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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Anders Bengtsson, Fleura Bardhi and Meera Venkatraman

The brand management literature argues that the standardization of branding strategy across global markets leads to consistent and well‐defined brand meaning. The paper aims to…

15070

Abstract

Purpose

The brand management literature argues that the standardization of branding strategy across global markets leads to consistent and well‐defined brand meaning. The paper aims to challenge this thesis by empirically examining whether and how global brands travel with consumers. The paper studies how consumers create brand meanings at home and abroad as well as the impact of context (e.g. place) on the meaning of global brands for the same consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a qualitative approach to examine brand meanings for two prototypical global brands, McDonald's and Starbucks, at home and abroad. Data were collected through photo‐elicited interviews, personal diaries, and essays with 29 middle‐class American consumers before, during, and after a short‐term trip to China. Interviews lasted from 30 to 90 minutes and the data were analyzed using a hermeneutic approach.

Findings

Taking a cultural branding approach, the paper demonstrates that despite perceived standardized global brand platforms, consumers develop divergent brand meanings abroad. While at home, global brands have come to symbolize corporate excess, predatory intentions, and cultural homogenizations; abroad they evoke meanings of comfort, predictability, safety, and national pride. In foreign contexts, global brands become dwelling resources that enable travelers to sustain daily consumption rituals, evoke sensory experiences of home, as well as provide a comfortable and welcoming space.

Originality/value

The paper challenges the brand management literature assumption of a consistent brand image for standardized global brands. It shows that the cultural context (e.g. place) impacts consumer‐derived brand meanings even among the same group of consumers. Further, it argues that standardization offered by global brands provides an important symbolic value to mobile consumers of serving as an anchor to the home left behind.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Elizabeth Jane Wilson, Anders Bengtsson and Catharine Curran

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, propositions in an existing conceptual framework are empirically explored to note whether and how brand meaning gaps exist for…

2657

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, propositions in an existing conceptual framework are empirically explored to note whether and how brand meaning gaps exist for internal and external stakeholders of a focal brand. Second, a typology of brand meaning gaps, characterised by meaning assonance and valence, offers new insight for brand management strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use case study methods to explore the research propositions about brand meaning gaps among stakeholder groups. The focal firm is The Black Dog Company of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in the USA. Data from brand owners (internal stakeholders) and consumers (external stakeholders) are collected using in-depth interviews, observation, document analysis, and an online survey that includes a picture association task. Further inductive analysis of secondary data helps develop the typology of brand meaning gaps and dynamics.

Findings

The research propositions are supported. Brand meaning gaps exist between internal and external stakeholders, and they exist among two external stakeholder groups. Brand meaning for owners, primarily defined as family heritage, is largely unknown to consumers. Among consumers, brand meaning for stakeholder group 1 is “coastal New England”; brand meaning for group 2 is “dog lovers.” Although multiple brand meanings exist for stakeholders, the meanings are relatively assonant (harmonious) and positively valenced. The findings regarding the polysemic nature of brand meaning are useful to brand managers seeking to leverage offerings to multiple target markets. These findings, along with additional secondary data, serve as the basis for a typology of brand gaps and dynamics characterized by assonance and valence. Four types of meaning gaps may lead to situations where brands are beloved, on-the-cusp, hijacked, or facing disaster.

Originality/value

This work addresses calls from the literature to empirically explore brand meaning among multiple stakeholder groups.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2010

Giana M. Eckhardt and Anders Bengtsson

This paper and accompanying film demonstrate the techniques of using scenarios, breaching expectations, and using naturalistic groups as being especially appropriate for…

1437

Abstract

Purpose

This paper and accompanying film demonstrate the techniques of using scenarios, breaching expectations, and using naturalistic groups as being especially appropriate for conducting qualitative marketing research in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is used to investigate the social construction of brands in China and to demonstrate how to create naturalistic group interviews in China, and why it is beneficial to do so. A film footage of the various groups discussing the scenarios presented to them is presented so the viewer can observe the interactions between the group members.

Findings

In this paper, it is argued that only certain qualitative methods are appropriate in a Chinese context, due to various aspects of Chinese culture which de‐emphasize expressing one's thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values openly. In the accompanying film, it is demonstrated how: presenting Chinese consumers with scenarios that they can relate to stimulates meaningful discussion; breaching people's expecations is what allows people to articulate underlying meaning systems; and conducting interviews in existing, naturally formed social groups, all lead to naturalistic discussions.

Originality/value

As marketing and consumer research becomes more global, the field of qualitative research needs to take a critical approach to the effectiveness of varying methodologies in varying cultural contexts. A first step in this direction is taken by outlining how and why particular qualitative methods are effective in China. Naturalistic group interviews can also be used in a wide variety of countries and cultural contexts when the construct of interest is the social dynamics of a consumption activity.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Søren Askegaard and Anders Bengtsson

This paper seeks to present a cultural approach to co‐branding. The purpose here is to discuss issues concerning the phenomena of brand and branding with particular focus on the…

5323

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to present a cultural approach to co‐branding. The purpose here is to discuss issues concerning the phenomena of brand and branding with particular focus on the mythological narratives that are at stake in a brand.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a case analysis of a co‐branded product. Provides both a managerial and a cultural reading of the co‐brand in question, before proceeding to make a “neo‐Freudian” analysis of the potentially transgressive meanings involved in the co‐branding in question. This is done not so much to produce an authoritative reading of the cultural and commercial sign of the co‐brand as to make a bold leap and provide a daring reading of a seemingly innocent co‐branded product.

Findings

Through the case study of the co‐branded product, the vast amount of cultural meanings that goes beyond the sets of brand identities proposed by the brand managers is explored. Discusses the limitations of traditional strategic branding models and suggests a certain degree of humility towards the mysterious and spiritual forces when trying to exploit mythological levels of social meanings and narratives in the branding process.

Practical implications

For brand managers who seek to co‐operate with other brands in the marketplace, this paper offers an argument for the almost limitless potential of symbolic dimensions that are inextricably linked to combining brand universes. By doing so, a more comprehensive understanding of the meaning management for co‐branded products and potentially a more successful outcome of the branding process may be achieved.

Originality/value

In addition to existing research, this paper illustrates that the practice of co‐branding involves a play with symbolic forces that can be unpredictable and difficult to control for a brand manager. This finding has implications for the degree to which one can expect to be able to manage the social communication processes generated from a co‐branded product.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
678

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Jeryl Whitelock

481

Abstract

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Maheshwaran Gopalakrishnan, Anders Skoogh, Antti Salonen and Martin Asp

The purpose of this paper is to increase productivity through smart maintenance planning by including productivity as one of the objectives of the maintenance organization…

5153

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase productivity through smart maintenance planning by including productivity as one of the objectives of the maintenance organization. Therefore, the goals of the paper are to investigate existing machine criticality assessment and identify components of the criticality assessment tool to increase productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

An embedded multiple case study research design was adopted in this paper. Six different cases were chosen from six different production sites operated by three multi-national manufacturing companies. Data collection was carried out in the form of interviews, focus groups and archival records. More than one source of data was collected in each of the cases. The cases included different production layouts such as machining, assembly and foundry, which ensured data variety.

Findings

The main finding of the paper is a deeper understanding of how manufacturing companies assess machine criticality and plan maintenance activities. The empirical findings showed that there is a lack of trust regarding existing criticality assessment tools. As a result, necessary changes within the maintenance organizations in order to increase productivity were identified. These are technological advancements, i.e. a dynamic and data-driven approach and organizational changes, i.e. approaching with a systems perspective when performing maintenance prioritization.

Originality/value

Machine criticality assessment studies are rare, especially empirical research. The originality of this paper lies in the empirical research conducted on smart maintenance planning for productivity improvement. In addition, identifying the components for machine criticality assessment is equally important for research and industries to efficient planning of maintenance activities.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Maria Bengtsson and Marlene Johansson

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that describes three contending market regimes in converging industries, and to use this framework to study clashes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that describes three contending market regimes in converging industries, and to use this framework to study clashes between different regimes and the implication they have on firms' competitive strategies. More specifically, the challenges of competitors simultaneously acting in accordance with a competitive, a cooperative, and a co‐opetitive market regime.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory case study of the interaction between firms within the IT and telecom industry is conducted.

Findings

The paper brings forward clashes between different market regimes in converging industries and six propositions are formulated. The study furthermore shows how firms respond differently to a demand‐driven convergence, some act in accordance with a competitive regime and try to exclude others whereas others act in accordance with the co‐opetitive regime and cooperate with competitors to develop new product offers.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concludes that there are several challenges in transforming from a competitive to a co‐opetitive regime, and there is therefore a need to further explore the clashes observed in this study.

Originality/value

Few empirical studies have been conducted of the converging IT and telecom industries and this paper reveals several new insights about this market context and the challenges it provides. The paper develops a theoretical framework for an analysis of converging industries and provides an insight about clashes that develop between different market regimes. It also describes the challenges firms are facing as a result of these clashes.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Camilla Lundgren, Jon Bokrantz and Anders Skoogh

Technological advancements are reshaping the manufacturing industry toward digitalized manufacturing. Despite the importance of top-class maintenance in such systems, many…

3931

Abstract

Purpose

Technological advancements are reshaping the manufacturing industry toward digitalized manufacturing. Despite the importance of top-class maintenance in such systems, many industrial companies lack a clear strategy for maintenance in digitalized manufacturing. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate the implementation of maintenance in digitalized manufacturing by proposing a strategy development process for the Smart Maintenance concept.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is designed as a multiple-case study, where the strategy development in three industrial cases is analyzed. Several methods were used to collect data on the case companies' development of smart maintenance strategies. The data were analyzed with an inductive approach.

Findings

A process of strategy development for smart maintenance is proposed, including six steps: benchmarking, setting clear goals, setting strategic priority, planning key activities, elevating implementation and follow-up.

Practical implications

The proposed process provides industry practitioners with a step-by-step guide for the development of a clear smart maintenance strategy, based on the current state of their maintenance organization. This creates employee engagement and is a new way of developing maintenance strategies.

Originality/value

Maintenance strategies are traditionally regarded as a selection of corrective/reactive and preventive maintenance actions using a top-down approach. By contrast, the proposed process is starting from the current state of the maintenance organization and allows a mixture of top-down and bottom-up approaches, supporting organizational development. This is a rare perspective of maintenance strategies and will make maintenance organizations ready for the demands of digitalized manufacturing.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Narges Asadi, Mats Jackson and Anders Fundin

The recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible assembly…

Abstract

Purpose

The recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible assembly systems and designing products for them. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design from the assembly system’s standpoint.

Design/methodology/approach

To fulfil the purpose of the paper, a literature review and a case study were performed. The case study was conducted with an interactive research approach in a global market leader company within the heavy vehicle manufacturing industry.

Findings

The findings indicate that common assembly sequence, similar assembly interfaces, and common parts are the main requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design which reduce complexity and facilitate various flexibility dimensions. Accordingly, a model is proposed to broaden the understanding of these requirements from the assembly system’s standpoint.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the overlapping research area of flexible assembly systems and product design.

Practical implications

The proposed model is largely based on practical data and clarifies the role of product design in facilitating flexibility in an assembly system. It can be used by assembly managers, assembly engineers, and product designers.

Originality/value

The key originality of this paper compared to the previous studies lies in presenting a novel assembly-oriented design model. The model enhances understanding of a flexible assembly system’s requirements for product design with regard to reducing complexity and managing variation in a flexible assembly system. These requirements can be applied to product design across various product families within a company’s product portfolio.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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