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  The IUP Journal of   Brand Management :
Differentiating Financial Service Brands Through Multilayered Service Strategy: Some Insights from the Resource-Based View of the Firm
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The paper examines how financial service organizations operating in the Nigerian banking industry can be effectively managed to achieve brand differentiation. A service brand model was reviewed, critiqued and a Multilayered Service Strategy (MSS) model of service brand differentiation grounded on Barney’s concept of Resource-Based View (RBV) was put forward. Sixteen leading-edge corporate marketing and communication practitioners with experience in service branding were engaged to examine the effectiveness of the model through in-depth interviews. The analysis of data indicates that effective differentiation of a service brand cannot be achieved through a single business or organizational factor. Rather, corporate communication managers/directors should be encouraged to develop the habit of deploying or incorporating valuable, rare, inimitable and un-substitutable resources in corporate advertising materials and other corporate communication texts. These resources provide the foundation for engendering an effectively differentiated service brand, and also endow service organizations with a superior competitive advantage in the marketplace.

 
 
 

For years, service organizations have been dominated by strong industry homogeneity (Balmer and Wilkinson, 1991; Balmer and Stotvig, 1997; Otubanjo, 2008; and Abratt and Mingione, 2017). The preponderance of this problem was first documented for the banking industry (Olins, 1978; Howcroft and Lavis, 1986; and Morison, 1997) and later for professional service firms (Empson, 2001; and Løwendahl, 2005). The dominance of industry-wide homogeneity together with the winds of change sweeping through banks, professional services firms and other service organizations continue to encourage the search for distinct service brands (Wilkinson and Balmer, 1996).

 
 
 

Brand Management Journal,