The impact of customer attractiveness and supplier satisfaction on becoming a preferred customer

Niels J. Pulles, Holger Schiele, Jasper Veldman, Lisa Hüttinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses how a firm can become preferred customer, defined as a particular buying firm to whom the supplier allocates better resources than less preferred buyers. Two concepts play a central role for a firm aiming to become preferred customer: (i) customer attractiveness and (ii) supplier satisfaction. However, the current literature still lacks a clear discussion on the conceptual differences between these constructs and their attributes and is ambiguous with regard to the relationships between the concepts. This study addresses these shortcomings. We examine customer attractiveness and supplier satisfaction as distinct conceptual variables and test how these constructs relate to each other and to preferred customer status. We build upon practitioner input and survey data from 91 suppliers to do so. Our analyses show that the impact of customer attractiveness on preferential resource allocation from suppliers is significantly mediated by supplier satisfaction. These findings expand the current understanding of these concepts. In addition, our findings might help managers better evaluate their relationships with suppliers and align their strategies accordingly to obtain better resources from their suppliers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
JournalIndustrial marketing management
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2015


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