Marketing in start-ups : A case study of business relationship development
Abstract: Business relationships are crucial for succeeding in the market for companies. Therefore, start-ups must focus on establishing business relationships early on, since these naturally do not exist for new players. The purpose of this thesis is to understand how start-ups work in order to establish business relationships. This will be analysed through six key elements from literature that are necessary for start-ups to consider in relationship marketing for surviving in the market, namely trust, commitment, communication, mutual benefits, long-term perspective, and customer service. The thesis uses a case study design, focused on a start-up in the sustainable materials industry, hereafter named “The Case Company”. Semi-structured deep interviews were conducted with representatives at the company. Results show that The Case Company does actions that can fit into all of the six elements to some degree. One extra finding was identified which is prioritization. While the importance of communication was stressed by all interviewees, a lack of strategy in the medium of communication was evident. We argue that this could be due to prioritization. Moreover, a lack of customer service strategy was the other consequence of having to prioritize other areas of the business as our findings suggests. Further research could validate these findings.
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