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Handbook of Research in International Marketing

Edited by Subhash C. Jain

Presenting the challenges and opportunities ahead, the contributors to this volume critically examine the current status and future direction of research in international marketing. The result of a sustained and lively dialogue among contributors from a variety of cultures, this volume gathers their perspectives and many insights on the revitalization of the field.
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Chapter 13: Dynamics of International Brand Architecture: Overview and Directions for Future Research

Susan P. Douglas and C. Samuel Craig


Susan P. Douglas and C. Samuel Craig INTRODUCTION Branding is a key element of a firm’s marketing strategy. Strong brands help establish the firm’s identity in the marketplace, and develop a solid customer franchise (Aaker 1996; Kapferer 1997; Keller 1998). Owning the number one or two brand in the product category provides manufacturers with a weapon to counter growing retailer power (Barwise and Robertson 1992). A strong brand name can also provide the basis for brand extensions, which further strengthen the firm’s position in the marketplace as well as potentially enhancing the brand’s value (Aaker and Keller 1990). As firms move into international markets, branding plays an important role in their marketing strategy. In particular, a judicious branding strategy provides a means to enhance the firm’s visibility and integrate strategy across national markets (see Khermouch, Holmes and Ihlwan 2001). In markets outside the USA the concept of building strong brands in order to establish market position is relatively recent (Court et al. 1997). Markets are often fragmented, characterized by small-scale distribution, and lack the potential or size to warrant the use of heavy mass media advertising needed to develop strong brands (Barwise and Robertson 1992). In addition, firms have typically expanded the geographic scope of operations on a piecemeal basis by acquiring companies in other countries or entering into alliances across national boundaries. As a result they often acquire national brands or ones with limited visibility. Consequently, companies operating internationally need to identify opportunities for strengthening their position through improved...

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