Chapter 3: Adoption of Global Consumer Culture: The Road to Global Brands
Ayşegül Özsomer INTRODUCTION The cultural influence of global brands has never been more important. In psychological terms, global brands are perceived as creating an identity, and a sense of achievement for consumers, symbolizing the aspired values of global consumer culture (GCC). Through the process of meaning transfer consumers internalize these values and ideals to their self-concept (McCracken 1986). On one hand, global brands carry the espoused values of the global culture, which reflects mostly the core values of Western societies, including freedom of choice, free market, and individual rights (Gupta and Govindarajan 2004); on the other hand, consumers actively create and add new meanings to global brands through a process of meaning co-creation. Global brands are defined as brands that have widespread global awareness, availability, acceptance and demand, often found under the same name with consistent positioning, personality, look and feel in major markets enabled by centrally coordinated marketing strategies and programs (Özsomer and Altaras 2008). Global brands with their consistent positioning benefit from a unique perceived image worldwide. Consumers equate consumption of global brands with modernity, consumerism, progress, success, efficiency and a promise of abundance (Holton 2000). Consumers’ preferences for global brands are positively associated with the extent to which they believe these brands are available around the world rather than being available only in the local markets (Steenkamp, Batra and Alden 2003). Such a global positioning increases in its strategic appeal as consumers around the world develop similar needs and tastes constituting global consumer segments, such...
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