Extending the view of brand alliance effects

Christian Bluemelhuber (Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Larry L. Carter (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
C. Jay Lambe (Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, Washington, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 24 July 2007



The purpose of this paper is to broaden the external validity of the “brand alliance” theory, as it is set up by Simonin and Ruth, by analysing transnational brand alliances. It aims to discuss the significance of country of origin in this context.


Based on a broad literature review of the brand alliance and country of origin literature the authors conducted an empirical study that examined consumer attitudes towards cross‐national brand alliances.


The findings demonstrate the role that the relationship between country of origin fit and brand fit plays in predicting consumer attitude towards cross‐border brand alliances; and that when brand familiarity decreases, the positive influence of country of origin fit on attitudes towards the brand alliance increases, and is greater than that of brand fit.

Research limitations/implications

The degree of importance that consumers place on each product in the brand alliance was not taken into account. Future research could also analyse product categories that have strong country of origin associations (e.g. German beer or French pastries) or that belong to the low involvement category.

Practical implications

An interesting result for managers when they set up a cross‐national brand alliance, as the study demonstrates the importance of brand familiarity and of country of origin fit.


The findings replicate those of Simonin and Ruth, which is a useful result because their findings might be attributed also to cross‐boarder alliances. The study represents a noteworthy extension of previous research by introducing a new variable, the “country of origin fit.”



Bluemelhuber, C., Carter, L. and Lambe, C. (2007), "Extending the view of brand alliance effects", International Marketing Review, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 427-443. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651330710761008

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