The friend or foe fallacy: Why your best customers may not need your friendship


Business Horizons

juillet-août 2017, vol. 60, n°4, pp.483-493

Départements : Marketing

Mots clés : Organizational relationships, Customer partnerships, Relational strategies, Mutual value creation, Value co-creation, Customer strategy

Organizational transactions are handled along a continuum of the firm’s customer relationships, ranging from relational and friendly to more adversarial and us-versus-them in demeanor. For top customers, the approach is almost always close and relational. In this article, we question this view and suggest that it is beneficial to condition the firm’s relationship development efforts on an understanding of the true value to be gained from partnering and increased closeness. We provide a framework with which managers can diagnose their current portfolio of relationships with key customers or suppliers and offer suggestions for action. We provide an empirical illustration of the typical distribution of responses among five regions of the framework and discuss its implications