advertisement. In particular, advertising that appeals to utopian values will be analyzed and its actual impact will be discussed. If we communicate utopian values to consumers through various stories, business effects will be maximized, which will strengthen the brand image. The contribution of this study is that it relates the theory of consumption value system to the concept of storytelling. Therefore, we will draw conclusions about for the ways in which storytelling can be effectively used in advertising.
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This article demonstrates and reinforces the role that well-told stories play in the success of the job-search process. Building on narrative theory, impression management, and an increased use of behavioral-based questions in interviews, well-crafted stories about work and educational experiences demonstrate skills applicants possess and convey them to interviewers in memorable ways. The article shows how to construct stories based on an applicant’s experiences and shaped to the needs of a potential employer. Additionally, the article demonstrates how a job seeker can create a collection of personal stories that can be adapted to varying job interview situations.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the credibility assessment and adoption of electronic word-of-mouth on online social-networking sites, social word-of-mouth (sWOM), where the author writes product reviews on Facebook and hopes their Facebook friends will buy these products. The readers of the sWOM message are aware of the author’s commercial intentions. sWOM messages on search goods and experience goods are considered separately. Design/methodology/approach Author of sWOM messages invites their closed circle of Facebook friends to participate in a survey. The respondents are randomly assigned to read a product review of a search good (i.e. a laptop computer) or an experience good (i.e. a moisturizer cream (beauty product)). The partial least squares method is used to analyze the data from 339 returns (166 for the search good and 173 for the experience good). Findings The sWOM readers’ assessments of the messages’ credibility remain free from commercial influence. While the traditional factors of credibility and author-reader tie strength continue to influence the adoption of sWOM message, readers’ perceptions of the sWOM author’s marketing skills is also a factor. The relationships between the constructs depend on whether the products are search or experience goods. Originality/value Few studies investigate the type of sWOM considered here. Commercially influenced sWOM messages are effective since the author’s marketing skills, and other often-cited factors, affect the credibility and adoption of sWOM. Thus, the equality-matching (friendship) relationship and the market-pricing (sales) relationship can work hand-in-hand in the sWOM context.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to elucidate what concepts of encroachment in business-to-consumer markets explain the market share increase of companies with sustainability value propositions. It documents the encroachment field, analyses the practice of ten companies and proposes and defines the additional concept of transparency encroachment. Design/methodology/approach Semi-structured interviews were conducted with representatives of companies with an increase in customers and market share due to their sustainability value proposition. These were supplemented with secondary data, like documented interviews, sustainability reports and reports on market development. The interview transcripts and secondary data notes were coded using template analysis. Findings As the literature on encroachment assumes that new value propositions take away market share from incumbents due to advantages for customers, it is questionable whether it can explain how value propositions with advantages for society as a whole can encroach markets. The results of this study show that the dominant forms of encroachment in the current literature – high-end encroachment, low-end encroachment and business model encroachment – can only partly explain encroachment through sustainability value propositions. An additional encroachment form is identified: transparency encroachment. Research limitations/implications This research adds greater clarity to what companies do when they encroach markets with sustainability value propositions. Furthermore, the pattern of transparency encroachment is discussed to define the common aspects of this concept and to argue why these aspects are needed for encroachment. It implies that marketing activities should start from the perception that customers are allies – and not kings – in the development toward higher levels of sustainability. Practical implications The paper offers practical implications insofar as it deconstructs three aspects of transparency encroachment that are enacted by companies. Customer awareness, unique experience and customer contribution are all needed to enact transparency encroachment. It is argued that other companies introducing sustainability value propositions to encroach markets should find their own application of these three aspects to create the potential for successful encroachment. Social implications Because of the focus on sustainability aspects of value propositions, this study generates knowledge about the marketing and encroachment of products with a relatively positive impact on society. Adoption of the identified concept of transparency encroachment contributes to sustainable development. Originality/value To date, there has been very little marketing research that explores the role of sustainability value propositions in the encroachment of markets. Nonetheless, nowadays customers seem to look beyond their own benefits and are increasingly demanding a new approach that builds upon the sustainability aspects of products. This research adds greater clarity to encroachment through sustainability value propositions.
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The authors investigate the role of trust between knowledge users and knowledge providers. The kind of knowledge of special concern is formal market research. Users include marketing and nonmarketing managers; providers include marketing researchers within a user's own firm and those external to the firm. A theory of the relationships centering on personal trust is developed to examine (1) how users’ trust in researchers influences various relationship processes and the use of market research and (2) how the relationships vary when examined across dyads. The relationships were tested in a sample of 779 users and providers of market research information. Results indicate that trust and perceived quality of interaction contribute most significantly to research utilization, with trust having indirect effects through other relationship processes, as opposed to important direct effects on research utilization. Deeper levels of exchange, including researcher involvement in the research process and user commitment to the research relationship, however, have little effect on research use. Finally, the relationships in the model show few differences depending on whether the producer and user share marketing or research orientations. Interorganizational dyads, however, generally exhibit stronger model relationships than intraorganizational dyads.
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Although there is increasing interest in topics related to the organization of the marketing function, there is relatively little research that relates marketing organization to a business unit's environment. This article, based on interviews in U. S. and German firms, explores how the organization and role of marketing vary across business contexts. After reviewing prior research and describing their methodology, the authors present a conceptual framework that relates aspects of marketing organization to the business environment. The authors then draw on field observations and prior research to describe variations and develop illustrative propositions for three organizational dimensions: (1) the structural location of marketing and sales groups, (2) the cross-functional dispersion of marketing activities, and (3) the relative power of the marketing subunit. The authors conclude with theoretical and managerial implications.
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This chapter outlines the two basic routes to persuasion. One route is based on the thoughtful consideration of arguments central to the issue, whereas the other is based on the affective associations or simple inferences tied to peripheral cues in the persuasion context. This chapter discusses a wide variety of variables that proved instrumental in affecting the elaboration likelihood, and thus the route to persuasion. One of the basic postulates of the Elaboration Likelihood Model—that variables may affect persuasion by increasing or decreasing scrutiny of message arguments—has been highly useful in accounting for the effects of a seemingly diverse list of variables. The reviewers of the attitude change literature have been disappointed with the many conflicting effects observed, even for ostensibly simple variables. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) attempts to place these many conflicting results and theories under one conceptual umbrella by specifying the major processes underlying persuasion and indicating the way many of the traditionally studied variables and theories relate to these basic processes. The ELM may prove useful in providing a guiding set of postulates from which to interpret previous work and in suggesting new hypotheses to be explored in future research. Copyright © 1986 Academic Press Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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We conceptualize discourse as a duality of communicative actions and deep structures, mediated by the modality of interpretive schemes, and develop a discourse analysis methodology based on the fields of hermeneutics and rhetoric. We then explore the role of discourse in shaping organizational change processes through its influence on actors' interpretations and actions, using a longitudinal field study of electronic trading implementation in the London Insurance Market. We conclude with some theoretical and practical contributions on discourse-practice links, the illumination of multiple perspectives in change processes, and implications for electronic data interchange implementation.
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This study reports findings from an experiment designed to investigate how verbal exchange between a salesperson and a prospect influences sales outcomes of an initial sales encounter. One hundred ninety-six salesperson-customer dyads were videotaped controlling for sales situation variables. Findings provide support for the idea that elements of task and social disclosure differentially influence customer perceptions of interaction quality and business relationship potential. In addition, the study illustrates a methodology that can be used to investigate dyadic interchange.
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While the creation of superior customer value is regarded as fundamental to a firm's long-term survival and growth, little is known about the effective implementation of a firm's value orientation at sales force level. As the sales force plays a pivotal role in implementing marketing strategies, this study adopts a discovery oriented approach and conceptualizes value-based selling as an effective sales approach in business markets. Based on in-depth interviews with sales managers in a variety of industries, we identify and portray three salient dimensions of value-based selling, namely (1) understanding the customer's business model, (2) crafting the value proposition, and (3) communicating customer value. The selling behavior entails a mutual orientation and focuses on the value-in-use potential of the offering for the customer's business profits. We argue that value-based selling is a unique concept that differs from the established selling approaches and propose a conceptual model linking value-based selling to performance outcomes. To further advance our knowledge about the effective implementation of a firm's value orientation, we identify future research avenues embracing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
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Service researchers have postulated that for many services, from the customer’s point of view, the service experience is the key perceptual event. For portraying and conveying experiences, narrative forms of communication tend to be uniquely effective. This experimental study examined whether consumer expertise interferes with the relative effectiveness of story-based appeals in print advertisements portraying experiential services. This study also sought insight into consumers’ affective responses to service ads, a nascent area of inquiry. Overall, this study’s results suggest that consumers with relatively low familiarity with a service category might prefer appeals based on stories to appeals based on lists of service attributes. This relative advantage of narrative ads might be magnified when the novice consumer is in a happy rather than sad mood while encoding the information in the ad. Consumers with relatively high familiarity with the focal service category, however, might be unaffected by the format of the information presentation.
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This article investigates how consumers respond to influence attempts by interpersonal marketing agents such as salespeople and service personnel. We conceptualize the consumer target as a goal-directed individual who attempts to manage a marketing interaction. Three qualitative data sets reveal 15 response strategies reflecting targets who are both goal seekers (i.e., attempting to utilize the agent to achieve own goals) and persuasion sentries (i.e., guarding against unwanted marketing persuasion). The target-agent relationship and the target's experience with persuasion emerge as factors that affect strategy use. An experimental study supports the proposition that the target-agent relationship interacts with persuasion experience to affect strategy usage.
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Long-term buyer–seller relationships have been a focus of research for several years. The present study draws on interaction/network theory to test a model examining the interaction mechanisms and relationship characteristics of buyer–seller relationships during four progressive phases of relationship development. Data from 174 members of the Institute for Supply Management offer empirical support for the associations proposed in the model, as well as some surprising results. One of the most useful findings of the research is that the patterns of these associations vary as buyer–seller relationships progress through the four phases of relationship development. Specifically: in the awareness phase, joint problem solving increases buyer uncertainty; in the exploration phase, communication quality and joint problem solving increase relationship-specific investments; and in the expansion phase, joint problem solving increases relationship-specific investments and severe conflict resolution increases buyer uncertainty. Seller reputation moderates many of these relationships. The major conclusion of the research is that buyers and sellers should recognize that while information exchange and conflict resolution are important aspects of buyer–seller relationships, their use may not always lead to the desired relationship characteristics. Managerial implications of these findings and further research ideas are presented.
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Salespeople require the ability to navigate within their own organization to get what they need to be successful given today's demanding customers. The literature on personal selling provides little guidance on this dimension of the sales role and how it might impact selling performance. We develop the notion of Salesperson Navigation (SpN), embed SpN within a conceptual framework, and show how SpN works to impact individual sales performance. We develop both managerial and research perspectives around this phenomenon.
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The strength of inter firm buyer–seller ties is vital to understanding the formation of commitment. Drawing upon the tie strength sociology and embeddedness literature, this study conceptualizes four dimensions of tie strength and examines their effects on the buyer firm's commitment to the selling firm, as well as the impact of commitment on favorable buyer behavior. A survey of 119 buyer organizations reveals that three of the four identified properties of tie strength (reciprocal services, mutual confiding and emotional intensity) are positively related to buyer commitment to the selling organization. Interestingly, the strongest relationship was found between emotional intensity and commitment — an understudied dimension of buyer–seller relationships. This study contributes to the B2B relationship marketing literature by increasing our understanding of the differential effects of behavioral and emotional aspects of ties on commitment. The study suggests to managers in manufacturing firms to develop strong behavioral and emotional ties with buyer firms in their relationship marketing strategy.
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The adaptive selling literature identifies effective salespeople as those who match their influence tactics to suit the characteristics of buyers. However, prior research is largely silent on the specific influence tactics that salespeople use and the effectiveness of these tactics across different types of buyers. The authors propose a theoretical model that uses Kelman's (1961) underlying influence processes of internalization, compliance, and identification to identify the seller influence tactics that salespeople use and to assess which of these tactics will resonate with three types of buyers: task-oriented buyers, interaction-oriented buyers, and self-oriented buyers. The authors test their model with data from 193 bidirectionally matched buyer-seller dyads. The results strongly support the theoretical model and suggest that buyers are more complex than originally presumed. However, salespeople seem to recognize this complexity and use the combination of influence tactics prescribed by theory for persuading these types of buyers.
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This study draws on depth interviews with 49 managers in customer firms and 55 managers in supplier firms and on discussions with 21 managers in two focus groups to propose a new way of thinking about customer solutions. Extant literature and suppliers interviewed for this study view a solution as a customized and integrated combination of goods and services for meeting a customer's business needs. In contrast, customers view a solution as a set of customerâ€supplier relational processes comprising (1) customer requirements definition, (2) customization and integration of goods and/or services and (3) their deployment, and (4) postdeployment customer support, all of which are aimed at meeting customers' business needs. The relational process view can help suppliers deliver more effective solutions at profitable prices. In addition, field research suggests that the effectiveness of a solution depends not only on supplier variables but also on several customer variables. Supplier variables include contingent hierarchy, documentation emphasis, incentive externality, customer interactor stability, and process articulation. Customer variables include adaptiveness to supplier offerings and political and operational counseling that a customer provides to a supplier. Several of these variables underscore the importance of suppliers developing social capital with customers. The authors discuss implications for solution suppliers and identify areas for further research.
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Purpose – Business-to-business marketing has come of age in the last three decades and research in this area has been extensive and impressive. This paper examines the extant body of business-to-business marketing research and identifies surpluses and shortages with the goal of stimulating future research. Design/methodology/approach – This paper focuses on two questions regarding future business-to business marketing. First, what has been the focus of understanding in business-to-business marketing theory and what should be its future focus? Second, what has been the purpose or objective to study business-to-business marketing and what should be the future objective for research? Findings – It is found that research in business-to-business marketing is fundamentally changing and will continue to change. The paper identifies areas of business-to-business marketing research that have received surplus attention and areas that require additional attention. Practical implications – The paper provides guidelines for future exploration of the business-to-business research domain. Originality/value – The paper is analogous to the widely cited paper by Sheth (1979) that reviewed the state of consumer behavior research and identified areas that had been unexplored or under-explored, and in the process provided an impetus for new research in consumer behavor.
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In their study of marketing services relationships, Moorman, Zaltman, and Deshpandé (1992) are unable to support a hypothesized link between relational factors (such as clients' trust in their service providers) and clients' use of marketing services. This finding runs counter to relationship marketing theory. To explain their result, Moorman, Zaltman, and Deshpandé (1992) suggest that, as a relationship becomes more longterm, it becomes prone to negative influences that dampen the positive impact of relational factors. This study replicates and extends Moorman, Zaltman, and Deshpandé's (1992) work by examining relationships between advertising agencies and their clients. The results replicate findings on seven of ten hypotheses proposed in the original article. The authors also extend the original study by supporting the general hypothesis that long-term relationships have a negative impact on service use, which dampens the impact of trust. The results shed light on the mediating role that certain "dark side" constructs play in marketing services relationships.
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The authors investigate the role of trust between knowledge users and knowledge providers. The kind of knowledge of special concern is formal market research. Users include marketing and nonmarketing managers; providers include marketing researchers within a user's own firm and those external to the firm. A theory of the relationships centering on personal trust is developed to examine (1) how users' trust in researchers influences various relationship processes and the use of market research and (2) how the relationships vary when examined across dyads. The relationships were tested in a sample of 779 users and providers of market research information. Results indicate that trust and perceived quality of interaction contribute most significantly to research utilization, with trust having indirect effects through other relationship processes, as opposed to important direct effects on research utilization. Deeper levels of exchange, including researcher involvement in the research process and user commitment to the research relationship, however, have little effect on research use. Finally, the relationships in the model show few differences depending on whether the producer and user share marketing or research orientations. Interogranizational dyads, however, generally exhibit stronger model relationships than intraorganizational dyads.
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Investigates the Story Model, N. Pennington and R. Hastie's (1986, 1988) explanation-based theory of decision making for juror decisions. In Exp 1, varying the ease with which stories could be constructed affected verdict judgments and the impact of credibility evidence. Memory for evidence in all conditions was equivalent, implying that the story structure was a mediator of decisions and of the impact of credibility evidence. In Exps 2 and 3, Ss evaluated the evidence in 3 ways. When Ss made a global judgment at the end of the case, their judgment processes followed the prescriptions of the Story Model, not of Bayesian or linear updating models. When Ss made item-by-item judgments after each evidence block, linear anchor and adjust models described their judgments. In conditions in which story construction strategies were more likely to be used, story completeness had greater effects on decisions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In 4 longitudinal studies, the authors explicated how storytelling about relationships biases subsequent impressions in the direction of the story told. In Study 1, storytelling about a relationship conflict vignette biased impressions of blame 2 weeks later, even with memory bias neutralized. Study 2 tracked 2 distinct and variable influences on blame,—storytelling heuristic and memory mediated mechanisms—over a 40-week period. Heuristic but not memory mediated effects depended on story quality. In Study 3, the need for structure moderated use of the storytelling heuristic. In Study 4, storytelling biased impressions of real-life relationship conflicts 8 weeks later. In light of past research indicating that storytelling and idealization characterize satisfied relationships, the present results suggest that the cognitive side effects of storytelling may help cause idealization and satisfaction in relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Compensation and control systems offer much for study. In this paper, we provide directions for future research by considering the system of influences that operate to shape salesperson behavior in the presence of formal and informal systems attempting to influence behaviors and outcomes. By applying vertical dyad linkage theory to the issue of control, we illustrate how the field remains fertile for continued study to improve the understanding of how incentives influence sales managers, salespeople, and customers. Of particular interest is the interplay between superiors and subordinates across sales force management layers and in the context of compensation/control. Further, the chain of linkages extends to customers, also providing fruitful opportunities for research.
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Salespeople involved in the marketing of complex services often perform the role of “relationship manager.” It is, in part, the quality of the relationship between the salesperson and the customer that determines the probability of continued interchange between those parties in the future. A relationship quality model is advanced and tested that examines the nature, consequences, and antecedents of relationship quality, as perceived by the customer. The findings suggest that future sales opportunities depend mostly on relationship quality (i.e., trust and satisfaction), whereas the ability to convert those opportunities into sales hinges more on conventional source characteristics of similarity and expertise. Relational selling behaviors such as cooperative intentions, mutual disclosure, and intensive followup contact generally produce a strong buyer-seller bond.
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When executives need to persuade an audience, most try to build a case with facts, statistics, and some quotes from authorities. In other words, they resort to "companyspeak," the tools of rhetoric they have been trained to use. In this conversation with HBR, Robert McKee, the world's best-known screenwriting lecturer, argues that executives can engage people in a much deeper - and ultimately more convincing - way If they toss out their Power-Point slides and memosand learn to tell good stories. As human beings, we make sense of our experiences through stories. But becoming a good storyteller is hard. It requires imagination and an understanding of what makes a story worth telling, All great stories deal with the conflict between subjective expectations and an uncooperative objective reality. They show a protagonist wrestling with antagonizing forces, not a rosy picture of results meeting expectations - which no one ends up believing. Consider the CEO of a biotech start-up that has discovered a chemical compound to prevent heart attacks. He could make a pitch to investors by offering up market projections, the business plan, and upbeat, hypothetical scenarios. Or he could captivate them by telling the story of his father, who died of a heart attack, and of the CEO's subsequent struggle against various antagonists - nature, the FDA, potential rivals - to bring to market the effective, low-cost test that might have prevented his father's death. Good storytellers are not necessarily good leaders, but they do share certain traits. Both are self-aware, and both are skeptics who realize that all people-and institutions - wear masks. Compelling stories can be found behind those masks.
Chapter
This chapter explores the nature of stories of self, both as they are told and lived in social life. It examines the story form—or more formally, the structure of narrative accounts. It then describes the way narratives of the self are constructed within social life and the uses to which they are put. As story advances, it become increasingly clear that narratives of the self are not fundamentally possessions of the individual; rather they are products of social interchange—possessions of the socius. This analysis set the stage for a discussion of lived narrative. The chapter proposes the traditional concept of individual selves is fundamentally problematic. What have served as individual traits, mental processes, or personal characteristics can promisingly be viewed as the constituents of relational forms. The form of these relationships is that of the narrative sequence. Thus, by the end of story it can be found that the individual self has all but vanished into the world of relationship.
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The authors discuss the potential merits of taking a narrative approach to communicating service brand image through advertising. On the assumption that a primary goal of advertising should be to create a vivid image of the brand in consumers' minds, they assess past definitions of brand image and adapt them to the marketing of services. They review metaphors used previously to understand services, and emphasize that the experiential aspect of services should play an important role in how service brand image is conceptualized. Specifically, they suggest that experience is a useful conceptualization for understanding service brand image because it represents the customer's perspective of a service and the symbolic meanings created during service consumption. Using their conceptualization of service as experience, the authors discuss how to view consumers' comprehension of services, and thus how to communicate about services through advertising. They draw on narrative theory to suggest that narrative thought is a predominant cognitive mode of comprehension used by consumers to interpret experience (and hence services) and that narrative advertising should be effective in communicating service experience. Finally, they present a series of propositions linking the formal structure of advertising to responses related to the creation of service brand image.
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Are knowledge exchange and knowledge protection conflicting or complementary? Although facilitating knowledge exchange and protecting core proprietary knowledge are important in interorganizational learning, extant studies often regard them as conflicting activities. Few studies have discussed the mechanisms that can help firms achieve both. In this current study, we extend the concept of ambidexterity to the interorganizational learning context and suggest several mechanisms that can enhance knowledge exchange and knowledge protection simultaneously. We conducted a survey and the empirical results reveal that experience sharing and shared interpretation are positively associated with knowledge exchange success. Hostage arrangement enhances the level of knowledge protection, whereas reciprocal investment has no effect on knowledge protection. Furthermore, ambidexterity (the product term of knowledge exchange success and knowledge protection) significantly affects the performance of a firm. Finally, we discuss the implications of this research and offer suggestions for future research.
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Various beneficial consequences can accrue when a customer is perceived to be an attractive customer, particularly in a business-to-business context. Opinions differ as to what makes for customer attractiveness and a number of different features have been suggested as contributing to it. Currently there exists no comprehensive view of what factors constitute customer attractiveness and how this may be valued, measured and evaluated. Drawing on various facets of customer attractiveness suggested in the literature, this paper seeks to delineate the customer attractiveness construct and develop an instrument to measure it. The paper concludes by discussing how the scale developed can be used as a tool to address some critical issues in assessing customer attractiveness.
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The concept of attraction has received surprisingly little attention within business relationship research. Yet, recently, more and more authors have argued that attraction may contribute to the motivation and willingness of a buyer and supplier to engage in and develop a business relationship. However, the concept of attraction is relatively new and there have been diverse interpretations of it. This literature review collates those interpretations with the aim of enhancing current understanding and creating fundamental knowledge of the current streams of literature on the concept. In examining how the concept has been investigated, the paper aims to establish the direction that the understanding and use of the concept of attractiveness may take in the future in the context of business research. The literature review indicates that attraction has been used in three research areas to explain or resolve a particular construct: 1) attraction in the development of buyer–supplier relationships, 2) customer attractiveness to suppliers, and 3) attractiveness in portfolio and key account management. This literature review contributes to the understanding of how knowledge of the power of attraction could enrich the theory and practice of business relationships.
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The continuous development of theoretical and methodological approaches provides novel insights into how to conceptualize and empirically study multilayered and multi-actor network processes. This theoretic-methodological article shows how network processes can be conceptualized, and how the narrative approach advances the empirical study of these processes. The study builds an agency-structure meta-framework that conceptualizes the emergence of network processes in terms of interaction between individuals from different network actor organizations. The narrative research approach is put forward to implement the study of network processes into empirical reality. The narrative approach allows capturing the relevant actors, their multiple motives, interests and activities, and the mutual interplay of these elements with the contextual levels, thus providing an essential understanding of various types of network processes.
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Understanding the creation of value in business relationships has been a long-standing goal of researchers and managers alike. By adopting a relational perspective, recent research on business relationships has made much progress in understanding value-creating processes. As the sales function is thought to be a pivotal part of the value-creating processes in business relationships, the evolving view on creating relationship value clearly has implications for our understanding of the role of sales in these processes. In contrast to its importance, the question of how the sales function contributes to creating value in business relationships has been largely neglected in extant literature. The objective of our paper is to answer this question by systematically linking the relational value creating process to the sales function's content. Interpreting value creation as interaction process, we identify four features of value-creating processes in business relationships suggested in recent research (i.e., jointness, balanced initiative, interacted value, and socio-cognitive construction) and, based on these, outline a framework that is used to define a set of tasks that are key to creating value in business relationships and hence become critical for sales in its hitherto neglected role as co-creator of relationship value. We illustrate the various tasks of this new role of sales with data from 43 interviews with sales managers and salespeople. Along with related normative recommendations in extant literature, the interviews provide support for the validity and relevance of our framework for understanding the role of sales in creating relationship value. This framework puts forward a much-needed first effort towards a theory of sales' role in creating relationship value and offers several opportunities for future research.
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The IMP (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing) Group has engaged in a number of interesting developments in the past few years. Particularly adventurous have been the agendas of ‘pictures’ and sense-making and of time. In this paper we argue that borrowing and combining contemporary foci within social science on narratives, identity, culture and epoché temporality (for which we use the acronym N.I.C.E) allows the construction of an approach that can integrate these IMP agendas into a new research direction for the group that will keep it at the leading edge of marketing research. The purpose of our paper is to introduce and integrate discursive and temporal elements into the understanding and research of business networks to develop a more dynamic and hermeneutic approach. Our purpose is to provide a contribution to the field in exploring how identities are formed within business networks through narrative episodes in interconnecting relationships over time. We bring together all of the elements of a NICE agenda in an attempt to provide an integrative, ‘multi-lens’ theory of business networks focussed within the IMP research tradition. In doing so, we construct meaning as itself networked; sense-making involves relating presently narrated episodes to symbolic and material aspects of other narrative network episodes and events through emplotment and storying.
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This discussion uses the evidence adduced in the current issue's symposium on autobiographical narrative to examine the feasibility of the standard division of narrative from paradigmatic thought. It is suggested, first, that there is no evidence to support the assertion that representations of narrative information do not give rise spontaneously to generalizations and, second, that narratives often serve a formal, logical role in the management of life goals.
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A default option is the choice alternative a consumer receives if he/she does not explicitly specify otherwise. In this article we argue that defaults can invoke a consumer's "marketplace metacognition," his/her social intelligence about marketplace behavior. This metacognitive account of defaults leads to different predictions than accounts based on cognitive limitations or endowment: in particular, it predicts the possibility of negative or "backfire" default effects. In two experiments, we demonstrate that the size and direction of the default effect depend on whether this social intelligence is invoked and how it changes the interpretation of the default.
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Salespeople involved in the marketing of complex services often perform the role of "relationship manager." It is, in part, the quality of the relationship between the salesperson and the customer that determines the probability of continued interchange between those parties in the future. A relationship quality model is advanced and tested that examines the nature, consequences, and antecedents of relationship quality, as perceived by the customer. The findings suggest that future sales opportunities depend mostly on relationship quality (i. e., trust and satisfaction), whereas the ability to convert those opportunities into sales hinges more on conventional source characteristics of similarity and expertise. Relational selling behaviors such as cooperative intentions, mutual disclosure, and intensive followup contact generally produce a strong buyer-seller bond.
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The importance of story-telling in organizational life has often been overlooked in contemporary organizational and leadership literature. Throughout history, leaders - political and religious - have used story-telling as a powerful motivational tool, particularly during times of uncertainty, change and upheaval or in response to crises. This article looks at the role of story-telling as an integral part of the human experience and at its applications in modern organizational life. The article concludes by suggesting that the art of story-telling is still, despite recent advances in communication technologies, an essential managerial skill - particularly for leaders of organizations.
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There are many anecdotal accounts about industrial buyers’ perceptions of sellers, but little research exists empirically to determine these perceptions. This research generates a profile of industrial buyer perceptions of salespeople developed from a perceptual inventory gathered from a national sample of purchasing professionals. Both positive and negative profiles are identified, but means analysis generally supports the contention that industrial buyers have largely positive perceptions of salespeople. These profiles can be useful to both researchers and industry professionals in assessing the effects of buyer perceptions in industrial, business-to-business, and relationship marketing situations.
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Narratives, or stories, have been identified as one of the ways in which knowledge might be transferred, shared or exchanged in organisational settings. Beyond their identification, little consideration has been given to the ways in which narrative approaches can increase our understa