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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Stirling Management School legacy departments
Title: Standardisation in international retailing: transferring store brand image
Author(s): Mavrommatis, Alexis
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: There is common theme within the literature that a store represents the tangible and intangible values of the company's commercial and retail organisational philosophy. Given this, it could be considered as a brand, with all the associated competitive advantages that correspond to this entity. Operationally, a store's brand competitiveness can be viewed from the image it transmits and the impact it has in the minds of consumers. However, as markets and consumer tastes vary between countries, there have been calls for further inquiry into how the domestic store brand image, with its inherited competitive advantage, can be transferred abroad. A means for achieving this is via a standardised transfer strategy. In the international marketing literature, standardisation is referred to as the identical offering of the entire marketing mix in several different countries. Likewise, within the context of retail intenationalisation, standardisation is defined as the faithful replication of a successful domestic store concept abroad. Despite all the citations found within the wider literature on international retailing the notion of standardisation lacks of clear definition when concern upon the transfer of store brand image. Thus, the aim of this thesis is to provide an insight into the debate of store brand image standardisation in international retailing. From the limitations identified in the existing literature, a new research framework is proposed for examining store brand image standardisation. The framework includes the conventional 'Store Image per se' comparative process, where examination is undertaken from a store image attribute perspective between markets. In addition, two new elements are introduced. First, the comparative process of 'Relative Marketplace', where a comparison of the domestic and foreign store image is conducted within their relative markets. Second, the 'Store Image Dimension perspective', where the two comparative processes, 'Store Image per se' and 'Relative Marketplace', are examined after the store image attributes have been aggregated into broader dimensions. This proposed framework was employed to examine the store image transferability of the Spanish limited line food discounter DIA. Through a pluralist methodological approach of both qualitative and quantitative methods, a shopper survey was conducted in Spain (the home market) and Greece (a host market) to measure the company's store brand image between and within its marketplaces. From the juxtaposition of the three components of the proposed framework, the results indicate that store brand image standardisation should be examined from an 'Absolute,' and 'Relative' standpoint. Moreover, depending on the standpoint undertaken to examine the transfer of the store brand image, standardisation can be conceptualised in three ways. 'Absolute Standardisation': A standard to be applied by faithfully replicating the store's domestic image into a host market; 'Core Standardisation': A standard to be secured by faithfully replicating the store's domestic unique selling proposition, that satisfies the needs of global markets while maintaining intact the company's entire concept; and 'Relative Standardisation': A standard to be achieved by faithfully replicating the store's domestic positioning into the host market. It is argued that these three aspects of store brand image standardisation should not be viewed as distinctive concepts, but rather as a transitional process of two ends of the same continuum.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Stirling Management School
Department of Management and Organization

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