Purpose – The goal of this paper is to investigate how market sensing (market orientation) and customer linking capabilities (service branding and customer empowerment capabilities) enable firms to achieve superiority in customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – To achieve this goal, a conceptual model was developed, specifying the mediating role of branding and customer empowerment capabilities in the relationship between market orientation and customer satisfaction. The model was tested using partial least squares, on 266 responses obtained via an online survey conducted amongst executives of services firms in Australia. Findings – The findings show that possessing a strong service branding capability and co‐opting customer involvement through customer empowerment in the marketing effort is essential for services firms to realize the potential value of market orientation. This is important if the firm wants to translate the understanding gained from market intelligence (via market orientation as the “know‐what” capability) into superior customer satisfaction. Practical implications – Through interaction activities that centre on utilizing market intelligence and shared sense of brand meaning, customer empowerment practices help institutionalize market orientation and service firms branding capability. Originality/value – This study offers a greater understanding of the underlying processes (i.e. service branding and customer empowerment capabilities) which market orientation works through to contribute to customer satisfaction.
Journal of Services Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 11, 2011
Keywords: Market orientation; Service branding; Customer empowerment; Customer satisfaction