بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
The vital importance of branding in global markets is accepted by both practitioners and scholars. However, there is a lack of research to explain the relationship between international strategic brand management (ISBM) and export performance. Drawing on contingency theory and the concept of strategic fit, this study develops a model of the ISBM-export performance relationship, and identifies four potential external environment moderators, namely foreign market competitive intensity, foreign market buyer incongruence, national export policy and domestic market competitive environment. Using a sample of successful UK exporters, the findings support the argument that the link between ISBM and export performance is contingent upon particular external environmental moderating factors. The implications suggest that certain multifaceted external environmental conditions may be more advantageous for practitioners to strategically manage their brand in overseas markets than had previously been realized.
Brands are unique firm wide intangible assets that provide a significant point of differentiation and enduring competitive advantage. Their importance cannot be overstated, put simply; “Brands are the lifeblood of companies” (Steenkamp, 2014, p. 5). However, the realization of brand differentiation that can command sustainable competitive advantages and performance gains, requires brands to be strategically managed (Gao et al., 2018). Therefore, it is fundamental that firms have an understanding of strategic brand management in order to achieve effective value creation (Högström, Gustafsson, & Tronvoll, 2015) and subsequent performance outcomes.
Results and analyses
Understanding and strategically managing the impact of B2B brands on export performance is critical for B2B suppliers’ long-term international success. This study answers calls for more work investigating aspects of B2B international trade (Lacka, Chan, & Wang, 2020), B2B brand management (Wang & Hao, 2018) and the need for additional theoretical perspectives related specifically to B2B brand management (Glynn and Woodside, 2009, Seyedghorban et al., 2016). The main objective of this research was to determine external environmental conditions under which ISBM is most or least beneficial to exporters. A strong basis for this investigation is that environmental conditions are forces that shape both the domestic and foreign market environments in which exporters operate (Katsikeas, Leonidou, & Morgan, 2000). The majority of studies only investigate the direct effects of antecedents on export performance, while ignoring key interactive moderating effects (Chen, Sousa, & He, 2016). Scholars have previously established the direct link between brand management and export performance. However, this study set out to shed more light on the relationship and consequently to address an important knowledge gap. A key gap in the literature has been addressed by examining external environment contingent effects on the nexus between ISBM and export performance. Importantly, it has demonstrated that this link is moderated by several external environmental factors. This study extends knowledge within the international marketing and B2B domains and, assents to the viewpoint that, for B2B firms to be successful in the future, then they need to focus on an increasingly global marketplace (Lilien, 2016). By taking a comparable approach to Hofer’s (1975) investigation of contingency theory in relation to business strategy, the present study takes the first step towards a comprehensive contingency theory of ISBM. It expands upon on the B2B brand management theoretical perspective that the activation point of B2B brands are different. B2B branding should be examined at the firm level since “in B2B one does not buy products, but trust, the corporate brand is the source of trust” (Kapferer, 2012, p. 81).