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AMA Conference 2021: Brand perception between globality and locality

October 14, 2021

David Bourdin from the Competence Center for Marketing presented his study on brand perception, published in the Journal of Business Research, at the AMA Conference 2021 in Taormina, Sicily.

David Bourdin is Teaching & Research Associate at FHWien der WKW’s Competence Center for Marketing. His dissertation is dedicated to cross-cultural brand perception and the country-of-origin effect, among other topics. For the second time he was invited to present his research results at a conference of the American Marketing Association (AMA). This time he presented his article “The compensatory influences of country stereotypes and the global/local nature of brands: An extended framework,” which was recently published in the Journal of Business Research. Together with Georgios Halkias (Technical University of Munich) and Katerina Makri (University of Vienna), he investigated the interplay between the influencing factors of a brand’s globality/locality and a country’s “competence”/”warmth” on brand perception.

Likeable countries of origin make global brands trustworthy

Previous literature shows that both the perceived “globality” and/or “locality” of a brand and the image of the brand’s country of origin significantly influence independently consumers’ attitudes toward the brand and thus their buying behavior. However, the interaction of these two brand- and country-specific factors has hardly been investigated so far – namely the interactive effects of perceptions of globality/locality and country stereotypes. The results of two studies (Austria and the U.S.) and across six different product categories suggest that country stereotypes can either substitute or complement brand perceptions of globality and locality. Specifically, if the country of origin of a very global brand is usually seen as friendly and sympathetic, then these stereotypes can offset the negative connotations of excessive globality (e.g. too standardized, inauthentic, too profit-oriented) and thus promote trust.

Local adaptations mandatory for “incompetent” countries of origin

If a country is perceived as very competent for a certain product category (e.g. Scotch whisky or Swiss watches), then consumers do not expect local adaptations. However, an adaptation of the brand to the local culture becomes necessary the more “incompetent” the brand origin country is perceived to be. Here, consumers appreciate it very much if the brand “at least tries” to meet local tastes better. Foreign brands can therefore use a local positioning strategy to enhance their brand image, for example, by making allusions to local cultural heritage, highlighting their positive impact on the local economy, engaging in and supporting locally relevant issues, or collaborating with local brands (which are seen as local pioneers).

About the American Marketing Association

Founded in 1937, the American Marketing Association (AMA) is the world’s largest scientific association in the marketing field. Two major conferences are held annually in the USA. In addition, specific topics are addressed in so-called “Special Interest Groups” (SIGs) and research results are presented in separate, smaller conferences. This year’s participation of David Bourdin happened in the course of the “Global Marketing SIG” with more than 80 participants. The conference was organized by the Marketing Division of Leeds University Business School and took place in Taormina, Sicily from October 1–3, 2021.


If you want to know details about the research results, here is the link to the article “The compensatory influences of country stereotypes and the global/local nature of brands: An extended framework.”

>> Read the article



David Bourdin, BA MSc
Teaching & Research Associate
Competence Center for Marketing
Tel.: +43 690 40 476-074