brand is a name, term, sign, symbol and/or design that is intended to identify a product or product line and differentiate it in the marketplace. MNEs need to decide about whether to adopt either a worldwide brand or a variety of brands for different local markets.

1. Advantages of Worldwide Brands. A global image assists in the marketing to international

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travelers and creates an international identity as a global player.

2. Problems with Uniform Brands. A number of problems are inherent in trying to use uniform

brands internationally:

– Language. Both the translation and pronunciation of brand names pose potential problems in

many markets. Often the problems are obvious, but other times they are quite subtle, yet critical.

In addition, brand symbols (shapes and colors) are culturally sensitive in many societies.

– Brand Acquisition. When an MNE acquires a (foreign) firm, it automatically acquires its

brands. In some cases, those brands will be kept; in others they are folded into a larger brand in

order to capture economies of scale & promote regional/global brand recognition.

– Country-of-Origin Image. Firms must determine whether to promote a local or foreign image

for their products. The products of some countries may be perceived as being particularly

desirable and of higher quality than products from other countries. A firm may be able to

enhance its competitiveness by effectively exploiting this perception.

– Generic and Near-Generic Names. While firms want their brand names to become household

words, they do not want those names to become so common they are considered to be generic

(e.g., Kleenex and Xerox). Generic names may either stimulate or frustrate the sales of the firm

from whom the name was expropriated.


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