Export to expand : a conceptual examination of branding as a deterministic parameter in export performance

Pyper, Keith Lawrie and Gounaris, Spiros and Doherty, Anne Marie; (2015) Export to expand : a conceptual examination of branding as a deterministic parameter in export performance. In: Academy of Marketing (AM) 2015 Conference Proceedings. Academy of Marketing, IRL.

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Branding is seen as critical and decisive within the marketing literature (De Chernatony, 2010; Keller, 2012; Sundar & Noseworthy 2014) Though with the exception of Zou et al.(2003) work relating to the effects of marketing capabilities on export performance and Spyropoulou et al’. (2009) work providing an examination of branding advantage within export ventures; international brand management, antecedents of branding advantage and the cultivation of brand equity in foreign markets as a prerequisite for sustained export performance has been overlooked. Particularly when considering branding in the context ofbusiness-to-business (B2B), there is a complete absence of international B2B branding research (Mudambi, 2002; Van Riel et. al. 2005; Chen et. al. 2011). Despite the fact thatglobally over 95% of all businesses are considered to be SMEs (OECD, 2014), there is a striking discrepancy in previous research relating to brand management and brand equity, which focuses, only on LOs (large organisations) and multinationals (Krake, 2005).There are a number of gaps that can be identified in the extant literature. Firstly, low exporting performance for B2B SMEs may relate to a limited scope of academic investigation, which has failed to address the impact of international brand management skills and the cultivation of brand equity in foreign markets. Secondly given buyers reliance on thebrand as a cue for uncertainty avoidance associated with the purchase decision (Swait & Erdum, 2007) the extant literature has yet to provide evidence regarding the extent to which international B2B buyers with differing cultural backgrounds rely on and use brands as signals of quality and trustworthiness to reduce the uncertainty associated with the transaction. A third gap is the deficiency within previous literature to identify and distinguish criteria for international branding capabilities that differ from their antecedent generic capabilities. Finally a fourth very important gap in extant literature is the failure toincorporate the views and perceptions of actual and potential international customers within the research agenda.We seek to further interest within this area by conceptualizing the key constructs. Our method is discovery led, essentially drawing on literature and previous frameworks from marketing and other business related disciplines