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Nation Branding and the Globalization of Brands


Special issue call for papers from International Marketing Review

In recent times there has been a growing trend among countries to aggressively build, improve and promote their national image, in a bid to help leverage exports (He and Wang, 2015). Building and maintaining a strong nation brand is of particular importance to exporters from emerging markets, as their products and brands often suffer from a somewhat weak country-of-origin image, when competing in global markets (Burgess and Steenkamp, 2006; He and Wang, 2017; Wang et al., 2017). Research progress on the country-of-origin effect has decomposed the construct into product and country image (Li et al., 2014; Wang et al., 2012). The former refers to consumer perceptions of products that are made-in or designed within a particular country (Roth and Romeo, 1992). The latter, meanwhile refers to the mental representation of a country and its people, including cognitive believes of the country’s economic and technological development stages, as well as affective evaluations of its social and political systems or standpoints (Li et al., 2014; Wang et al., 2012).

Moreover, country image has been further decomposed into cognitive country image (CCI) and affective country image (ACI). CCI refers to consumers’ beliefs of a country, usually incorporating levels of economic development, living standards, industrialization and technological advancement. ACI meanwhile involves consumer affective evaluations i.e., to like or dislike, be positive or negative regarding a country and its people (Wang et al., 2012). CCI and ACI are not necessarily in-consistent with each other and have been found to have asymmetrical influence on purchase intention (Li et al., 2014).

From a nation branding perspective, distinguishing between country and product image, as well as between CCI and ACI has significant theoretical and managerial implications. For example, it is imperative for exporters from emerging markets to improve their product and brand image and marketing activities by leveraging their unique country image using nation branding. While existing studies have examined how products made in, or from a particular country, influence consumers’ perceptions of quality and their desire to purchase (Verlegh, Steenkamp and Meulenberg, 2005), a dearth of research has attempted to explain how nation branding may directly or indirectly affect consumer behavior and corporate performance.

At the business-to-consumer level, existing studies have not tended to empirically examine the relationships between country and product image, the effect of nation branding on CCI and ACI, or consequentially how such factors influence consumer decision making and purchase behavior. Bearing in mind the effects of digital technology advancement and globalization, whereby consumers may experience different cultural assimilation whilst at home, it is not clear whether the effect of nation branding may further amplify or minimize consumer decision making and purchase behavior.

At the business-to-business level, nation branding’s effect on international business interactions or export performance has only received scant research attention. In particular, whilst firms from emerging markets often suffer from a less superior nation branding image, it is worthwhile to explore if, how and to what extent a less superior nation branding image affects emerging firms’ global marketing performance? In response, what nation branding strategies could be employed by firms and policy makers to remain competitive against other international and global players?    

In contrast to traditional place branding that focuses on destination, tourism marketing, and the country-of-origin effect, this special issue aims to theoretically advance our understanding of nation branding and its effect on consumer evaluation, decision making, as well as examining its potential influence on international collaboration and performance. Topics appropriate for this specific issue include, but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Nation branding, global competitiveness and performance
  • Nation branding and firms’ repositioning in the supply chain
  • Nation branding strategy in emerging markets
  • Cultural identity, heritage and nation branding
  • Globalization and nation branding
  • Nation branding in the digital era
  • Nation branding, product image, country image and country reputation
  • The interplay and mutual influence of country image on product/brand image
  • Nation branding’s effect on consumer evaluation and decision making
  • Consumer cosmopolitanism, ethnocentrism and animosity, in relation to nation branding
  • The relationships between nation branding and global brands

Submission information

The deadline for submission is January 31st, 2019. Submitted manuscripts should follow the format as indicated in the author guidelines on the manuscript central at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/imrev. All papers will go through a double-blind peer review process to meet IMR standards.

If you have questions, please contact the Guest Editors at:

Cheng Lu Wang, Professor and Chair of Marketing at the University of New Haven, email: cwang@newhaven.edu
Dorothy Yen, Reader in Marketing at Brunel University London, email: Dorothy.Yen@brunel.ac.uk
Bradley R. Barnes, Dean and Professor of International Management & Marketing at the Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong. Email: bradleybarnes@hsmc.edu.hk

References

Burgess, S. M and Steenkamp, J.B.E. (2006), Marketing renaissance: How research in emerging markets advances marketing science and practice, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 4 (December), 337-356
He, J. and Wang, C. L. (2015), The Impact of Cultural Identity and Consumer Ethnocentrism on Buying Domestic vs. Import Brands: An Empirical Study in China, Journal of Business Research, 68 (6), 1225-1233
He, J. and Wang, C. L. (2017), How global brands incorporating local cultural elements increase consumer purchase likelihood, International Marketing Review, 34 (4), 463-479.
Li, D., Wang, C. L. Jiang, Y., Barnes, B. R, and Zhang, H., (2014) The asymmetric influence of cognitive and affective country image on rational and experiential purchases, European Journal of Marketing, 48 (11/12), 2153-2175.
Roth M.S. and Romeo J. (1992), Matching product category and country image perceptions: A framework for managing country-of-origin effects. Journal of International Business Studies, 23 (3), 477-497.
Verlegh, P.W.J., Steenkamp, J.B.E., Meulenberg, M.T.G. (2005), Country-of-origin effects in consumer processing of advertising claims, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 22 (2), 127-139
Wang, C. L., He, J. and Barnes, B. (2017), Brand management and consumer experience in emerging markets: directions for future research, International Marketing Review, 34 (4), 458-462.
Wang, C. L., Li., D., Barnes, B. and Anh, J. (2012), Country image, product Image and consumer purchase intention: Evidence from an emerging economy, International Business Review, 21 (6), 1041-1051.

About the guest editors:


Cheng Lu Wang, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Marketing, University of New Haven. Dr. Wang has published over 60 refereed papers in high impact journals, including International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Psychology & Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, International Business Review, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Global Business, and Journal of Business Ethics, among others. Dr. Wang has extensive editorial experience, including serving as Special Issue editor for Industrial Marketing Management (2018), International Marketing Review (2017), Industrial Marketing Management (2011), Journal of Consumer Marketing (2010) and Journal of Consumer Behavior (2008).

Dorothy Yen, Ph.D. is a Reader in Marketing at Brunel University London. Dr. Yen is particularly interested in studying Anglo-Chinese business interactions and consumers consumption behavior. She published more than 20 refereed papers at high impact journals, including Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Management, Appetite, Studies in Higher Education, Journal of General Management, among others. Dr. Yen has some editorial experience, including serving as Special Issue editor for Technological Forecasting and Social Change (2017) and Industrial Marketing Management (2015).

Bradley R. Barnes, Ph.D is Dean and Professor of International Management & Marketing at the Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong. He joined academia after spending over ten years in industry, as a practitioner. His scholarly work has appeared in all the leading international marketing and business journals including International Marketing Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Management International Review, Journal of International Marketing and International Business Review among many others. Professor Barnes has also served as a guest editor for a number of special issue journals.