In search of tools for the use of country image (CI) in the brand
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Existing country image (CI) literature tends to focus on consumer behaviour. In contrast, this paper approaches CI from the point of view of the firm. In doing so, it seeks to identify the means by which international companies associate a brand with a specific country of origin in order to build brand values. In particular, it looks at the use of CI cues in brand strategies. The paper is based on exploratory research comprising a case study of two contrasting companies from the cosmetics industry, Natura, a domestic company, and the French-owned L’Occitane, both of which draw on images of Brazil to build their brands. Specific elements of CI used in branding are identified, and the extent to which the use of these differs depending on the origin of the owning company is explored. The cases suggest that CI can be exploited in different contexts. Through analysis of the elements used by both companies to build strong brands associated with the Brazilian CI—Natura Cosméticos and L’Occitane au Brésil—six tools are identified that can be combined by firms to deliver brand values, derived from any country, through the use of CI.
KeywordsCountry image Branding strategy Brand Tools Country of origin Country image usage
Funding was provided by Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education, CAPES, Brazil.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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