Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 65–80 | Cite as

Relationship building in nation branding: The central role of nation brand commitment

  • Linwan Wu
Original Article


The essence of nation branding is relationship building. Nation brand commitment is proposed in this study to indicate the strength of one’s relationship with a nation brand. A conceptual model is posited to explain how a nation brand impacts consumers’ traveling and product purchasing intention. It is discovered that nation brand trustworthiness positively predicts nation brand commitment, which in turn positively influences consumers’ traveling intention. The cultural value of uncertainty avoidance influences nation brand commitment in a negative way. Moreover, cultural distance attenuates the impact of nation brand commitment on traveling intention and product purchase intention. Implications and directions for future research are also provided.


nation branding nation brand commitment nation brand trustworthiness cultural values cultural distance 



The author is grateful to Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted (Professor at the University of Florida) for her guidance on the original draft of this article.


  1. Aaker, D.A. (1996) Building Strong Brands. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agarwal, S. (1994) Socio-cultural distance and the choice of joint ventures: A contingency perspective. Journal of International Marketing 2(2): 63–80.Google Scholar
  3. Aggarwal, P. (2004) The effects of brand relationship norms on consumer attitudes and behavior. Journal of Consumer Research 31(1): 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aharoni, I. (2012) Countries must initiate a different conversation: Every brand has a DNA and every place has a personality. Just like a human. In some cases, such as Paris (romance), the brand identity evolved organically. In other locales, such as New York City (Big Apple), the DNA was carefully engineered by professionals and political and civic leaders. PR Week [US] 15(2): 25,
  5. Andaleeb, S.S. (1996) An experimental investigation of satisfaction and commitment in marketing channels: The role of trust and dependence. Journal of retailing 72(1): 77–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Anholt, S. (2005) Anholt nation brands index: How does the world see America? Journal of Advertising Research 45(3): 296–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aulakh, P.S., Kotabe, M. and Sahay, A. (1996) Trust and performance in cross-border marketing partnerships: A behavioral approach. Journal of International Business Studies 27(5): 1005–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Axelsson, B. and Johanson, J. (1992) Foreign market entry – The textbook versus the network view. In: B. Axelsson and G. Easton (eds.) Industrial Networks: A New View of Reality. London: Routledge, pp. 218–234.Google Scholar
  9. Barkema, H.G., Shenkar, O., Vermeulen, F. and Bell, J.H. (1997) Working abroad, working with others: How firms learn to operate international joint ventures. Academy of Management Journal 40(2): 426–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barr, M. (2012) Nation branding as nation building: China’s image campaign. East Asia 29(1): 81–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Basala, S.L. and Klenosky, D.B. (2001) Travel-style preferences for visiting a novel destination: A conjoint investigation across the novelty-familiarity continuum. Journal of Travel Research 40(2): 172–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bentler, P.M. (1992) On the fit of models to covariances and methodology to the Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin 112(3): 400–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Berry, L.L. and Parasuraman, A. (1991) Marketing Services. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bilkey, W.J. and Nes, E. (1982) Country-of-origin effects on product evaluations. Journal of International Business Studies 13(1): 89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Blain, C., Levy, S.E. and Ritchie, J.B. (2005) Destination branding: Insights and practices from destination management organizations. Journal of Travel Research 43(4): 328–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bollen, K.A. (1989) Structural Equations with Latent Variables. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Boyacigiller, N. (1990) The role of expatriates in the management of interdependence, complexity and risk in multinational corporations. Journal of International Business Studies 21(3): 357–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Byrne, D. and Nelson, D. (1965) The effect of topic importance and attitude similarity-dissimilarity on attraction in a multistranger design. Psychonomic Science 3(1–12): 449–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Carmines, E.G. and McIver, J.P. (1981) Analyzing models with unobservable variables. In: G.W. Bohrnstedt and E.F. Borgatta (eds.) Social Measurement: Current Issue. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 65–115.Google Scholar
  20. Chang, S.J. (1995) International expansion strategy of Japanese firms: Capability building through sequential entry. Academy of Management Journal 38(2): 383–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chaudhuri, A. and Holbrook, M.B. (2002) Product-class effects on brand commitment and brand outcomes: The role of brand trust and brand affect. The Journal of Brand Management 10(1): 33–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chin, W.W. (1998) Issues and opinion on structural equation modeling. MIS Quarterly 22(1): 7–16.Google Scholar
  23. Cho, K.R. and Padmanabhan, P. (1995) Acquisition versus new venture: The choice of foreign establishment mode by Japanese firms. Journal of International Management 1(3): 255–285.Google Scholar
  24. Clark, M.S. and Reis, H.T. (1988) Interpersonal processes in close relationships. Annual Review of Psychology 39(1): 609–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cook, K.S. and Emerson, R.M. (1978) Power, equity and commitment in exchange networks. American Sociological Review 43(5): 721–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cravens, D.W., Shipp, S.H. and Cravens, K.S. (1994) Reforming the traditional organization: The mandate for developing networks. Business Horizons 37(4): 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Delgado-Ballester, E. (2004) Applicability of a brand trust scale across product categories: A multigroup invariance analysis. European Journal of Marketing 38(5/6): 573–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dholakia, U.M. (1997) An investigation of some determinants of brand commitment. Advances in Consumer Research 24(1): 381–387.Google Scholar
  29. Dinnie, K. (2008) Nation Branding. Concepts, Issues, Practice. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  30. Domeisen, N. (2003) Is there a case for national branding? International Trade Forum 1: 14–16.Google Scholar
  31. Dwyer, S., Mesak, H. and Hsu, M. (2005) An exploratory examination of the influence of national culture on cross-national product diffusion. Journal of International Marketing 13(2): 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Eisingerich, A.B. and Rubera, G. (2010) Drivers of brand commitment: A cross-national investigation. Journal of International Marketing 18(2): 64–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ekinci, Y. and Hosany, S. (2006) Destination personality: An application of brand personality to tourism destinations. Journal of Travel Research 45(2): 127–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Erdem, T. and Swait, J. (2004) Brand credibility, brand consideration, and choice. Journal of Consumer Research 31(1): 191–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fallahi, M. and Nameghi, M.G. (2013) A study of the effects of brand personality on three constructs: Brand trust, brand attachment, and brand commitment in Imam Khomeini port city. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business 5(8): 156–169.Google Scholar
  36. Fan, Y. (2006) Branding the nation: What is being branded? Journal of Vacation Marketing 12(1): 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Fan, Y. (2010) Branding the nation: Towards a better understanding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 6(2): 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Fetscherin, M. (2010) The determinants and measurement of a country brand: The country brand strength index. International Marketing Review 27(4): 466–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fetscherin, M. and Marmier, P. (2010) Switzerland’s nation branding initiative to foster science and technology, higher education and innovation: A case study. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 6(1): 58–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Fornell, C. and Larcker, D. (1981) Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research 18(1): 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Forsgren, M. (1989) Managing the Internationalization Process. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Fournier, S. (1998) Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research 24(4): 343–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Fullerton, G. (2005) How commitment both enables and undermines marketing relationships. European Journal of Marketing 39(11/12): 1372–1388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ganesan, S. (1994) Determinants of long-term orientation in buyer-seller relationships. Journal of Marketing 58(2): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Griffith, D.A., Hu, M.Y. and Ryans Jr, J.K. (2000) Process standardization across intra- and inter-cultural relationships. Journal of International Business Studies 31(2): 303–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Griffith, D.A., Myers, M.B. and Harvey, M.G. (2006) An investigation of national culture’s influence on relationship and knowledge resources in interorganizational relationships between Japan and the United States. Journal of International Marketing 14(3): 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Gummesson, E. (2002) Relationship marketing in the new economy. Journal of Relationship Marketing 1(1): 37–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Gundlach, G.T., Achrol, R.S. and Mentzer, J.T. (1995) The structure of commitment in exchange. Journal of Marketing 59(1): 78–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hair, J.F., Black, B., Bain, B., Anderson, R.E. and Tatham, R.L. (2010) Multivariate Data Analysis: A Global Perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  50. Hankinson, G. (2004) Relational network brands: Towards a conceptual model of place brands. Journal of Vacation Marketing 10(2): 109–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Hankinson, G.A. and Cowking, P. (1993) Branding in Action. Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  52. Harrison-Walker, L.J. (2012) Place brands and the relational branding communication process. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal 16(S1): 51–59.Google Scholar
  53. Herm, S. (2013) When things go wrong, don’t rely on committed consumers: Effects of delayed product launches on brand trust. Journal of Product Innovation Management 30(1): 70–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Herz, M.F. and Diamantopoulos, A. (2013) Activation of country stereotypes: Automaticity, consonance, and impact. Journal of the Academic Marketing 41(4): 400–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Hofstede, G.H. (1980) Culture’s Consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. Hofstede, G.H. (1991) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  57. Hofstede, G.H. (2001) Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations across Nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  58. Hu, L.T. and Bentler, P.M. (1999) Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 6(1): 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Indexmundi. (2014) United States demographics profile 2014,, accessed 9 September 2015.
  60. Kang, S. (2014) Factors influencing intention of mobile application use. International Journal of Mobile Communications 12(4): 360–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Kavaratzis, M. (2005) Place branding: A review of trends and conceptual models. The Marketing Review 5(4): 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Kemp, E., Childers, C.Y. and Williams, K.H. (2012) Place branding: Creating self-brand connections and brand advocacy. Journal of Product & Brand Management 21(7): 508–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Kiesler, C.A. (1971) The Psychology of Commitment: Experiments Linking Behavior to Belief. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  64. Lastovicka, J.L. and Gardner, D.M. (1978) Low involvement versus high involvement cognitive structures. Advances in Consumer Research 5(1): 87–92.Google Scholar
  65. Lepp, A. and Gibson, H. (2003) Tourist roles, perceived risk and international tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 30(3): 606–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Li, F., Zhou, N., Kashyap, R. and Yang, Z. (2008) Brand trust as a second-order factor. International Journal of Market Research 50(6): 817–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Markus, H.R. and Kitayama, S. (1991) Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review 98(2): 224–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Mathew, V., Thomas, S. and Injodey, J.I. (2012) Direct and indirect effect of brand credibility, brand commitment and loyalty intentions on brand equity. Economic Review: Journal of Economics and Business 10(2): 73–82.Google Scholar
  69. Mayer, R.C., Davis, J.H. and Schoorman, F.D. (1995) An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review 20(3): 709–734.Google Scholar
  70. Meschi, P.X. (1997) Longevity and cultural differences of international joint ventures: Toward time-based cultural management. Human Relations 50(2): 211–228.Google Scholar
  71. Moorman, C., Zaltman, G. and Deshpande, R. (1992) Relationships between providers and users of market research: The dynamics of trust within and between organizations. Journal of Marketing Research 29(3): 314–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Morgan, R.M. and Hunt, S.D. (1994) The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing 58(3): 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ng, S.I., Lee, J.A. and Soutar, G.N. (2007) Tourists’ intention to visit a country: The impact of cultural distance. Tourism Management 28(6): 1497–1506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Nuttavuthisit, K. (2007) Branding Thailand: Correcting the negative image of sex tourism. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 3(1): 21–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Payne, A., Holt, S. and Frow, P. (2001) Relationship value management: Exploring the integration of employee, customer and shareholder value and enterprise performance models. Journal of Marketing Management 17(7–8): 785–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Peterson, R.A. and Jolibert, A.J.P. (1995) A meta-analysis of country-of-origin effects. Journal of International Business Studies 26(4): 883–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Jaworski, S.P. and Fosher, D. (2003) National brand identity & its effect on corporate brands: The national brand effect (NBE). The Multinational Business Review 11(2): 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Raju, S., Unnava, H.R. and Montgomery, N.V. (2009) The moderating effect of brand commitment on the evaluation of competitive brands. Journal of Advertising 38(2): 21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Reinartz, W.J. and Kumar, V. (2000) On the profitability of long-life customers in a noncontractual setting: An empirical investigation and implications for marketing. Journal of Marketing 64(4): 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Rojas-Méndez, J. (2013) The nation brand molecule. Journal of Product & Brand Management 22(7): 462–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Rusbult, C.E. (1980) Commitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of the investment model. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 16(2): 172–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rusbult, C.E. (1983) A longitudinal test of the investment model: The development (and deterioration) of satisfaction and commitment in heterosexual involvement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45(1): 101–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Rusbult, C.E. and Buunk, B.P. (1993) Commitment processes in close relationships: An interdependence analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 10(1): 175–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Rusbult, C.E., Martz, J.M. and Agnew, C.R. (1998) The investment model scale: Measuring commitment level, satisfaction level, quality of alternatives, and investment size. Personal Relationships 5(4): 357–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shenkar, O. (2001) Cultural distance revisited: Towards a more rigorous conceptualization and measurement of cultural differences. Journal of International Business Studies 32(3): 519–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sousa, C.M. and Bradley, F. (2008) Cultural distance and psychic distance: Refinements in conceptualisation and measurement. Journal of Marketing Management 24(5–6): 467–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Srinivisan, N. and Jain, S.C. (2003) Country of origin effect: Synthesis and future direction. In: S.C. Jain (ed.) Handbook of Research in International Marketing. Cheltenham, UK: Elgar, pp. 458–476.Google Scholar
  88. Stokburger-Sauer, N.E. (2011) The relevance of visitors’ nation brand embeddedness and personality congruence for nation brand identification, visit intentions and advocacy. Tourism Management 32(6): 1282–1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sung, Y. and Campbell, W.K. (2009) Brand commitment in consumer-brand relationships: An investment model approach. Journal of Brand Management 17(2): 97–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Sung, Y. and Choi, S.M. (2010) ‘I won’t leave you although you disappoint me’: The interplay between satisfaction, investment, and alternatives in determining consumer-brand relationship commitment. Psychology & Marketing 27(11): 1050–1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Szondi, G. (2010) From image management to relationship building: A public relations approach to nation branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 6(4): 333–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Thompson, L. and Spanier, G.B. (1983) The end of marriage and acceptance of marital termination. Journal of Marriage and the Family 45: 103–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Triandis, H.C. (1995) Individualism and Collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  94. Trubisky, P., Ting-Toomey, S. and Lin, S.L. (1991) The influence of individualism-collectivism and self-monitoring on conflict styles. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 15(1): 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Verlegh, P.W.J. and Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M. (1999) A review and meta-analysis of country-of-origin research. Journal of Economic Psychology 20(5): 521–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Wan, D., Hui, T.K. and Tiang, L. (2003) Factors affecting Singaporeans’ acceptance of international postings. Personnel Review 32(6): 711–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Warnaby, G. (2009) Towards a service-dominant place marketing logic. Marketing Theory 9(4): 403–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Yamagishi, T., Cook, K.S. and Watabe, W. (1998) Uncertainty, trust and commitment formation in the Unites States and Japan. American Journal of Sociology 104(1): 165–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Yoo, B., Donthu, N. and Lenartowicz, T. (2011) Measuring Hofstede’s five dimensions of cultural values at the individual level: Development and validation of CVSCALE. Journal of International Consumer Marketing 23(3–4): 193–210.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Journalism and Communications, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations