New Research Offers Advice to Global Brand Managers

Jun 19, 2013, 10:07 ET from American Marketing Association

CHICAGO, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catastrophes such as the BP oil spill and Carnival Cruise Line incident may increase consumer animosity toward big business. But, new research indicates that managers should also monitor generalized feelings of ill will toward global companies regardless of the latest headlines.  


A newly published study in the Journal of International Marketing finds that consumers in Brazil, Korea and Germany who hold negative feelings about global companies also dislike their brands.  The international team of US, European and Australian researchers is quick to note that not all consumers feel this way.  Consumers in the three countries who are concerned about losing jobs to workers outside their nation were particularly prone to strong animosity. Brazilians who were worried about losing their local traditions and values to globalization also expressed stronger negativity toward global companies.   

But not all the researchers' findings were bad news for the world's largest firms. "Managers can counter negativity towards global companies by maintaining high value in terms of product quality at a fair price," said coauthor James B. Kelley of Saint Joseph's University in the US. The brand value effect was even stronger for the most avid consumers and for those consumers who embrace a variety of marketplace experiences. 

Co-author Dana L. Alden of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, notes, "Our research demonstrates that consumers in diverse markets still value global brands.  Brand managers should continue to stress their overall good value as an antidote to negative consumer feelings about global companies in general." Alden concludes, "This advice appears even more relevant when global firms are confronted with spikes in consumer ill will from negative stories about specific companies such as BP and Carnival."

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SOURCE American Marketing Association