Functional, emotional, and social benefits of new B2B services

Marina Candi*, Kenneth B. Kahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While marketing literature has defined the benefits concept broadly, there is limited empirical research clarifying what benefits constitute and how they contribute to customer satisfaction in the B2B service context. Benefits have typically been characterized as falling under a single, all-encompassing concept, but emerging thinking views them as multi-dimensional, including functional, emotional and social benefits. This research examines whether this demarcation applies in the B2B services context, and if so, how these three types of benefits are related with customer satisfaction. Based on a survey of 335 customers of recently launched B2B services, the demarcation of these three types of benefits appears warranted and each type of benefit exhibits a different pattern of relationship with customer satisfaction. Functional benefits are found to be positively related with customer satisfaction, while emotional benefits and social benefits exhibit non-linear relationships. Emotional benefits have a diminishing effect on customer satisfaction as they increase and social benefits reach a plateau after a threshold point. These results suggest that recognizing the three types of benefits and the different shapes of their relationships with customer satisfaction can result in effective strategies for driving customer satisfaction when innovating new B2B services. Managerial and research implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date10 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • customer satisfaction
  • emotional benefits
  • functional benefits
  • service benefits
  • service innovation
  • social benefits


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