Introducing International Brands in Emerging Markets.

Sanjay Ghose, Oded Lowengart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Firms are expanding their global presence as they realize this is a significant source for sales and profits growth. The share of global sales out of total sales has increased significantly over the recent past, thus indicating the importance of such activity for firms. The increased activity of firms in the global arena has created a challenge for marketers as they need to compete against local products targeting diverse consumer segments. Specifically, once introduced into a new country an international brand needs to be positioned against the local operating brands. The associated task of identifying the exact strengths and weaknesses of brands they compete with is a complex one since it involves different local brands with differing kinds of sometimes long-standing psychological ties to consumers in the domestic market. Consumers clearly vary in their preferences and perceptions about brands that come in from the outside. In particular, variations in the cultural background of consumers in different countries might have an impact on their preferences for global and local brands. In this research we investigate how local, national and global brands compete with each other for a piece of the consumer market in an emerging international market. A typical market is characterized by the presence of many different kinds of brands. Consumers have to make their own judgments about the properties of these brands before making a choice. In consumer markets, the origin of the brand often provides cues that help consumers in their choice making process. One way to identify brand origins, is to check whether it is a manufacturer brand or a private label brand. Academic researchers have studied the dynamics of these two kinds of brands on actual choice (e.g., Sethuraman, 1996). In advanced countries, these two types of brands are major players, and research has brought out interesting insights into how consumers react to them. In other countries which have been more recently exposed to international marketing, the situation is more complex. The presence of international brands, their own national brands, and their own private brands often characterize such markets. Consumer reactions to this interesting mix of brand categories, have received little attention in the academic research literature. Exploring current brand positioning and preference in such countries where introduction of international brands occurred in the relatively recent past (e.g., a decade ago) might provide a good opportunity for getting more insight into how international brands impact the thinking of domestic consumers. Such countries present an opportunity to examine the market changes after the introduction of such brands and provide a base to better plan an appropriate brand introduction strategy into new similar markets in other countries. Such an introduction can be successful if managers consider, among other things, the driving forces behind consumers' choices for international and national brands. While the literature has ample evidence that benefits stemming from a brand's attributes drive consumers' preferences, it has been mainly concerned with within category brand competition of local brands (i.e., national and private brands). There is a relative scarcity of research that explores the driving forces of brand choices of international brands in new international markets. Issues such as identification of the salient product characteristics that drive brand preference, differences in the effects of brand image related product characteristics (that are often major attractions in global brands) on brand preference, and variations in such saliencies and impacts in the presence of consumer heterogeneity, have not been fully addressed. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to fill this void in the literature by using data from an emerging international market. Characteristics of international brands have been discussed by Quelch (1999).…
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationAP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research
EditorsSridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Dipankar Chakravarti
PublisherAssociation for Consumer Research
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

Publication series

NameAdvances in Consumer Research - Asia-Pacific Conference Proceedings


  • Brand name products
  • Emerging markets
  • Sales
  • Corporate profits
  • Consumer preferences
  • Economic competition
  • Consumer attitudes
  • New product development


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