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Corporate branding versus product branding in emerging markets A conceptual framework
Henry Yu Xie
College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, and
David J. Boggs
Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, USA
Purpose – To build a conceptual framework for the development of branding strategy from the pint of view of a Western firm entering a market in a developing economy. Design/methodology/approach – An extensive literature review brings together two research streams, market entry and branding strategy, with particular reference to corporate branding versus product branding. Findings – The choice of branding strategy is determined in the conditions under study by five antecedent factors and three moderating variables, which are expressed as a visual model and eight propositions. Practical implications – In a rapidly developing world, this framework and the literature review from which it is derived offer applicable marketing intelligence to planners of branding strategies for international markets. The eight propositions suggest fruitful directions for further academic research. Originality/value – Draws together two streams within the marketing literature in an original way, and offers a framework for the conceptualisation of an important element of marketing strategy in challenging market conditions. Keywords Corporate branding, Emerging markets, Market entry, Multinational firms Paper type Literature review
Branding strategy is a focal issue for firms operating intoday’s international marketplace. Kapferer (1992, pp. 46-7) argues that branding means more than just giving a brand name to a product or products: “brands are a direct consequence of the strategy of market segmentation and product differentiation”. Firms utilize a combination of brand attributes to meet the expectations of specific customers in various economic conditions. Numerous corporate and product, brands are actively competing in the world markets. Corporate branding refers to the strategy in which brand and corporate name are the same (de Chernatony, 1997); product branding builds separate brand identities for different products. The imagery varies from one brand to another in product branding, despite the fact that a single company may own multiple product brands (Davies and Chun, 2002). Examples of corporate brands are IBM and Nike from the USA, RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and Virgin from the UK, or Sony and Mitsubishi from Japan. Product brands include Sprite and Mr Pibb under the
Received January 2005
Accepted March 2006
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
Vol. 24 No. 4, 2006
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Coca-Cola umbrella, Lux and Dove from Unilever, Toyota and Lexus from Toyota, or Benetton’s Sisley and Killer Loop. Emerging markets are a key factor in the future growth of the world economy, offering tremendous growth opportunities for firms from developed countries such as the USA and the members of the EU. The increasingly mature economies of emerging markets will demand more consumer goods from firms in the developed countries. Dawar and Chattopadhyay (2002) contend that multinational firms from developed countries should adapt to the market conditions in emerging markets in order to successfully tap into these markets. Thus, some questions arise: which branding strategy, corporate branding or product branding, do firms prefer to use in their initial entry in the emerging markets? What factors influence the choice of branding strategy in emerging markets? Urde (2003) asserts that there are four basic “brand architectures”; available to firms: corporate, product, corporate-and-product (with dominant use of the corporate brand)...
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