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Local and global brand´s purchase likelihood in emerging markets: The case of Turkey Llonch, Joan Erdogan, Gozde Purpose of the paper In today’s global market consumers in many product categories are faced with a choice between local and global brands. For marketers, as well as for academics, it is quite important to understand the choices of consumers between those two types of brands (Özsomer, 2012).
According to the previous considerations, the key purpose of this study is to identify potential factors that can determine global and local consumer brands purchase likelihood in emerging markets. Thus, the relationship between the antecedents (perceived brand quality, perceived brand globalness, local iconness, brand social signaling value and brand familiarity) and the purchase likelihood for local and global brands is examined among consumers in the emerging economy of Turkey.
The expected contribution of our research would be to better understand consumer buying behaviors related to local and global brands in accordance with social, environmental and cultural factors from emerging economies. This contribution should be important for marketing managers in emerging markets, and especially Turkish ones, because Turkey’s political and legal situation is suitable for international trade and the country has a strategic location for both European and Asian markets that makes it very attractive for foreign companies.
In the full paper, the related literature has been reviewed for identifying the key antecedents of the brand purchase likelihood to determine a set of hypothesis and to present a theoretical model. Then, the methodology has been summarized. Afterwards, the results of the research have been presented; also some theoretical and practical implications for both local and global brands are discussed and also limitations and future research directions have been identified.
Background and hypothesis The term “global brand” is used by many researchers without defining it. According to them, global brand differentiate its goods and services from its competitors and it has got a worldwide use of name, term, sign or symbol (Barron and Hollingshead, 2004; Catecora and Graham, 2007). On the other hand, foreign images or brands are preferred by consumers in developing countries, thus most of the companies try to take advantage by using foreign country appearance like foreign symbols in advertising, or foreign names for their product
labels (essentially Western) (Zhou, Yang, and Hui, 2007). From the above, we posit:
(H1) Perceived brand globalness has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of global brands.
For the social status, wealth and social conformity, consumers in developing countries choose foreign brands instead of local brands (Batra et al. 2000; Ger and Belk 1996; Wand and Yang 2008; Zhou and Hui 2003). In the case of Turkey, foreign product consumption is extremely worthwhile and brands that have status are mostly foreign. In emerging countries, foreign brands come to mind when its about social status and quality instead of local brands (Ural and Küçükaslan, 2011). Thus, (H2) Brand social signaling value has no effect on the brand purchase likelihood of local brands.
(H3) Brand social signaling value has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of global brands.
The brand’s values, needs and desires of consumers represent “local iconness” of a local country (Özsomer, 2012). Some of the consumers have a propensity to use local brands and they don’t want to use global brands, because, local brands reflect consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and their lifestyles (Crane, 2002). Furthermore, many researchers claim that local culture symbols have a positive effect on consumers (Ural, 2008; Turner, 2003). Therefore, (H4) Brand local iconness has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of local brands.
Powerful local culture orientation and strong relationship with the local market environment might ensure strong brand familiarity (Samli, 1995; Belk, 2000; Kapferer, 2002). For the brand purchase likelihood, brand familiarity has a crucial role for both global and local brands (Özsomer, 2012). Thus, (H5) Brand familiarity has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of global brands.
(H6) Brand familiarity has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of local brands.
Whereas perceived quality have been defined by many scholars, each definition has a common argument; that is, perceived quality could influence performance, features, conformance, durability, serviceability, reliability and aesthetics, etc. If there is no superior quality or value in brands, there will be equal competition between “global image” and “local image” (Kapferer, 1997; Shocher et al., 1994). From that we posit, (H7) Perceived brand quality has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of local brands.
(H8) Perceived brand quality has a positive effect on the brand purchase likelihood of global brands.
The proposed model is presented in figure 1.
Figure 1: Antecedents for the brand purchase likelihood of local and global brands
1. Perceived brand globalness
2. Brand as a social signaling value
3. Brand purchase likelihood Methodology For the empirical research two local and two global brands were selected. One local brand is Koton, a Turkish clothing and accessories retailer with more than 4.600 employees and 362 stores (255 in Turkey and 107 abroad). The second local brand is Duru, one of the most successful personal care brands of the Evyap Group. The first global brand considered in our study is Zara, a Spanish clothing and accessories company, with more than 2.400 stores all over the world, and the second is Elidor, a hair care brand, produced by Unilever, and known internationally as Sunsilk.
A questionnaire was used to collect the required data from Turkish consumers. It was distributed to 290 respondents by internet. For each question on the questionnaire a 7- points Likert scale was used (where 1 = “strongly disagree” and 7 = “strongly agree”).
To test the validity and reliability of the scales two statistical techniques were used, factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha test. To determine the relationship between the variables a Pearson’s correlation analysis and a regression analysis was also used.
Table 1 Results of the regression analysis
Findings The results of the regression analysis suggest that brand quality and brand as a social signaling value have a positive effect on the purchase likelihood of both local and global brands, in the two product categories analyzed. However, brand as a local iconess has a positive effect only for the local personal care brand Duru, but not for the other local brand Koton. Moreover, perceived brand globalness has no effect on the purchase likelihood of Elidor. Interestingly, for the case of Zara, a global brand, the relationship between perceived brand globalness and its purchase likelihood is negative, instead of positive. Finally, no relationship was found between brand familiarity and the purchase likelihood of any one of the four brands.
Theoretical implications The findings show that brand social signaling value and brand quality can be more profound for both local and global brands. On the other hand, brand familiarity may be considered an integral part of local iconness because it is likely to be known “local brand” in consumer minds. While perceived brand globalness may have had an influence on brand purchase likelihood, in today’s global production environment, it can be negligible. Brands that have high quality and social impact may be considered more important to determine brand purchase likelihood.
Practical implications Global brand managers, for the positioning strategy of their brands, should not just focus on the foreign culture, it is also important to use local cultural factors in this activity. On the other hand, it seems that the brand foreignness appeal is no longer outstanding for global brands, because local brands also attune themselves into the competitive market by using global features such as design and quality. For local brand managers the results suggest that local brands should enhance their local iconness perceptions. Furthermore, they should take into consideration the importance of maintaining and increasing quality. Lastly, brand social signaling value is one of the most substantial effect on the brand purchase likelihood, thus local brand managers should take into account that the product and/or brand should be unique, original and fashionable.
Limitations Primarily, perceived brand globalness, local iconness and brand social signaling value can be developed and evaluated in more detailed in future research. Secondly, selected brands’ price level equalization for both global and local brands might be considered in future research. On the other hand, other consumer characteristics such as materialism (Ahuvia, and Wong, 2002) and cosmopolitanism (Cannon and Yaprak, 2002) could be regarded for further research.
Moreover, for future research a more representative sample of the population should be used and larger number of brands and products are needed.