Transformation of a National Brand into an International Brand
Keywords:brand, national brand, international brand, brand decisions, brand transformation.
This research seeks to answer the question how to successfully adapt a national brand in foreign markets. The increasing scope of foreign economic activity of enterprises encourages enterprises to give more attention to the decisions of transformation of national brands into international ones. In order to present a brand as a strong brand that can compete on an international level, it is necessary to acknowledge and understand the similarities and differences of branding in local and foreign markets. Studies of transformation of a national brand into an international one have been fragmentary to date. There are only several researches that are deeper and more singlemindedly dedicated to the study of introduction of a national brand into foreign markets. The main objective of this research is to prepare a conceptual model of transformation of a national brand into an international one. Based on the analysis of research performed in the area of international branding, the main decisions of brands in foreign markets and factors that determine them were identified. The creation of international brands is more complex than the creation of national ones because at least four levels of brand creation must be considered: (1) branded product vs. no brand (generic product), (2) manufacturer brand vs. private brand, (3) single brand vs. multiple brands, (4) global brand vs. local brand. When introducing a brand in a new market at first attention should be given to the increase of brand awareness, and only later brand image may be considered. The image is determined by the decisions of brand core essence or positioning that offers unique added value to consumers. Means, used for consolidating the brand in the national market, will not always be suitable for foreign markets. Inner as well as outer environmental factors of the enterprise should be considered when making international brand decisions. Inner factors of the enterprise are also factors that form supply. The following factors are emphasized in this factor group: the degree of centralisation of the enterprise activity, the budget of brand creation, and the possibilities of decreasing cost. When creating an international brand, differences between the national and foreign markets must be taken into account. The following aspects of the markets may differ: consumer behaviour, marketing infrastructure, scope of competition, level of economic development, cultural values, and state regulation. These differences may have a decisive influence on the creation of the brand and its management beyond the limits of the national market. The result of theoretical studies is an original conceptual model of transformation of a national brand into an international one, connecting decisions of situation analysis, brand decisions in foreign markets, adaptation of brand identity roots and integrated brand communications, and control of brand success in a market. The presented model will enable to ensure that when a national brand is introduced in a foreign market successful brand adaptation in foreign markets will be purposefully sought.