بررسی اتحاد های نام تجاری (برند) بین المللی :سفارش نام تجاری و قوم مداری مصرف کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2028||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7960 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 89–97
This study investigates how native consumers evaluate international brand alliances (IBA) between a foreign brand and a native brand. The empirical results support the moderating effects of both brand order and consumer ethnocentrism (CET) on the effects of foreign and the native partner brand attitudes on the attitude towards an international brand alliance (IBA). The partner brand (regardless of its being a native or foreign brand) attitude has a stronger effect on the attitude towards an IBA when the partner brand appears first in the IBA than when appearing second. CET enhances the effect of the native brand attitude on IBA attitude unconditionally; but attenuates, only when foreign brand fit is low, the effect of the foreign brand attitude on IBA attitude.
Brand alliances involve “the short- or long-term association or combination of two or more individual brands, products, and/or other distinctive proprietary assets” (Simonin & Ruth, 1998, p. 30). Brand alliances have become a popular branding and market growth strategy and received growing academic attention (e.g., He and Balmer, 2006, Lafferty, 2009, Rao et al., 1999, Simonin and Ruth, 1998, Voss and Gammoh, 2004 and Votolato and Unnava, 2006). Prior research has accumulated ample evidence on the effects of partner brand (member brand of a brand alliance) attitudes on the alliance attitude and its spillover effect on the partner brand attitudes. Yet, the extant literature pays little attention to two important issues: international brand alliances and the effect of brand order (A-B vs. B-A). This study contributes to the literature on brand alliances by examining the brand order (i.e. the sequence of individual brand names) effect and consumer ethnocentrism (CET) effect on the effects of both native and foreign brand attitudes on native consumers' evaluation of international brand alliances. International brand alliances (IBA) are common phenomena nowadays (Cooke & Ryan, 2000). Besides conventional benefits of brand alliances (e.g. quality signal), international brand alliances offer extra benefits such as ease of international market entry (Abratt & Motlana, 2002), immediate brand awareness and equity for local customers (Voss & Tansuhaj, 1999), and leverage of country of origin images (Bluemelhuber, Carter, & Lambe, 2007). International brand alliances also have the potential advantage of alleviating the effect of native consumers' ethnocentric tendency in their responses to international brands. However, empirical research in this area is rare. Brand alliances are not without risks. The potential risks of brand alliances include image tarnishing, contractual issues, opportunity costs, and negative impact from partner brands’ behaviors. Two main approaches exist regarding partnering international and native brands. The first one is A-B, such as the cases of Sony-Ericson and HP-Compaq; and the second one is composite branding (A product by B). Previous research has examined composite branding (Park, Jun, & Shocker, 1996) and ingredient co-branding, such as ‘Intel inside’ (Desai and Keller, 2002 and Venkatesh and Mahajan, 1997). The present study focuses on the case of A-B. When two brands join together to form an A-B brand alliance, one of the major issues is to decide the sequence of partner brand names appearing in the alliance. For example, would Nike + iPod vs. iPod + Nike in the alliance between Nike and iPod make any differences regarding consumer attitude towards the new alliance? Knowing how such brand order affects the initial formation of consumer attitude towards a brand alliance is an important issue, since the results will have significant implications for managerial decision on naming a brand alliance. Previous research has confirmed that partner brand attitudes have positive effects on the attitudes towards brand alliances (e.g., Lafferty and Goldsmith, 2005, Rao and Ruekert, 1994, Simonin and Ruth, 1998 and Washburn et al., 2004). However, the extant literature is thin on how brand order affects the magnitude of the effect of a focal partner brand attitude on brand alliance attitude. For an international brand alliance, the transfer of partner brand attitudes to the brand alliance does not only depend on the brand order, but also on other factors, such as consumer ethnocentrism (CET)—consumers' beliefs about the appropriateness and morality of buying foreign-made products (Shimp & Sharma, 1987). CET is especially relevant for international brand alliances where the domestic brand has a strong native base, as prior research has found that although CET could affect both domestic and foreign brand attitudes, CET tends to have stronger effects on domestic brand attitudes (Supphellen & Rittenburg, 2001). This study contributes to the literature by empirically, for the first time, examining the brand order effect and consumer ethnocentrism (CET) on the transfer of partner brand attitudes to international brand alliances (IBA). By doing so, this study sheds some important insights on the issues of IBA and CET. First, this research is a pioneer study on the brand order effect in an international context. Given the increasing popularity of cross-border brand alliances and joint ventures, and the salient issue of branding for international alliances and joint ventures, this study accentuates the role of brand order in the initial process of consumer attitude formation. Second, the study for the first time examines the effect of CET in the context of IBA. Given the nature of IBA involving both domestic and foreign brands, examining the effect of CET is particularly interesting in not only extending knowledge on CET's impact but also testing the moderating effect of CET on brand attitude dynamism within an IBA. Third, this study further tests how CET and brand-specific fit together moderates the brand order effect. Knowing the effects of the above factors has clear implications for managerial decision in international brand expansion and brand naming strategy for international alliances.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Theoretical Implications Branding issue in international alliances is an important but unexplored territory. International brand alliances are becoming a popular international management practice, since branding international alliances offer many benefits to both the international firms and native firms. This study addresses two important issues in international brand alliances: the brand order effect and the CET effect. Specifically, this study makes the following contributions to the literature. First, the study finds that brand order effect (i.e., the partner brand has a stronger effect on brand alliance attitude when the partner brand precedes the other partner brand) does exist in international brand alliances. A brand has a stronger impact on international brand alliance attitude when the brand appears at the preceding position of the brand alliance than when the brand appears at the following position. Such brand order effect exists for both foreign and native brands. Given the increasing popularity of cross-border brand alliances and joint ventures, and the salient issue of branding for international brand alliances and joint ventures, this study accentuates the role of brand order in the initial process of consumer attitude formation. Although the context of this study is international brand alliances, the brand order effect for both foreign and native brands suggests that such brand order effect could exist for general brand alliances. Second, this study suggests that in the domain of international brand alliances, besides brand order effect, CET effect is also significant. Taking on board the moderating effects of CET and brand order on the effect of partner brands on IBA is an original application of CET theory to explain international branding phenomena. CET enhances the effect of native brand attitude unconditionally; whilst CET attenuates the effect of foreign brand attitude on IBA attitude, only when foreign brand fit is low. The success of testing the moderating effect of CET supports that CET affects information processing (i.e., accessibility and diagnosticity of a certain piece of information) that involves national cues, such as domestic brands. Social identity theory suggests that people with stronger social identification with a certain social category (e.g., CET) are more likely to pay more attention to the social category related cues (Reed, 2002 and Reed, 2004). In addition, CET research has found that CET positively affects native brand attitude, but does not affect foreign brand attitude. Therefore, CET enhances the effect of the native brand on international brand alliances, regardless of the brand-specific fit of the native brand. Although this study finds that CET reduces the effect of the foreign brand, such effect exists only when brand-specific fit of the foreign brand is low. In other words, enhancing the fit of foreign brand to the brand alliance can actually neutralise the alleviating effect of CET on the foreign brand's contribution to international brand alliance attitude. Third, in alignment with the results of previous studies on brand alliances (Lafferty et al., 2004, Park et al., 1996, Rodrigue and Biswas, 2004 and Simonin and Ruth, 1998), this study finds that the brand attitudes towards partner brands have significant main effects on the attitude towards an international brand alliance. This result confirms brand alliances' advantage of having multiple brand endorsements for international alliances. Another contribution of this study is that the study operationalises fit for brand alliances as two-dimensional: brand-specific fit and between-brand fit. The study finds that between-brand fit, but not brand-specific fit, has a significant main effect on IBA attitude; but brand-specific fit of the foreign brand moderates the moderating effects of both brand order and CET on the effect of foreign brand attitude on international brand alliance attitude. 5.2. Managerial implications This study has implications for both international brand managers and native brand managers regarding branding strategies of international brand alliances. The major rationale of international brand alliances is to leverage and synthesise the brand meanings and equities of both native and foreign brands. However, partner brands do not necessarily contribute equally to the initial attitude towards an international brand alliance. In addition, controlling the relative contributions of partner brands to the alliances is an important managerial issue, depending on the purposes of the alliances and the relevance of partner brand equities to the alliance products. The present study suggests that the relative contributions of partner brands do not only depend on the sequence of partner brands (brand order effect), but also ethnocentric tendency of the consumers (CET effect). Brand managers should not make decision on the sequence of partner brand names in the alliances arbitrarily or without considering its potential impact on initial attitude towards the alliance product. For international brand managers, the study suggests that if a brand alliance desires for more contribution from a foreign partner brand, the foreign brand should precede native brand in the alliance. In addition, international brand managers should consider and monitor the CET of potential target customers of the alliance products, as CET can reduce the effect of foreign partner brand attitude when foreign partner brand-specific fit is low. Therefore, enhancing the fit of the foreign brand to an alliance becomes particularly important, if the foreign brand is desirable to contribute more to the alliance, since its fit can reduces the negative CET effect on the effect of foreign brand attitude on IBA attitude. A number of ways exist to enhance the fit of the foreign brand to the alliance. First, foreign brand managers should be more careful in deciding the type of alliance (e.g., the associated product) to get involved so that higher fit between the foreign brand and the product is present from the beginning. Second, marketing communications materials (i.e., packaging, advertising message, etc) can highlight the foreign brand fit in order to enhance consumer fit perception of the foreign brand in the alliance. For native brand managers, the study suggests that if more contribution from a native brand is more desirable to the new alliance product, the native brand should precede foreign brand in the alliance. Similarly, monitoring the CET of potential target customers of the alliance products are important, since CET can enhance the effect of native partner brand attitude on the attitude toward brand alliances. Therefore, if a native brand is more desirable to contribute more to an alliance, the advice is to highlight the native partner brand especially to those consumers who possess higher level of CET. 5.3. Limitations and future research The present study has the following limitations, which create opportunities for future studies. First, this study's research context is Taiwan, which has a high level of international trade and relatively low level of consumer ethnocentrism. Future study should examine consumers in other regions, where CET is ubiquitous. Would CET have a significant main negative effect on attitude towards IBA in those regions? Second, the study chooses a Dutch brand as the foreign brand partner. Since Netherlands has a national image of producing high quality products, future research should examine international brand alliances with brands from less developed countries or countries whose products has lower image in quality. Third, future research can examine brand alliances where all partner brands are international brands, and assess the effect of country of origin images of partner brands. Fourth, although the procedure of randomly assigning participants between the two groups alleviates the concern for sample representation and enhances the power of hypotheses testing, the sample representativeness of this study is a limitation. Future research should apply and test the study's model with more representative samples. Fifth, the study applies fictitious brand alliances for the advantages of internal validity and being a valid and conventional approach by many prior brand alliances and brand extension studies, but this approach has limitations of external validity and realism. Therefore, future research should test the study's hypotheses with both fictitious brand alliances and existing brand alliances. Sixth, although using one product category and focusing on a few familiar brands have the advantages of internal validity and enhanced power in detecting significant effect within a given sample size, future research should apply this study's model to other product categories. When larger sample size is possible, future study should use multiple product categories. Seventh, this study examines only one type of brand alliances: A-B. Future study should investigate how the sequence of brand names in other types of brand alliances affects the relative contributions of native and foreign brands to attitude towards those brand alliances. For example, another brand strategy for international brand alliances is to introduce new brand names for the new products, and endorse the new brands with partner brands. The present study does not examine such a brand strategy. Future research should examine how native consumers evaluate such brand alliances. Moreover, this study focuses on the initial brand alliances evaluation. Although the initial brand name strategy can have an immediate impact on brand alliances evaluation, the long-term effect is unknown. Future study should examine this long-term effect. Brand alliances attitude is not only a function of a short-term brand naming strategy, but also of subsequent brand communications. Future studies can examine how initial brand naming strategy interacts with subsequence brand communications in influencing attitude formation. Finally, examining consumer attitude formation is only one angle (albeit important and relevant) to look at the issue of international brand alliances. Other angles include (a) examining the managerial decision of entering brand alliances; (b) the potential image spillover effect from one partner brand to another partner brand; and (c) the issue of number of alliances in international alliances. A-B brand alliances only involve two partner brands. Brand alliances with more than two partners become increasingly popular. Future research should examine how many partner brands can satisfy the ‘diagnosticity threshold’ so that the remaining partner brands play little role in evaluating multiple-partners brand alliances.