Construction of Image and Attitudes Toward Global-local Brand Alliances: The Effects of Globalness and Localness
San Jose Iglesias, Rafael
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There is an inherent tension between globalization and localization leading many multinational corporations to decide to focus on either global brands or local brands. By opting for global brands, corporations may lose opportunities because local brands are linked with local values, lifestyles, and traditions shared among consumers. Insights into why consumers perceive and behave differently toward global and local brands are insufficient. This research assesses to what extent brand dimensions such as brand knowledge, brand experience, brand familiarity, brand origin, and brand consumer imagery influence the consumer’s image of and attitude toward a global and a local brand involved in a global-local brand alliance, and how these constructs may, in turn, influence the overall consumer’s image of and attitude toward a global-local brand alliance. This research analyzes the potential of brand alliances to represent the integration of globalness and localness. A mixed methods design with two sequential studies was selected. First, a qualitative study involving online interviews with Mexican consumers was conducted, and thematic analysis utilized to explore in depth brand dimensions relevant in the generation of global and local brand images and attitudes, and perceptions and attitudes toward brand alliances. A conceptual model was developed based on the literature review and insights from the online interviews. Second, a quantitative study using a survey was conducted to assess the conceptual model. The survey involving 300 respondents was conducted in shopping malls in Mexico City. The analysis of survey data was implemented utilizing Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The findings show that brand knowledge and brand experience strongly influence consumer’s attitudes toward the global and local brands involved in a global-local brand alliance, whereas brand origin and consumer brand imagery strongly influence consumer’s image of these brands. In regard to the consumer’s attitudes toward the global-local brand alliance, the influence is stronger from the global brand than the local brand. Regarding the consumer’s image of the global-local brand alliance, the consumer’s image of the global and local brands contributes to the globalness and localness of the brand alliance image. The model is valid, reliable, and stable for both actual and potential brand alliances, and for product and service categories. This research contributes to the scarce literature about global brands, local brands, and brand alliances in Mexico. Global-local brand alliances may offer better-tailored products and services, reduce entry barriers in protectionist markets, and increase purchase likelihood among nationalistic consumers. Some consumers consider these brand alliances can generate positive attitudes toward global brands allied with local brands because they portray global corporations’ intention to understand the local market, develop links with local companies, and engage with local consumers. These brand alliances may generate a sense of pride among local consumers and position local brands by allying themselves to global brands with higher worldwide awareness. Moreover, these brand alliances can stimulate the trust of consumers and make the purchase decision easier to nationalistic consumers because they have a product or service with features and benefits of both global and local brands, reducing an emotional conflict among these consumers.