Philip Kotler*, Waldemar Pfoertsch, Uwe Sponholz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To overcome the current trust crisis of companies and other institutions like governments, NGOs, and the media, we offer a new Human-to-Human (H2H) Marketing model. H2H Management itself consists of different concepts that aim to manage trust as the key currency for companies embedded in highly interconnected ecosystems. Brand activism as a development accelerate of the CSR concept moves from “greenwashing” to “walk the talk” regarding sustainability and social responsibility. Knowing that only experiential and reputational trusts are manageable, H2H Management includes Customer Experience Management (CXM) and reputation management and integrates both parts into one Trust Model. CXM uses the 5 A model walking along the customer journey in order to design and manage the experience at each and every touch point along this journey from a customer's point of view. Proactive expectation management is a key for reputation management and represents the next generation of public relations. The last core concept of H2H Management is H2H Brand Management. The CBBE approach, which is widely used today, is further developed based on the findings of Design Thinking, Service-Dominant Logic, and digitization in order to serve as an anchor of trust for people and communities. Brand meaning has to stick to a human problem and has to be co-created. Companies have to be aware of their limited options to determine the brand identity using the O-Zone concept. H2H Brand Management finally uses the Brandformative Design concept to integrate design and marketing in the formation of brand meaning by designing customer experiences that fit to the context and needs of the customers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalAcademy of Strategic Management Journal
Issue numberSpecial Issue 2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Brand Management
  • H2H Marketing
  • Rebranding
  • Reputation Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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