Universal appeals with local specifications

Hsieh, Ming and Lindridge, Andrew (2005). Universal appeals with local specifications. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 14(1) pp. 14–28.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/10610420510583716


Purpose – Aims to explore the factorial structure of automobile brand image in the context of a cross-national study. More specifically, we intend to answer two questions: whether the factor structure of brand image perception differ across countries, and whether these differences are owing to nation's culture and level of economic development.

Design/methodology/approach – An existing data set, which consists of data collected from survey research, was employed. Data covering the top 20 automobile markets consisting of 4,320 eligible new car owners. Perception of and attitude towards automobile brand associations were measured using nominal scales.

Findings – Provides empirical evidence that supports the applicability of multiple brand image dimensions corresponding to the consumer's sensory, utilitarian, symbolic and economic needs at the global level. The study also suggested that factor structure of brand image differs across nations and these differences might be reflective to a nation's culture and its level of economic development.

Research limitations/implications – As with any empirical study, this research inevitably has its limitations, which presents opportunities for further research: extensions of the present framework to other product categories; extensions of the national factors; extensions of the brand associations; and measurement improvement.

Practical implications – Understanding the similarities or differences of the factor structure of brand image across the globe facilitates the formation of a successful global image strategy. First of all, by exploring brand image structure at the global level; and the specific interrelationships among the corresponding associations

Originality/value – The results derived from the 20 diverse nations in the present study not only enhance our understanding of brand image structure but also provide a strong test of the empirical generalizability of automobile brand image dimensionality and factor structure in a global context.

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