Getting to global: An evolutionary perspective of brand expansion in international markets

Abstract

The globalization of brands is an evolutionary process that is determined by environmental and firm-level factors, including a brand's position in the firm's global brand architecture. A framework is developed incorporating aspects of environmental uncertainty, mimetic behavior, and experiential learning as they relate to the globalization of brands. Global brand architecture is introduced as an important strategic consideration of a brand's position and stage of internationalization. The hypotheses are tested within the context of the global automotive industry, employing an event history analysis with time-varying covariates. The results reveal complex effects with respect to the role of market attractiveness, experiential learning, and mimetic behavior in globalization patterns. Overall, this study suggests that firms can accelerate the process of creating global brands if they enter the three major continents in the early stages of international expansion.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

References

  1. Aaker, D., & Joachimsthaler, E. 1999. The lure of global branding. Harvard Business Review, 77 (6): 137–144.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Abrahamson, E., & Rosenkopf, L. 1993. Institutional and competitive bandwagons: Using mathematical modelling as a tool to explore innovation diffusion. The Academy of Management Review, 18 (3): 487–517.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Alden, D., Steenkamp, J.-B., & Batra, R. 1999. Brand positioning through advertising in Asia, North America, and Europe: The role of global consumer culture. Journal of Marketing, 63 (1): 75–87.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Barkema, H. G., Bell, J. H. J., & Pennings, J. M. 1996. Foreign entry, cultural barriers, and learning. Strategic Management Journal, 17 (2): 151–166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Blossfeld, H.-P., & Rohwer, G. 2002. Techniques of event history modeling: New approaches to causal analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Carroll, G. R., & Hannan, M. T. 1989. Density dependence in the evolution of populations of newspaper organizations. American Sociological Review, 54 (4): 524–541.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cavusgil, S. T. 1980. On the internationalization process of firms. European Research, 8 (6): 273–281.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Cavusgil, S. T., Kiyak, T., & Yeniyurt, S. 2004. Complementary approaches to preliminary foreign market opportunity assessment: Country clustering and country ranking. Industrial Marketing Management, 33 (7): 607–617.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Cox, D. R. 1972. Regression models and life tables. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, B34: 187–220.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Davidson, W. H. 1983. Market similarity and market selection: Implications for international marketing strategy. Journal of Business Research, 11 (4): 439–456.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Davis, P. S., Desai, A. B., & Francis, J. D. 2000. Mode of international entry: An isomorphism perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 31 (2): 239–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. de Chernatony, L., Halliburton, C., & Bernath, R. 1995. International branding: Demand- or supply- driven opportunity. International Marketing Review, 12 (2): 9–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. 1983. The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48 (2): 147–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. 1989. Evolution of global marketing strategy: Scale, scope, and synergy. Columbia Journal of World Business, 24 (3): 47–59.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Douglas, S. P., Craig, C. S., & Nijssen, E. J. 2001. Integrating branding strategy across markets: Building international brand architecture. Journal of International Marketing, 9 (2): 97–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Dunning, J. H. 1988. Internationalization and market entry mode. London: Allen & Unwin.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Eriksson, K., Majkgard, A., & Sharma, D. D. 2000. Path dependence and knowledge development in the internationalization process. Management International Review, 40 (4): 307–329.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Erramilli, M. K., & Rao, C. P. 1993. Service firms' international entry-mode choice: A modified transaction-cost analysis approach. Journal of Marketing, 57 (3): 19–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Ghoshal, S. 1987. Global strategy: An organizing framework. Strategic Management Journal, 8 (5): 425–440.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Gielens, K., & Dekimpe, M. G. 2007. The entry strategy of retail firms into transition economies. Journal of Marketing, 71 (2): 196–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Greve, H. R. 1998. Performance, aspirations, and risky organizational change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43 (1): 58–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Guillén, M. F. 2003. Experience, imitation, and the sequence of foreign entry: Wholly owned and joint-venture manufacturing by South Korean firms and business groups in China, 1987–1995. Journal of International Business Studies, 34 (2): 185–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Guiltinan, J. P. 1999. Launch strategy, launch tactics, and demand outcomes. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 16 (6): 509–529.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Haveman, H. A. 1993. Follow the leader: Mimetic isomorphism and entry into new markets. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38 (4): 593–627.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Henisz, W. J., & Delios, A. 2001. Uncertainty, imitation, and plant location: Japanese multinational corporations, 1990–1996. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46 (3): 443–475.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Hofstede, G. 1991. Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.-E. 1977. The internationalization process of the firm: A model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments. Journal of International Business Studies, 8 (1): 23–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Johanson, J., & Weidersheim-Paul, F. 1975. The internationalization of the firm: Four Swedish cases. Journal of Management Studies, 12 (3): 305–322.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Kedia, B. L., & Mukherji, A. 1999. Global managers: Developing a mindset for global competitiveness. Journal of World Business, 34 (3): 230–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Knight, G. A., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2004. Innovation, organizational capabilities and the born-global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35 (2): 124–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Kogut, B., & Singh, H. 1988. The effect of national culture on the choice of entry mode. Journal of International Business Studies, 19 (3): 411–432.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kostova, T., & Zaheer, S. 1999. Organizational legitimacy under conditions of complexity: The case of the multinational enterprise. Academy of Management Review, 24 (1): 64–81.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. 2004. Principles of marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Lange, R., Mcdade, S. R., & Oliva, T. A. 2004. The estimation of a cusp model to describe the adoption of Word for Windows. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 21 (1): 15–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Levitt, T. 1983. The globalization of markets. Harvard Business Review, 61 (3): 92–102.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Lewin, A. Y., & Volberda, H. W. 1999. Prolegomena on coevolution: A framework for research on strategy and new organizational forms. Organization Science, 10 (5): 519–534.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Lu, J. W. 2002. Intra- and inter-organizational imitative behavior: Institutional influences on Japanese firms' entry mode choice. Journal of International Business Studies, 33 (1): 19–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. March, J. G. 1981. Decisions in organizations and theories of choice. In A. H. Van de Ven & W. F. Joyce (Eds), Perspectives on organization design and behavior: 205–244. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. 1991. Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion and motivation. Psychological Review, 98 (2): 224–253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Martin, X., Swaminathan, A., & Mitchell, W. 1998. Organizational evolution in the interorganizational environment: Incentives and constraints on international expansion strategy. Administrative Sciences Quarterly, 43 (3): 566–601.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Mitra, D., & Golder, P. N. 2002. Whose culture matters? Near-market knowledge and its impact on foreign market entry timing. Journal of Marketing Research, 39 (3): 350–365.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Murtha, T. P., Lenway, S. A., & Bagozzi, R. P. 1998. Global mindsets and cognitive shift in a complex multinational corporation. Strategic Management Journal, 19 (2): 97–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Nelson, R., & Winter, S. 1982. An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Nordstrom, K. A., & Vahlne, J.-E. 1994. Is the globe shrinking? Psychic distance and the establishment of Swedish sales subsidiaries during the last 100 years. In M. Landeck (Ed.), International trade: Regional and global issues: 41–56. New York: St Martin's Press.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Ohmae, K. 1989. Managing in a borderless world. Harvard Business Review, 67 (3): 152–161.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Perlmutter, H. V. 1969. The tortuous evolution of the multinational corporation. Columbia Journal of World Business, 4 (1): 9–18.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Porter, M. E. 1990. The competitive advantage of nations. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Rogers, E. M. 1962. Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Roth, M. S. 1992. Depth versus breadth strategies for global brand image management. Journal of Advertising, 21 (2): 25–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Rugman, A. M., & Collinson, S. 2004. The regional nature of the world's automotive sector. European Management Journal, 22 (5): 471–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Shocker, A. D., Srivastava, R. K., & Ruekert, R. W. 1994. Challenges and opportunities facing brand management: An introduction to the special issue. Journal of Marketing Research, 31 (2): 149–158.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Steenkamp, J.-B. E. M., ter Hofstede, F., & Wedel, M. 1999. A cross-national investigation into the individual and national cultural antecedents of consumer innovativeness. Journal of Marketing, 63 (2): 55–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Townsend, J. D., Yeniyurt, S., Deligonul, Z. S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2004. Exploring the marketing program antecedents of performance in a global company. Journal of International Marketing, 12 (4): 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Triandis, H. C. 1989. The self and social behavior in differing cultural contexts. Psychological Review, 96 (3): 506–520.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Tuma, N. B., & Hannan, M. T. 1984. Social dynamics: Models and methods. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Volberda, H. W., & Lewin, A. Y. 2003. Co-evolutionary dynamics within and between firms: From evolution to co-evolution. Journal of Management Studies, 40 (8): 2111–2136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Workman, J. P. J., Homburg, C., & Gruner, K. 1998. Marketing organization: An integrative framework of dimensions and determinants. Journal of Marketing, 62 (3): 21–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Yeniyurt, S., & Townsend, J. D. 2003. Does culture explain acceptance of new products in a country? An empirical investigation. International Marketing Review, 20 (4): 377–396.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Yeniyurt, S., Townsend, J. D., Cavusgil, S. T., & Ghauri, P. N. 2008. Mimetic and experiential effects in international marketing alliance formations of US pharmaceuticals firms: An event history analysis. Journal of International Business Studies, advance online publication 4 September, doi: 10.1057/jibs.2008.62.

  60. Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 1996. Global strategy: A review and an integrated conceptual framework. European Journal of Marketing, 30 (1): 52–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2002. The GMS: A broad conceptualization of global marketing strategy and its effect on firm performance. Journal of Marketing, 66 (4): 40–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge R L Polk Marketing Systems, a division of Polk Automotive Intelligence, for providing the proprietary data included in this study. We also thank two anonymous reviewers and Shaoming Zou, Departmental Editor, for their constructive comments and insightful guidance.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sengun Yeniyurt.

Additional information

Accepted by Shaoming Zou, Departmental Editor, 19 February 2008. This paper has been with the authors for one revision.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Townsend, J., Yeniyurt, S. & Talay, M. Getting to global: An evolutionary perspective of brand expansion in international markets. J Int Bus Stud 40, 539–558 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2008.87

Download citation

Keywords

  • global brands
  • globalization
  • global expansion
  • hazard rate models
  • market entry