4-8 pages, APA format, Double spacedThis is an individual paper that will focus on one organization (McDonald’s) and its global marketing efforts on both global and local level. International marketing managers frequently decide to adapt organizational brand image across international markets. Your individual paper will focus on information from the CH1 case study in our textbook combined with an article on Global Marketing by Rowan Wilken. * Papers due Jan 26th before class extended submission of paper to 10pm 1/26/17 . Read through both articles and answer the following questions in an essay form.Identify the key elements in McDonald’s global marketing strategy. Despite a slowdown in global fast-food consumption, McDonald’s continues to be a success story. What is the key?Does McDonald’s think globally and act locally? Give examples. Does McDonald’s think locally and act globally? Give examples.Is it realistic to expect that McDonald’s or any well-known company—can expand globally without occasionally making a mistake or generating controversy? Give examples of some mistakes.
FOR TOM MUTUNGA: Global Marketing: McDonalds
Global brand positioning and perceptions International advertising and global consumer culture Melissa Archpru Akaka and Dana L. Alden Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i at Manoa Global consumer culture is recognised as a collection of common signs and symbols (e.g. hrands) that are understood by significant numbers of consumers in urban markets around the world. International advertising is a powerful driving force of this evolving phenom- enon. However, scholars have suggested that more comprehensive theoretical frameworks are needed to better understand international advertising in the global environment. Global consumer culture positioning (GCCP) and perceived brand globalness (PBG) represent two important constructs for studying international advertising in the context of global consumer culture. This review of GCCP and PBG highlights their past application and future potential for advancing international advertising theory, research and practice. It also sheds light on the long-standing standardisation versus adaptation debate. Introduction The process of economic globalisation may slow down during times of financial and social upheaval, but global movements of capital, labour and production will continue to grow over the long term (Townsend et al. 2009). Furthermore, while deep-seated cultural traditions and values do not appear to be converging, demand for global brands among certain segments remains strong. In addition, evidence supports the validity of acculturation to global consumer culture (AGCC; Cleveland & Laroche 2007) and the existence of the individual difference construct-global consumption orientation (GCO; Alden et al. 2006). Alden et al. (1999) describe global consumer culture (GCC) as a set of consumption-related symbols and behaviours that are commonly under- International Journal of Advertising, 29(1), pp. 37-56 © 2010 Advertising Association Published by Ware, www.warc.com DOI: 10.2501/S0265048709201026 37 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) Stood but not necessarily shared by consumers and businesses around the world. GCC does not represent homogenisation as envisioned by some scholars (Levitt 1983); rather, it reflects the global diffusion of con- sumption signs and behaviours, predominantly from Western and Asian developed countries (e.g. hamburgers and sushi as fast food). Consumers understand GCC signs and behaviours but continuously rely on their ovs^n local meaning systems for interpretation, use and display. Thus, GCC is a complex, evolving structure, comprising cultural simi- larities and differences, as well as global and local meanings, which is in a constant state of change (e.g. Appadurai 1990; Wilk 1995). This dynamic phenomenon is driven by the continuous transfer of cultural artefacts and their embedded meanings (McCracken 1986). Although various mediums of cultural transfer have been explored (e.g. ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, finanscapes and ideoscapes; Appadurai 1990), of par- ticular interest in this paper is the transfer of cultural signs via media – specifically, international advertising. International advertising is recognised as a driving force of the transi- tioning global culture and an important means for studying cultural change (McCracken 1986; Mazarella 2003). Thus, international advertising is criti- cal in the investigation of GCC as it plays a key role in communicating and reflecting cultural symbols in a given culture at a specified point in time (McCracken 1986; Mazarella 2003). However, it has been suggested that in order to advance the understanding of phenomena associated with international advertising, more comprehensive and empirically tested theoretical models are needed (Taylor 2005). To advance the development of such models, this paper reviews and inte- grates two theoretical constructs used for studying issues related to interna- tional advertising and GCC: global consumer culture positioning (GCCP; Alden et al. 1999) and perceived brand globalness (PBG; Steenkamp et al. 2003). These constructs are based on two perspectives that are critical for understanding the complexities of global consumer culture – specifically, that of the firm (GCCP) and that of the consumer (PBG). Considered together, GCCP and PBG provide a more comprehensive approach to understanding the relationship between international advertising and GCC than either the firm’s or the consumer’s perspective alone. First, an overview of GCC is provided and its relationship to interna- tional advertising is highlighted. Next, GCCP and PBG are described and 38 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS international advertising research that applies these constructs is exam- ined. Thereafter, the value of consumer perceptions of brand globalness is discussed. Special attention is paid to what this means for the standardisa- tion versus adaptation debate. Finally, the implications of GCCP and PBG are identified, and future directions for international advertising research are proposed. Global consumer culture As cultural meanings move about through interconnected pathways, such as technology and media (see Appadurai 1990), new cultures are created that are found within (e.g. local cultures) and span across (e.g. regional) the boundaries of traditionally studied national cultures (Hofstede 1980). As noted, global consumer culture (GCC) represents a collection of common signs (e.g. products such as blue jeans and brands such as iPod) that are understood by certain market segments (e.g. youth) around the world (e.g. Alden etal. 1999; Cleveland & Laroche 2007; Zhou etal. 2008). While few deny the presence of GCC, there is debate in the literature as to exactly what GCC represents and how it should be studied (see Merz etal. 2008). Some believe that the emergence of GCC indicates an increas- ingly homogeneous global market (e.g. Levitt 1983), while others argue that globalisation actually increases heterogeneity through an increased effort to preserve unique local cultures (e.g. Jackson 2004). Still others highlight the complexities of globalisation; they also note the simultane- ous increase of homogeneity and heterogeneity, and point to the ‘glocalisa- tion’ of worldwide consumption attitudes and patterns (e.g. Ger & Belk 1996; Hermans & Kempen 1998). Merz et al. (2008) distinguish between symbolic and functional meanings embedded in market offerings and offer a categorisation framework (superordinate, basic and subordinate) that helps explain how GCC represents both homogeneous and heteroge- neous meanings, depending on the category and meaning type. Taking a distributed approach to understanding culture provides insight into the development and multifaceted nature of GCC (Arnould & Thompson 2005). Consumer culture theory (CCT) emphasises the complexities associated with cross-cultural consumption phenomena by suggesting that culture is made up of ‘the heterogeneous distribution of meanings and the multiplicity of overlapping cultural groupings that exist 39 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) within the broader sociohistoric frame of globalization and market capital- ism’ (Arnould & Thompson 2005, p. 869). This perspective is similar to that of Wilk (1995, p. Ill), who argues that cultural researchers need to look beyond the ‘polarities of global hegemony and local appropriation’ by recognising structures of common difference across cultures. As an example, Wilk (1995) describes beauty pageants in Belize that are embedded with unique social relationships and meaning. However, when viewed through a global lens, local beauty pageants become predictable and uniform. Wilk suggests that the replication of diversity (among local cultures) can actually increase homogeneity by producing commonalities across cultures. In the same vein, Mazarella (2003, p. 17) recognises that ‘the global is constructed locally just as much as the local is constructed globally’. The common structures among local cultures and similarities in consumption patterns may appear to establish a framework for a homogeneous GGG. However, what is considered ‘global’ in any given culture is done rela- tive to what is considered ‘local’. In other words, there are no ‘global’ or ‘foreign’ meanings without ‘local’ reference points, and vice versa; culture itself exists only when it is viewed relative to another culture (Tobin 1992). Adding to the complexity of GCG, cultures are not only multifaceted, they are very dynamic. Often, as cultural forms or symbols enter a new culture, the meaning of the object or symbol changes. In essence, that which is considered global in one culture may not be considered as such in another. Moreover, symbols that are currently considered global may not maintain their ‘global’ meaning over time (Tobin 1992). Appadurai (1990) discusses the dynamics of globalisation through his presentation of five dimensions of global cultural flow: (1) ethnoscapes, (2) mediascapes, (3) technoscapes, (4) finanscapes, and (5) ideoscapes. Of particular inter- est are mediascapes and the cultural forms and meanings that move across cultures through various ‘image-centered, narrative-based accounts of strips of reality’ (Appadurai 1990, p. 299). Advertising is a key medium for driving this type of cultural flow. According to McGracken (1986, p. 74), ‘Advertising works as a potential method of meaning transfer by bringing the consumer good and a repre- sentation of the culturally constituted world together within the frame of a particular advertisement.’ Mazarella(2003, p. 18) explains that advertis- ing (and other marketing) institutions ‘are perhaps the most efficient and 40 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS successful contemporary practitioners of a skill that no one can afford to ignore; namely the ability to move fluently between the local and the glo- bal, as well as between the concrete and the abstract.’ It is because of this ability to transfer, share and contribute to the creation of cultural mean- ings that advertisements – particularly for global or foreign brands – often establish a ‘cultural paradox’ (de Mooij 1998) that ultimately questions what is represented by an advertisement: the culture of the consumers or that of the company. Kates and Goh (2003, p. 62) shed light on the paradoxical nature of global advertising and GCC in their investigation of how advertisers incor- porate local cultural contexts in developing advertisements for foreign or multinational brands. They explain, ‘Even before specific brands are discussed, ad professionals consider strong sociocultural meanings among foreign consumers. These meanings provide a basis for creating local rel- evance and the ways brands might morph into the new locale.’ The dynamic and multidimensional nature of GCC provides a theoreti- cal framework for studying international advertising from the perspective of the firm as well as that of the customer. In fact, there are instances in which GCC appears relevant to international advertising research, but has not been applied. For example, Li etal. (2009) investigate the similarities and differences in internet advertising by Eastern and Western multina- tional firms advertising in China. They report that Eastern and Western firms use different approaches (e.g. emotional vs rational) in their advertis- ing appeals. Additionally, Diehl et al. (2008) study attitudes towards phar- maceutical advertising across cultures, and describe associations between consumer perceptions and culture. In these studies GCC could have been applied to help explain strategic differences across firms and response dif- ferences across customers, respectively. Advertisers’ consideration of both global market positioning (Alden etal. 1999) and perceptions of globalness (Steenkamp etal. 2003) reflects the interplay between firms’ and consumers’ cultures around the world. Thus, it is clear that firms’ cultural positioning strategies, often executed via international advertising (Alden et al. 1999), and consumers’ existing cultural perceptions (Steenkamp et al. 2003) play key roles in the emer- gence of shared symbols (e.g. brands) associated with GCC. 41 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) Global positioning and perceptions The overview of GCC suggests that while cultural signs and symbols are globally diffusing, the process is neither unidirectional nor stable (Wilk 1985; Appadurai 1990; Mazarella 2003). International advertising is recognised as an important driver of transferring signs and symbols (de Mooij 1998; Mazarella 2003). One challenge in studying such phenomena is that the defmition of ‘global’ is not always clear. Özsomer and Altaras (2008, p. 1) stress objective measures such as ‘regional/global awareness, availability, acceptance, and demand’, as well as ‘consistent positioning, personality, look and feel in major markets’. Others argue that, in addi- tion to ‘objective’ defmitions, identification of the global and associated attributes is dependent on consumer perceptions (Holt et al. 2004; Alden et al. 2006). This study integrates these perspectives by denning a global brand as one that standardises aspects of its brand communication pro- gramme (e.g. brand name, logo, brand positioning statement, brand image, brand positioning, brand packaging), andx^aax consumers in multiple coun- tries view as global. GCCP and PBG are now discussed in greater detail. Global consumer culture positioning Alden etal. (1999) recognise the emergence of GCC and argue that brand positioning strategies across cultural borders parallel the development of the global market. They call these strategies global consumer culture posi- tioning (GCCP), foreign consumer culture positioning (FCCP) and local consumer culture positioning (LCCP). GCCP is defined as a strategy that ‘identifies the brand as a symbol of a given global culture’ (Alden et al. 1999, p. 77). This strategy can be seen in advertisements that suggest that consumers around the wodd use a particular product or brand, as well as those ads that reflect universal values (e.g. peace) or markets (e.g. youth). GCCP is distinguished from FCCP, which positions the brand as symbolic of a specific foreign consumer culture, and LCCP, which associates the brand with local cultural meanings (Alden etal. 1999). The theoretical framework for GCCP is grounded in semiotics – the study of signs and their meanings (Mick 1986) – and globalisation theories associated with GCC (e.g. Appadurai 1990; Hannerz 1990). Based on these theoretical foundations, Alden et al. (1999) examined language, aesthetic 42 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS Styles and story themes in television advertising from seven countries using indigenous coders to identify the extent of GCCP, FCCP and LCCP in their large multinational ad sample. Their analysis provides evidence that globally common consumption-orientated signs exist, and that firms make specific efforts to feature these symbols and appeal to consumers’ associations with GCC. The results of the original GCCP study (Alden etal. 1999) suggest that a distinct global positioning strategy, which differs from foreign and local positioning, is employed by firms. For example, firms used a globally common language (English), as well as global aesthetic styles (e.g. global spokesperson – someone who is well recognised in multiple countries) and story themes (e.g. membership in the global culture – such as use of the latest worldwide technology) to reach certain segments in multiple coun- tries. In addition, GCCP emphasised soft-selling techniques (indirect, image-orientated content), rather than hard-selling techniques (direct, strong message argument appeals). Certain product types (durable high- . tech goods) were more likely to be positioned globally. GCCP contributes to the understanding of international advertising and GCC by highlighting firms’ efforts to use widely understood symbols to communicate similar meanings across different countries and cultures. Importantly, this study not only suggests that GCC exists, but also points towards specific signs and symbols that firms use to connect their brands with consumers across the globe. However, while this framework identi- fies common symbols in the global market, it does not delve into the meanings associated with these signs. Moreover, the framework recog- nises commonly shared global symbols among certain consumer segments (e.g. middle- to upper-class urban or teens) that associate with a specific GCC, but it does not suggest that these symbols are understood or shared among the global population as a whole. Perceived brand globalness Alden etal.’s (1999) GCCP study suggests that firms often position their brands as global, foreign or local. However, as mentioned, a brand’s glo- balness, foreignness or localness, is not based on a firm’s actions alone. Rather, firm positioning and consumer perceptions intersect and jointly contribute to meanings associated with brands in the market (Holt et al. 43 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) 2004). Thus, in studying GCC, consumer perceptions of brand globalness should also be considered (Steenkamp etal. 2003; Holt etal. 2004). In order to better understand consumer perceptions associated with global brands, Steenkamp etal. (2003) proposed a construct referred to as perceived brand globalness (PBG). Based on the notion that consumers ‘believe the brand is marketed in multiple countries and is generally rec- ognised as global in these countries’, PBG is hypothesised to be driven by exposure to the brand via general media (e.g. sporting events, word of mouth, or travelling) and through marketing promotions (e.g. advertising and packaging; Steenkamp etal. 2003, p. 54). The authors examined the effects of PBG on brand purchase likelihood, both directly and indirectly (through pathways of perceived brand quality and brand prestige) in two countries: the Republic of Korea and the United States. Consumer ethnocentrism (CET) was also investigated as a moderating factor of PBG on purchase likelihood. Additionally, the influence of a brand as a local (rather than foreign or global) icon was examined to provide an alternative antecedent to brand purchase likelihood. Several covariates controlled for brand familiarity, country of origin and unobserved, brand- specific effects. The results of this study (Steenkamp et al. 2003) reveal that PBG is positively associated with perceptions of both brand prestige and brand quality, but has a stronger relationship with perceived brand quality. While the overall effect of PBG on purchase likelihood was positive, when per- ceived brand quality and prestige were controlled, the direct effect of PBG on purchase likelihood was not significant. Alternatively, the direct asso- ciation between local icon value and purchase likelihood was found to be significant. Moreover, the effect of local icon value was positively related to perceived brand prestige but not perceived brand quality. In addition, CET was a significant moderator as PBG was positively associated with purchase likelihood only for consumers with low ethnocentrism. These findings were consistent across both countries. Although consumer perceptions of globalness were considered impor- tant to the success of global brands prior to the development of the PBG construct (e.g. Shocker et al. 1994), in this study Steenkamp et al. (2003) addressed the questions ‘Do perceptions of globalness influence purchase decisions.^” and ‘What makes global brands appealing.?’ They established a framework for empirically testing the impact of consumers’ perceptions 44 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS towards global brands and identified important pathways (perceived qual- ity and prestige) through which PBG influences purchase likelihood. The results of this study suggest that brand prestige and, more so, brand quality are important factors in the positioning of global brands. The authors also found that the total effect of PBG on purchase likelihood was greater than that of local icon value. Thus, if a firm’s GCCP strategy is effective in establishing perceptions of globalness as well as quality and/or prestige, GCCP may be a more beneficial positioning strategy than LCCP. GCCP and PBG in international advertising research Since its initial development (Alden et al. 1999), the GCCP framework has been identified as a useful positioning tool for multinational marketers (e.g. Onkvisit & Shaw 2004; Grover & Vriens 2006). There is also growing evidence of GCCP’s usefulness in advertising research regarding global strategies (Tharp & Jeong 2001; Nelson & Paek 2007). In addition, GCCP has been applied in conjunction with research related to PBG in studying the role of brand quality (Amine et al. 2005) and brand prestige (Zhou & Belk 2004; Hung et al. 2005), as well as the relationship between global positioning and consumers’ individual traits and cultures (Kates & Goh 2003; Zhou é’//?/. 2008). Tharp and Jeong (2001) reference GCCP in their examination of the strategic efforts of global network communications agencies (GNCAs). They suggest that global strategies should focus on the brand and the common values associated with it across cultures, rather than adapting to individual consumer cultures. In line with the GCCP framework, they argue that GNCAs can use certain spokespeople, story themes and visual images to establish a brand as global or belonging to GCC. Also focusing on firm strategies. Nelson and Paek (2007) draw on GCCP in their investigation of the extent of standardisation in global advertising. The authors conduct a content analysis of advertisements in local editions of Cosmopolitan in seven countries and find that, generally, multinational ads consist of more standardised elements (i.e. advertising copy and models) than domestic ads, which is consistent with the ideas that GCC features common symbols across cultures and that firms communicate these commonalities through advertising. Additionally, Nelson and Paek (2007) reinforce Alden et al.’^ (1999) findings that product type is related 45 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OE ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) to positioning strategy, e.g. they report that beauty products are likely to employ more standardised advertising than other product categories. In a study related to brand quality, Amine etal. (2005) respond to Alden et al. (1999) call for more managerially orientated research on the use of global positioning strategies. The authors referenced both the GCCP and PBG frameworks in their case study analysis, which examined Taiwan’s country-image ad campaign. They found evidence of a semiotic approach for meaning transfer in advertising, and identified quality and excellence as recurring themes that were used to improve Taiwan’s country image to the rest of the world. Taiwan’s use of a quality appeal in the promotion of its country image is consistent with the PBG construct (Steenkamp et al. 2003), which suggests that quality is often associated with perceptions of globalness. Moreover, Amine et al.’s (2005) study supports Alden et al.’s (1999) finding that global ads employ soft-selling over hard-selling tactics, as Taiwan’s recent ads portrayed an affective approach using images of culture and quality of life. In their study of status-seeking consumers in China, Hung et al. (2005, p. 52) draw on both GCCP and PBG. The authors explain: Global brands are known to purposely promote a foreign image when market- ing in transitional economies (Alden et al. 1999). This is to enhance the desira- bility of these brands among local consumers who tend to associate foreignness with higher perceived quality and social status given the brands’ higher price, relative scarcity and higher prestige (Batra etal. 2000; Steenkamp etal 2003). With the goal of improving media decisions in China, Wxn%et al.^^ (2005) study found that advertising in special interest magazines is more effec- tive in reaching ‘upscale urbanités’ – consumers who are young, educated and have relatively high incomes — than advertising on television or in newspapers. Moreover, they found that magazines, particularly fashion magazines, were effective for reaching status-seeking consumers. In line with Steenkamp et al. (2003), the authors suggest that these media out- lets, which are effective in reaching status-seeking consumers, should be important to advertisers with non-local positioning. Zhou and Belk (2004) apply the GCCP framework and analyse reader responses towards globally versus locally positioned advertisements among Chinese consumers. Two distinct groups were identified: one attracted to global advertising appeals and the other to local advertising appeals. Consistent with the GCCP framework, global advertisements 46 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS were found to use less literal or ‘softer’ appeals, and portrayed the feeling of cosmopolitan sophistication. The group attracted to the global appeals interpreted meanings of beauty, status and cosmopolitanism, while the group attracted to local appeals associated ad meanings with Chinese cultural values and feelings of nationalism. These results also supported Steenkamp etal.’s (2003) findings that the global culture is associated with the desire for status or prestige. While research related to GCCP and PBG indicates the existence of common elements associated with international advertising and GCC (e.g. brand quality and prestige), other variables also appear to influ- ence attitudes and perceptions towards global brands (Alden et al. 2006). Several advertising studies have drawn on GCCP in conjunction with research related to consumer perceptions. Such studies emphasise indi- vidual differences and cultural differences in responsiveness to advertising communications. For example, Zhou etal. (2008) develop a scale measuring susceptibility to global consumer culture (SGCC). The authors derive this concept from the PBG framework (Steenkamp etal. 2003) and define SGCC as ‘the con- sumer’s desire or tendency for the acquisition and use of global brands’ (p. 337). They explain that this individual difference is recognised as a gen- eral consumer tendency that varies across cultures (Holt et al. 2004) and influences the effectiveness of GCCP on consumer perceptions of brand globalness. In line with the pathways of PBG, SGCC is found to relate to three general aspects of consumption: conformity to consumption, quality perception and social prestige. The authors suggest that the SGCC con- cept can be used to inform decisions related to GCCP by helping firms better understand the motivations of consumer attitudes towards globally positioned brands. In their study on ‘brand morphing’, Kates and Goh (2003) recognise the three brand-positioning categories proposed within the GCCP framework, but they argue that global, local and foreign positioning does not account for the presence of multiple brand meanings in the culturally diverse glo- bal market. They explain that a brand can have multiple meanings and may be associated with diverse groups of people, including cultures. The authors present several brand morphing practices (customised uniformity, changing brand positioning and creating ‘new’ meanings) that interna- tional advertisers can use to communicate global images while increasing 47 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) local relevance. The integration of local cultural signs and symbols with global messages and content has been recognised as the hybridised approach (e.g. Alden et al. 2006) – an alternative to the extreme positions of standardisation and adaptation. Global positioning and local relevance A major challenge with understanding GCC is that while some signs (e.g. brands) may be positioned consistently across cultures, their relevance and/ or meaning across those cultures may vary (Tobin 1992). Kates and Goh (2003) provide an example of Kraft’s Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which markets itself globally using a consistent brand position as an ‘indulgent, heavenly experience’. They explain that, because heaven is viewed differ- ently in various cultures (e.g. Muslim vs Christian cultures), angels were used to represent heaven in some cultures but not in others. This is a clear example of how different cultures may use culturally unique signifiers to represent various meanings (Tobin 1992), and how a globally positioned brand or commonly shared symbol can be made locally relevant. The discussion of both GCCP and PBG encourages consideration of the firm’s global positioning as well as changing consumer perceptions of what represents global versus local. As discussed, taking into account both sets of perspectives establishes a more comprehensive approach to understanding GCC. This is important because in some cases what is positioned as global by the firm is not considered global in the eyes of consumers (Mazarella 2003). Furthermore, what is thought of as global in a given culture today may not be considered as such tomorrow (Tobin 1992). Additionally, although there is evidence to suggest that PBG leads to more positive brand perceptions (Steenkamp et al. 2003), negative perceptions have also been associated with globalness and globalisation (e.g. Zhou & Belk 2004). More recently, research has shown that individual differences influence consumer preferences for not only local and global offerings, but hybrid options as well (Alden et al. 2006). Hybridisation in international advertising Consideration of consumers’ perceptions of brand globalness and varying attitudes towards global brands provides insight into the long-standing 48 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS debate regarding standardisation versus adaptation in international adver- tising research (Agrawal 1995; Papavassiliou & Stathakopoulos 1997). Agrawal (1995) identifles three schools of thought in international adver- dsing that have developed since the 1950s: standardisation, adaptation and contingency approaches. He explains that proponents of standardi- sation focus advertising efforts on the similarities of consumers around the wodd, and argues that standardisation has benefits of cost reducdon and economies of scale. Alternatively, the adaptation school argues that country-level differences must be considered in advertising development. These differences include culture, economic and industrial development, media access and polidcal/legal restrictions. The third school of thought argues that effective advertising requires a combination of the standardisation and adaptation approaches (Agrawal 1995). The specific combination of the two approaches depends on con- text, circumstance and culture. In line with this reasoning, Papavassiliou and Stathakopoulos (1997) argue that the standardisation decision is not dichotomous. Rather, the two stand at opposite ends of a continuum with a multitude of opdons for utilising both strategies in the middle. The discussion of GCC and the intersection between GCCP and PBG suggests that global brand advertising may benefit most from a combined or hybrid approach. Hybrid ads should feature globally desired attributes (e.g. quality and prestige) along with consumer preferences for global versus local signs and behaviours in the selection of language, visuals and themes. For example, the use of local images can help increase the rel- evance of global brands (Kates & Goh 2003). Hung, Li and Belk (2007) investigate the perceptions of Chinese women towards a variety of adverdsements, and identify three strategies used to enhance image meaningfulness: (1) perceived localness, (2) perceived otherness, and (3) creolisation. The authors explain that the creolisation strategy ‘represents not only a mix of different images but a character that embodies both global and local influences’ (Hung et al. 2007, p. 1046). The women also revealed pathways they followed in associating with the brands in the ads: (1) identifying, (2) aspiring, (3) identifying and aspiring, and (4) rejecting/dismissing. Importantly, only the ‘creolised’ ad, with a global market position and local model, evoked both identification and aspiration responses. Hungetal. (2007, p. 1048) explain that the creolised ad was perceived as outstanding because ‘it has a local look and elicits 49 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) the strength of character involving clothes hedonism and career achieve- ment. Yet these two desirable “foreign” traits were presented in a non- threatening manner consistent with Chinese socialization.’ The hybrid approach to global positioning leverages attractive aspects of GCC, such as prestige and quality, and considers optimal integration of these attributes into existing local values and cultural beliefs. The chal- lenge with this approach is that there is no standardised mixture of global and local symbols. Thus, while hybridisation advertising strategies have been presented in the literature (e.g. Kates & Goh 2003), each situation requires careful thought regarding symbols that effectively represent glo- bal and local meanings and how they will be portrayed (Agrawal 1995). For instance, Meizetal’s (2008) categorisation approach to GCC suggests that globally shared symbols are most easily identified at the superordinate level. However, the strength of superordinate-level symbols depends on whether meanings associated with signs at the basic and subordinate lev- els are primarily functional or symbolic. Clearly, more research is needed to investigate perceptions of how the global and the local vary by culture and how such signs are best integrated in international advertising. Implications and future research directions GCCP and PBG establish two theoretical frameworks that provide insight on the driving forces of globalisation and cultural change. The intersection of these frameworks indicates that GCCP is a valid marketing strategy, in which international advertising plays an important role in transferring cultural messages and portraying globally shared signs (i.e. language, aesthetic styles and story themes). However, consideration of globalness as perceived by consumers, rather than as an objective trait of an object or brand, suggests that certain symbols associated with the construct (i.e. basic and subordinate-level symbols) may vary across cultures. Moreover, the PBG framework and related research suggests that attitudes towards global brands are also influenced by individual consumer differences (e.g. consumer ethnocentrism) and that globalness is not always perceived favourably (Alden et al. 2006). Thus, recognition of GCC is not an open invitation to firms to standardise offerings and messages for a worldwide market. In order to increase local relevance and favourability among those 50 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS less attracted to standardised global messages, a hybrid approach to inter- national advertising may be optimal. Hybridisation in adverdsing is not new (Agrawal 1995). However, the complex task of integrating global and local images in an effort to evoke posidve perceptions of globalness provides ferdle ground for fur- ther investigadon of international adverdsing and GCC. With regard to perceptions of globalness, research is needed to better understand what constitutes ‘global’ in a given place and time. While PBG was found to be associated with perceived brand quality and prestige (Steenkamp etal. 2003), this does not necessarily mean what is perceived as global today will be tomorrow (Tobin 1992). For example, as industrialisadon advances around the wodd and the quality of local offerings increases, associations between perceived globalness and brand quality may decrease. Ongoing research is also needed to idendfy attributes (both positive and negadve) associated with global objects as perceptions of ‘global’ change. This call for further investigation aligns with Taylor’s (2005) suggestion that research is needed to idendfy factors that can be standardised in glo- bal adverdsing. Taylor (2005) also notes the need for the identification of culture-specific execution techniques or local adaptation strategies. It is clear that hybridisation is complex and that there is much to learn about balancing globally standardised and locally adapted attributes and symbols in international advertising, pardcularly with regard to GCC. The recognition of GCC does not suggest that there is one homogenous global market segment. Rather, it indicates that there are commonly under- stood symbols and behaviours among market segments that span physical and geographical boundaries. Thus, in addition to attributes, identification of consumer segments associated with GCC is needed. The youth market appears to cut across geographical borders (e.g. Kjeldgaard & Askegaard 2006), as do cosmopolitans (e.g. Thompson & Tambyah 1999). However, there are probably many more unrecognised markets, with varying levels of social status, that share understanding of consumption signs and behav- iours across nations and regions. For example, research regarding brand communities (Muniz & O’Guinn 2001) recognises groups of consumers associated with particular brands that are capable of spanning national bor- ders, as well as other traditional segments such as age, gender and social class. Further investigadon of groups associated with GCC, particularly through global brand communities, is needed. 51 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) Additionally, while the extant research regarding GCC covers multiple nations, many other countries remain unstudied. Moreover, the complex- ity of the GCC construct makes it difficult to measure and has generally limited research to either the perspective of the firm or that of the cus- tomer, rather than the consideration of both. Investigating GCC in dif- ferent countries and cultures, using multiple methods, will increase the external validity and generalisability of the theoretical framework. Concurrent consideration of GCCP and PBG emphasises the complex nature of GCC and the challenge of matching a firm’s global position with existing perceptions of globalness in a given culture. De Mooij (1998) recognises the increasing number of products consumed by global market segments but warns that, while products may be similar, buying motives for such standardised products differ across cultures. Thus, even for stand- ardised products, advertising messages may require adaptation to achieve relevance for a local audience. While studies have investigated consumer perceptions towards globally positioned ads (e.g. Hung et al 2007; Zhou et al. 2008) and advertisers’ efforts to adapt to local consumer cultures (Kates & Goh 2003), more work is needed to understand how consumers’ interpreted meanings influence the development of the brand image – in other words, how firms’ advertising efforts and consumers’ interpretations change the meanings of signs and symbols associated with a given brand (McCracken 1986). Anthropological and ethnographic accounts of consumerism around the world (Tobin 1992; Mazarella 2005) provide detailed descriptive examples of how consumers interpret market-related meanings. However, research regarding the firm’s role in studying, understanding and responding to consumer-driven brand meanings remains limited. Perhaps more impor- tantly, the iterative process in which firms and consumers interact and col- laborate to co-create brand meaning (Muniz & O’Guinn 2001; Merz etal forthcoming) has only recendy gained attention. Research in these areas will provide insight into how firms are responding to consumers’ inter- pretations of brand meanings and how communications via international advertising can contribute to the co-creation of global brands. 52 GLOBAL BRAND POSITIONING AND PERCEPTIONS Conclusion This exploration of international advertising and GCC responds to Taylor’s (2005) call for research regarding cultural influences in adver- tising and empirically tested theoretical frameworks for advancing international advertising research. It is argued here that GCC is a par- ticularly relevant context for international and cross-cultural advertis- ing research, as it cuts across local, national and regional borders alike. 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Psychology and Marketing, 25(4), pp. 336-351. 55 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2010, 29(1) About the authors Melissa Archpru Akaka is a doctoral student in Marketing at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her research interests include value co-creation, service-dominant logic, networks and related cross-cultural issues. Dana L. Alden is the William R. Johnson Jr. Distinguished Professor and a Professor of Marketing at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His research interests include: global consumer culture, global brand strategy, social franchising and patient- physician decision-making. Address correspondence to: Professor Dana L. Alden, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2404 Maile Way, Honolulu HI 96822. Email: [email protected] 56 Copyright of International Journal of Advertising is the property of World Advertising Research Center Limited and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
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