Preventing brand name blunders in doing business across cultures: Theory and research
This paper contributes to international business literature by integrating firms’ product competition, consumers’ brand congruence, and contextual enculturation into one framework of analysis. The authors propose and empirically demonstrate how the effectiveness of international branding strategy can be scaled by ethnolinguistic (in)consistency (EL(i)C). The study compares domestic vs. foreign brand assessments on the connection of product-brand fit and brand relevance congruence with their respective ethnolinguistic context in two dissimilar cultures in Asia. The findings offer practical implications for international business managerial actions. This study provides evidence that brand value starts from a firm’s offering, is co-created through consumers’ congruence process, and is enhanced by enculturation conformance or diminished by non-conformance within a given context of market culture. The empirical evidence of this study supports our proposition that the “enculturation determinant logic” per context be integrated with “competitive advantage” logic of firms and “service dominant logic” of market.