The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of country of brand (COB) communication within the retail environment of emerging markets. Drawing from the literature on store image, we developed a framework to analyse static and dynamic elements of COB communication. By adopting an inductive approach, we analysed COB use in a sample of 20 stores of Italian fashion brands in China using the mystery shopping technique. Given the increasing growth of e-retailing in China, the in-store observation is complemented by an analysis of the use of COB within the brand's local website and e-commerce page. In order to have a multi-layered representation of the phenomenon, in-depth interviews with managers of Italian firms in fashion industry are carried out. Findings confirm that retailing represents a primary communication channel for firms operating in China; however, the results of the participant observation show that COB is a cue information utilised only by a small percentage of the sample, mainly in a textual and iconic way. Managerial implications are discussed on the extent to which COB communication in store should be managed within an effective marketing strategy in line with the country and consumer characteristics in order to enhance the brand image in a growing market like China.

The country of brand communication in the retail setting: An analysis of Italian products in China

HU, LALA;CHECCHINATO, Francesca
2015

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of country of brand (COB) communication within the retail environment of emerging markets. Drawing from the literature on store image, we developed a framework to analyse static and dynamic elements of COB communication. By adopting an inductive approach, we analysed COB use in a sample of 20 stores of Italian fashion brands in China using the mystery shopping technique. Given the increasing growth of e-retailing in China, the in-store observation is complemented by an analysis of the use of COB within the brand's local website and e-commerce page. In order to have a multi-layered representation of the phenomenon, in-depth interviews with managers of Italian firms in fashion industry are carried out. Findings confirm that retailing represents a primary communication channel for firms operating in China; however, the results of the participant observation show that COB is a cue information utilised only by a small percentage of the sample, mainly in a textual and iconic way. Managerial implications are discussed on the extent to which COB communication in store should be managed within an effective marketing strategy in line with the country and consumer characteristics in order to enhance the brand image in a growing market like China.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3663066
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