Interdisciplinary Approaches to Product Design, Innovation, & Branding in International Marketing: Volume 23


Table of contents

(22 chapters)
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Lateral thinking is an organization-wide approach to scanning for new inputs, materials, influences, and product technologies currently being applied in one field that can offer new product ideas in another. This concept relates to environmental scanning, organizational assimilation, and application, along with absorptive capacity. Lateral thinking could be described as being sensitive to more social influences, casting a wider net, considering more things in different ways, and absorbing a range of inputs from areas such as fashion, auto racing, food, movies. Firms practicing this approach are sensitive to the possibility that new technologies and radical innovations often arrive from outside normal sources. As Jim Olver points out in his essay in this volume, “Tackling wicked problems requires the ability to examine situations from multiple and novel perspectives, to empathize, to engage in lateral thinking.” This is often what is happening with interdisciplinary approaches – ideas in another field are brought in to enrich one's own discipline.

Understanding the impact of marketing-related investments on market-based assets is a fundamental issue for marketers. In this study we address the relationship between product-related investments and communication-related efforts, with respect to a basic intangible market-based asset: consumer-based dimensions of brand equity. We draw from a longitudinal study of pre-purchase brand attribute data derived from consumer panels, conducted within the context of the U.S. automotive market. Brand equity dimensions are statistically related to marketing investments and contextual factors of “region of origin” and “global brand reach,” employing a seemingly unrelated regression model. The results reveal a positive effect of communication-related investments, as measured by annual advertising expenditures, on all dimensions of brand equity except luxury image. Product-related investments, as indicated by a brand's innovativeness, positively affect brand image but negatively affect perceived economy. Region of origin and global brand reach have mixed effects on the consumer-based dimensions of brand equity.

This study examines the process of establishing a viable brand in a new foreign market through successful market entry governance by utilizing various types of branding alliances to transfer corporate brands. Drawing from corporate illustrations and building upon Ghosh and John's (1999) governance value analysis (GVA) model, a decision model for managers is developed providing theory-based guidance for market entry strategies. Relational governance can be considered as a continuum ranging from strong relational (i.e., joint ventures, co-branding) to weak relational (i.e., joint promotion, marketing alliance) forms. Firms should organize their market entry strategy based upon brand equity resources, specific investments made by the partner, and environmental uncertainty (market volatility and cultural distance), so as to transfer the desired brand image and associations into local markets by maximizing the level of value created and value claimed. This study contributes to the international marketing literature by providing a theoretically strong decision model, supported by corporate examples, of how firms enter markets using various types of brand alliances. It also advances the practice of international marketing in regard to branding by providing insights as to how managers in the global marketplace can effectively transfer brand images and build global brand equity, minimizing firm costs while maximizing the value created and claimed from the brand.

Luxury goods manufacturers may find it profitable to enter a different demographic segment, and several strategies are available to do so. Nevertheless, such market expansion can be risky, and the luxury goods company must avoid tarnishing the equity contained in the luxury brand. This study examines the effects of a co-branding strategy between luxury brands and retailers on consumers’ evaluation of the luxury brand's image. We use information integration theory (IIT) as the basis for our study, as it can be used to explore how attitudes are formed and changed as new information is combined with existing cognitions and thoughts. A theoretical model based on IIT is built and empirically tested using a sample of 240 Taiwanese adult consumers. We conduct an experimental survey study in which we manipulate luxury brand familiarity and product and brand fit between luxury brand and the co-brand, and assess prior-attitudes and post-attitudes toward the luxury brand and attitudes toward the co-brand. We find support for many of our hypotheses: prior-attitudes toward the luxury brand is positively related to the attitude toward the co-brand, brand fit is related to attitudes toward the co-brand, and brand fit is marginally related to the post-attitude toward the luxury brand. Other hypotheses, however (such as those regarding product fit) were not supported. We conclude by discussing our theoretical and managerial contributions.

Product harm crises are becoming increasingly common, and recent examples include Toyota and Vioxx. This chapter examines country differences that impact consumer blame attributions for an ambiguous product harm crisis, and proposes a framework for a crisis response strategy. The first step involves assessing the level of uncertainty avoidance and crisis severity which serve as an indicator of the urgency felt by consumers to assess blame. The second step involves examining consumer beliefs and information processing biases to determine who consumers will most likely blame in order to resolve the uncertainty. Based on information gathered from these steps, a crisis response strategy is suggested for global brand managers.

This chapter explores the relationship between emotional design and customer experience. It begins with an introduction to the concept of emotional design, comprising behavioral, visceral, and reflective elements. Next, the nature of service experiences is examined, leading to a framework that classifies services according to their functional and experiential positions. Understanding customer goals allows this framework to be used to design customer experiences, in terms of the journey that customers take when consuming a service. The chapter then discusses the cognitive traits associated with designers and argues that they are well suited to understanding the customer journey and designing the prerequisites for the desired experience. Two different approaches to understanding and acting on customer requirements are explored – user centered and design driven.

Crowdsourcing initiatives, especially the format of idea and research contest have provided companies with unique and inventive opportunities to capitalize on users’ innovative potential and knowledge. Inspired by the potential, nonprofits are beginning to use the principles of crowdsourcing to develop better solutions for social problems. This research aims to enhance our knowledge on crowdsourcing for social innovation. Since the crowdsourcing initiative hinges on individuals' willingness to participate in these projects and their motivation to contribute valuable insights and ideas, we introduce a new framework that aligns participants’ motives with potentially offered incentives. The conducted empirical study at the ScrapLab design contest finds that participants indeed differ in their preferred incentives. It shows that participants not only strive for monetary but also nonmonetary incentives such as an internship, a party with friends, or the support of a social project, once they can choose. The results further highlight, that those participants, differing in their incentive preference, also show different types of contribution behavior. Our research contributes to a better theoretic understanding of the impact of various incentive structures on contribution behavior. From a managerial perspective, it provides guidance in adopting prize structures to justify participation and contribution behavior in crowdsourcing initiatives.

Styling is plagued by prejudice in the literature on the management of design – making it a taboo to talk about styling and designers as stylists. At the same time, the ability of designers to shape the look and feel of products still represents the most defining work of designers. However, reduced to superficial changes in form, styling has been misrepresented as simplistic decoration that is of limited strategic interest for managers of design, especially when compared to the more immaterial (processual) qualities that the discipline has to offer.

In this chapter, we question the validity of the conceptualization above, arguing for a renewed interest in the work of designers as stylists. Building on a general reassessment of style in art and design, we appropriate Ackerman's (1962) work on style for studies on styling and the management of design. In doing so, we propose that styling relates to the problem-solving activities of companies, in which designers create and shape solutions and their expressions. By defining styling along these lines, we account for the ‘‘everyday’’ view that designers (as stylists) shape the look and feel of products, but we no longer disregard the central concern of designers to integrate their decisions on form and function when shaping the look and feel of new products in practice.

Business, government, and society are being rocked by disruptive global change. The challenges facing international marketers as boundary spanners – and more generally, all managers and leaders – are getting more complex, ambiguous, and unprecedented. The world that they must navigate is increasingly filled with “wicked problems” (Rittel & Weber, 1973) that defy the closed, analytical approaches that characterize typical management education. Addressing the problem requires a new paradigm that augments – and perhaps in some areas, supplants – the traditional business education.

This chapter outlines the context behind the “Designing Empowerment” initiative at the Industrial Design program at Virginia Tech. It makes a case for using design thinking and innovation as a catalyst for positive change in our society. With more than 4 billion of us living below poverty line, how do we even begin to make a sense of the challenges faced by majority of humans? What are the design opportunities, if there are any, and how do we go about creating a set of guidelines that can be used to do exploratory research and create compelling solutions? The chapter offers examples of initiatives that have worked, provides evidence of their effectiveness, and presents an argument for using design thinking and innovation as a tool to address some of the most pressing issues: alleviating poverty, providing better education, and improving basic health services for all human beings.

Although concept evaluation has attracted much attention, collaborative concept evaluation has received minimal attention. In this work, we identify problems and propose solutions regarding collaborative concept evaluation. First, we reviewed past projects and interviewed evaluators with international design experiences to conclude that concept evaluation criteria are not established but constructed. Second, we apply the psychology of Brunswik's Lens model to propose that providing multiple concept aspects improve collaborative concept evaluation. Three experimental studies demonstrate that our proposed Concept Aspect Profile (CAP) model (1) is superior to existing concept evaluation models, (2) differentiates between breakthrough new product concepts and incremental new product concepts, and (3) increases the likelihood that a concept receives the Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA). This work contributes to marketing research of concept evaluation as well as provides implications for designers.

Since innovation is often at the heart of firm success and national growth, the relationship between the country-level factors that either encourage or discourage firm innovation and the subsequent effects on international marketing need to be better understood. Rapid changes in communication and the global competitive environment require that the traditional models for international business be reconsidered. In so doing, we evaluate the relationship between a country's patent protection regimes and firm innovation. We consider whether strong patent rights lead to increased or decreased innovation for firms competing in Developed, Developing, and Least Developed countries. Implications are explored for how individual firms, countries, and the international community can support public policy for encouraging and improving innovation and its diffusion. Finally, the managerial and international marketing implications of these relationships will be examined.

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the impact of commitment–trust on both exporter–Intermediary cooperation and performance. It presents the original perspective of looking at a relational approach to exporter–Intermediary relationships within a specific cultural context. This study offers a quantitative approach based on a sample of Portuguese exporters. Results did not indicate a direct impact of commitment on cooperation though this relation is strongly mediated by trust. Additionally, it was found that trust has a significant and positive impact on cooperation and that cooperation has a significant and positive impact on export performance.

Addressing potential markets in emerging countries is an important development in international marketing, and over the last decade research has been energized by the model of the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). More recently the focus has shifted away from defining the BOP potential in terms of identifying the market at the BOP, and toward creating a market at the BOP, concurrent with the rephrasing of the potential as the Base of the Pyramid. The Value Flame at the Base of the Pyramid (VFBOP) model discussed here stresses not only that a leap in mindset and analysis is necessary to operate in the BOP, but that principles of mutual value and co-venturing are necessary, that is, not only enter into the BOP but collaborate within the BOP. Twenty-one VFBOP characteristics are summarized into four categories: (1) change the mindset; (2) don’t compete; (3) align all organization activities in pursuit of differentiation; and (4) create and capture new market demand. These characteristics can be a template of considerations for a company when designing and marketing a product or service to profitably meet the demands of the BOP market. To illustrate the VFBOP model and characteristics a case study is presented. Through the VFBOP model it can be seen that enormous opportunities may be available in these emerging economies.

This chapter asks the questions of whether traditional marketing tools and practices are sufficiently reflexive to deal in the international environment and how we might refine our understanding of cross-cultural environments. Starting from the vantage point that “international” occurs within national boundaries rather than across them, this chapter conducts a qualitative ethnographic study of Arabic and North African people who participate in a visible “street culture” on the streets of France. This ethnographic project models consumption habits in these groups. It asks why they consume certain things, what value or meaning discourses are articulated through these things within their group, and what cultural, social, or personal relevance or symbolism this kind of consumption represents. It also unravels the broader social discourses spun out of these symbolisms and “meaning-makings.” Based on the data discussed, a conceptual model is then offered to explain the process the marketing message undergoes and how meaning is transformed when taken from one cultural context to another. Some conclusions are drawn on how postcolonial analysis provides a new tool for our understanding and practice of international marketing.

The purpose of this study is to advance our understanding of the difference between born globals and non-born globals. An Australian sample of 315 internationally active firms is surveyed using the mail questionnaire approach. After comparing born globals with other international firms, the results show about a quarter of the samples was born globals. The main differentiating attributes of the born globals versus non-born globals were their international performance, greater international commitment (willingness to invest resources into international ventures), smaller size of firms, and speed to market. Alternatively, there were several marketing capabilities, such as market orientation and brand adaptation, which were not superior for born globals.

Brent B. Allred is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management and International Business at The College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, VA. He earned his Ph.D. in Strategic Management/International Business at The Pennsylvania State University. His current research interests are in technology sourcing and patent rights. He has published in various journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, the Journal of International Management, Academy of Management Executive, and the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

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Advances in International Marketing
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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