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‘They don't want us to become them’: Brand Local Integration and consumer ethnocentrism

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Abstract:

This paper investigates whether positioning strategies of foreign brands that integrate both foreign and ‘localised’ dimensions of country-of-origin (COO) appeals shape perceptions and attitudes of domestically biased consumers. Ethnocentric consumers hold strong favourable attitudes towards local-perceived brands. At the same time, brand positioning strategies of local brands acquired by multinational corporations and of foreign brands entering the local market often integrate foreign COO appeals with locally relevant manufacturing and/or symbolic appeals. The results indicate that foreign brand identities that integrate ‘localised’ appeals communicating respect of local traditions (through the use of local images, symbols, and recipes) and contribution to the local society's well-being (through local manufacture, employment, use of local ingredients) lead to more favourable consumer perceptions. In distinguishing between ‘purely foreign’ and ‘locally integrated foreign brands’, consumers perceive the latter to be more acceptable for consumption. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the findings and outlining directions for further research.

Keywords: Brand Local Integration; consumer ethnocentrism; country-of-origin brand evaluation; qualitative research

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2012.698634

Affiliations: 1: Coventry University Business School, UK 2: Griffith University, Queensland, Australia 3: University of Salford, UK 4: Bialystok Technical University, Poland 5: International Institute of Business, Ukraine

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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