Global and local brand stereotypes: formation, content transfer, and impact

Vasileios Davvetas (Marketing Division, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Georgios Halkias (Department of International Marketing, Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 9 September 2019



The dominant paradigm in international branding research treats perceived brand globalness (PBG) and localness (PBL) as attributes algebraically participating in brand assessment and disregards the perception of brands as humanlike entities actively embedded in consumers’ social environments. Challenging this view and drawing from stereotype theory, the purpose of this paper is to suggest that PBG/PBL trigger the categorization of products under the superordinate mental categories of global/local brands which carry distinct stereotypical content. Such content transfers to every individual product for which category membership is established and shapes brand responses.


One experimental study (Study1, n=134) tests the process of global/local brand stereotype formation, identification and content transfer. Subsequently, two consumer surveys test the impact of brand stereotypes on brand approach/avoidance tendencies (Study2, n=328) and consumer–brand relationships (Study3, n=273). Data were analyzed with experimental techniques and structural equation modeling.


The findings suggest that upon categorization under the global or local brand class, individual brands are charged with the stereotypical content of the class. Global brands are predominantly stereotyped as competent while local brands are predominantly stereotyped as warm. Localness-induced warmth has uniformly positive effects, whereas globalness-induced competence acts as a double-edged sword which can both help and harm the brand.


This research contributes by proposing a novel conceptualization of global and local brands as groups of intentional marketplace agents stereotyped along their intentions and abilities, empirically establishing the process through which individual brands are assigned stereotypical judgments and demonstrating how these judgments impact critical brand outcomes and consumer–brand relationships.



Davvetas, V. and Halkias, G. (2019), "Global and local brand stereotypes: formation, content transfer, and impact", International Marketing Review, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 675-701.

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