«of the AM’s Brand, Corporate Identity and Reputation SIG INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SESSIONS Sessions chairs The main function of a session chair is to ...»
Tseng and Balabanis (2011) suggest “Made in Labels” still retain provenance in marketing, and remain effective marketing tools to augment and support products through emphasizing strong product country influences (PCI) (Nebenzahl, Jaffe and Lampert 1997, Balabanis and Diamantopoulos 2004). Roth and Romeo (1992) refer to this connectivity as “product – country” matches when the associations are strong whereas Usunier and Cestre (2007) refer to product ethnicity when accompanied by stereotypical consumer behaviour. Combining the emerging themes, the relationship between COO through the prism of CoI/CI (Country of Origin image) and PCATI (product category image), Diamantopoulos Schlegmilch & Palihawadana (2011) suggest the relationship of these variables impacts the brand image, with full potential being reached when COO/CI capitalizes both on the product level as well as the brand level.
Adding to this, the influence of consumer ethnocentrism levels, Hustvedt, Carroll, & Bernard, (2013) posit that on the product level, the influence of PI can reduce to “state” or regional level in consumers with high CET scores as well as country level. This infers the difference between evaluations based on product, category level could be extended to regional or geographic differences. Overall the connectivity between the two themes of COI /CI and product/category –country and consumers CET level remains fluent and expansive with context and extrinsic factors apparently moving the debate away from the intrinsic or normative discussions (Roth and Diamantopoulos (2009).
Despite these developments in COO literature, research relating to organizational branding has suggested the traditional COO effect has been shown to have a significant impact for purchasing managers (White and Cundiff (1978). Similarly in the area of luxury brands, traditional interpretations of COO retain much of their significance. Aiello et al (2009), confirm the influence of COM (country of manufacture), (Samiee 1994) as a prevalent influencer in consumer perceptions of luxury brands, which differs from the broader definitions of CoI suggested by Roth and Diamantopoulus (2009) & Pereira, Hsu, & Kundu, (2005).
Therefore the internal focus of the proposed study seeks to investigate the concept of COO in its many evolving guises, within the context of premium and luxury brands. Through the lense of corporate identity (Aaker and Joachimsthaler 2000, De Chernatony 2001, Suvatjis & De Chernatony cited in De Chernatony, McDonald & Wallace 2011, Melewar & Elif Karaosmanoglu 2006 ) it is the intention to explore how companies in the identified sectors adopt the various existing and emerging themes of COO and “Made in Labels” in the marketing and branding of their product ranges. Acknowledging the work of Roth and Diamantopoulos (2009), the study will address both the intrinsic and extrinsic influences of the concept, including how if at all, the use of COO may create a sense of “belongingness” between stakeholders of a company (Hatch and Schulz 2003, De Roeck, Maon, & Lejeune 2013 ).
Practical implications The focus and drive of the exercise is very much driven by a need to produce a commercial and viable solution relevant to the needs of businesses operating within a defined geographic region with a relevancy and currency with regard to certification and country of manufacture.
Limitations The geographic regions selected are narrow and hence to add validity a wider geographic region could be selected.
Sectors are defined and may be considered limited.
The research method selected lacks the rigour of a full quantitative analysis and review and as such the exploratory nature of the study may be considered a weakness.
Originality/Value The outcomes may result in a more meaningful contribution to the prevalent literature with a focus on the views of the company rather than the perceptions of the consumer. The contribution to theory relates to the impact on how the corporate identity of luxury and premium brands is influenced by country of origin of manufacture.
Keywords1. Luxury/Premium Certification2. Country of Origin3. Brand Identity
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reply to Samiee's (2009) commentary", Journal of business research, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 446When and why do established brand names remain important for consumers?
Round, Griff Roper, Stuart Purpose Research into the role and importance of the brand name element has generally been focused on new products. This is despite the fact that established products and services make up the bulk of purchases made by consumers. Many studies have identified that the choice of a particular brand name can have a significant difference on the success of a newly launched branded entity and the value and meaning that it provides consumers (Mehrabian and Wetter, 1987; Lowrey and Shrum, 2007; Gunasti and Ross, 2010).
It has generally been assumed within the literature that this importance of the brand name element remains when products and services become established (Aaker, 1991: Keller, 2008).
However, there has been a lack of empirical work to support this assumption. In order to address this weakness a research project was established.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss that part of the project that has looked at when and why established brand names remained important to consumers.
Methodology Theoretical Discussion Existing literature was examined to develop a theoretical argument for the importance of the brand name element for established products. Following the work of Bastos and Levy (2012), the brand name element was conceptualised as having two primary value generating functions.
The brand name element signifies or identifies the branded entity. In general, the brand name is the principal signing device employed by a branded entity and it is difficult to make reference to a brand entity without the use of its name.
The brand name gives symbolic value or equity to a branded entity in its own right. In other words because the branded entity has a particular brand name and not a different name the perceived value of the branded entity by consumers is different.
From the literature, it could be considered that the relative importance of the brand name would generally diminish over the lifecycle of the branded entity. Looking at the connotation function first, when a branded product is new then there are few associations that a consumer can make about it, other than from its brand name. Over time new associations are formed based on marketing programmes and consumer experience of using the product (Esch et al., 2012). This may often lead to the actual brand name of an established product contributing little to the associations typically held about the branded entity and therefore holding limited importance (Riezebos, 1994).
From the perspective of the denotation function, there are elements in addition to the brand name that can and do fulfil such a function for a branded entity; for example a branded entity’s packaging, slogan and logo. It may be the case that for established products the importance of the brand name as an ongoing signalling device for the consumer has been overstated, given other elements that can provide a similar function. In support of this view, a number of branded entities have changed their names in recent years (e.g. Marathon to Snickers, Charmin to Cushelle) whilst maintaining their other elements that provide a denotation function, with no obvious detrimental corporate impact (Round and Roper, 2012;
Edwards, 2010). There has also been a growth in copycat branded products. Their success derives from leveraging the equity of the original brand that they mimic (Kapferer, 1995;
Zaichkowsky, 2006; van Horen and Pieters, 2012). This often occurs without an appropriate brand name being used by the copycat product to provide a denotation function towards the initial branded entity, with other elements used instead.