Enthusiastic customers, networking, and sharing new ideas and solutions with each other were the first things to come to mind when my thesis advisor asked me to think about the features that make Thinking Portfolio different from other companies. Based on these insights, “The role of C2C relationships in B2B brand community – Case: Thinking Portfolio” became the topic of my thesis.
A brand community is a community based on social relations among its members which builds around a particular brand. The topic has not been studied extensively in the context of B2B companies, but the previous research focuses on B2C brand communities. The aim of this study was to explore what kind of C2C relationships there are in Thinking Portfolio brand community and what benefits members get from these relationships. This was done by interviewing ten representatives from Thinking Portfolio customer organizations.
In the study, it was found out that there is a brand community around Thinking Portfolio, however it is still developing and it does not include all Thinking Portfolio customers. There are many different kinds of C2C relationships, and these include both relationships between different customer organizations, as well as relationships between Thinking Portfolio users within a particular organization. These relationships create a lot of functional benefits for the members, which include concrete practical tips, solutions to problems, and new information and ideas, for example.
On the basis of the study, suggestions were given to Thinking Portfolio on how to better take the brand community into account and develop it further in the future. For example, Round Table -discussion events received a lot of support from the interviewees, and a few will be organized during 2019. The brand community can be developed through this kind of events and forums, but the most important thing is to integrate it into other operations so that when planning new activities, the benefits they bring to the brand community will be considered.
If you became interested in the topic, here you’ll find the whole Master’s Thesis: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/36393?locale-attribute=en