Understanding Brand Website Positioning in the New EU Member States: The Case of the Czech Republic

Understanding Brand Website Positioning in the New EU Member States: The Case of the Czech Republic

Shintaro Okazaki (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain) and Radoslav Škapa (Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-813-0.ch013
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Abstract

This study examines Websites created by American multinational corporations (MNCs) in the Czech Republic. Utilizing a content analysis technique, we scrutinized (1) the type of brand Website functions, and (2) the similarity ratings between the home (US) sites and Czech sites. Implications are discussed from the Website standardization versus localization perspective.
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Introduction

Both academics and practitioners have long debated whether advertising messages should be standardized. The proponents of standardization argue that the use of uniform advertising would provide significant cost benefits, thus improving company performance in the short run, while creating a consistent brand image in multiple markets. In contrast, the proponents of localization contend that ignoring the cultural, social, and economic characteristics of particular markets would cause psychological rejection by local consumers, thus decreasing profits in the long run. The debate has also produced a compromised or hybrid approach, which suggests that whether to standardize or localize advertising in a given market is a question of degree, and it is necessary to analyze many factors on a case-by-case basis (Mueller, 1991).

This debate is not limited to traditional media. As multinational corporations (MNCs) integrate their marketing communication with an emergent interactive medium, websites are becoming increasingly important for brand marketing and customer relationship management in multiple markets. This is because the Internet is, by definition, a glocal medium, which allows companies to create localized content with global access. In fact, many MNCs have established so-called “global gateway” sites with several language options. Consumers can first choose the language, then seek the information they desire. In this regard, the content of the local sites may need to be adapted to local consumers’ tastes and preferences, in terms of design, layout, copy, message, and so forth. (Okazaki and Alonso, 2002).

Okazaki (2005) examined websites created by American MNCs’ in four EU member states (i.e., the UK, France, Germany, and Spain), and found a high level of localization in website communication strategy. This research extends Okazaki’s exploration into the new EU member states, by conducting a content analysis of the MNCs’ websites created in the Czech Republic. Specifically, we address the following questions: (1) What types of brand website functions are used? (2) To what extent are the Czech sites standardized?

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Enlargement Of The European Union

In 2004, the enlargement of the European Union increased its member states from 15 to 25, by adding 10 countries: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In 2007, two more countries, Romania and Bulgaria became the member states, making the Union of 27 countries. This drastic expansion changed the way multinational corporations (MNCs) operate their businesses in Europe. Because of these countries’ low labour costs and investment incentives (e.g., tax reduction, construction aid, etc.), many firms moved their production facilities from other regions to these new member states. For example, Sheram and Soubbotina (2000) report that “Countries seen as more advanced in market reforms—the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, and Poland—attracted almost three-quarters of foreign investment” in transition economies. In fact, Poland received approximately $6.4 billion in foreign direct investment in 2003, an increase of $360 million over the previous year (MacKay 2004).

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Subir Bandyopadhyay
Table of Contents
Preface
Subir Bandyopadhyay
Acknowledgment
Subir Bandyopadhyay
Chapter 1
Subir Bandyopadhyay, Rosemary Serjak
In recent years, many online brands (or e-brands) have emerged. For a brick-and-mortar brand to excel in the online environment, the brand manager... Sample PDF
Key Success Requirements for Online Brand Management
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Chapter 2
Luis Casaló
The Internet is taking on an increasingly major role in political marketing and branding strategies. This is because of the use that the public... Sample PDF
The Role of Blogs on a Successful Political Branding Strategy
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Chapter 3
Aslihan Nasir, Süphan Nasir
Today, as business becomes ever more challenging, brands become the main assets of many companies. Fierce competition forces companies to... Sample PDF
Brand Personality of Web Search Engines: Who is the Conqueror of the Digital Age?
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Chapter 4
Tobias Kollmann
This chapter examines whether classical brand naming concepts are sustainable for entrepreneurial firms in the Net Economy. A prior study of Kohli... Sample PDF
The Naming of Corporate eBrands
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Chapter 5
Patrali Chatterjee
Consumer-centric organizations recognize customer relationships with brands as a source of sustainable competitive advantage that they can leverage... Sample PDF
Returns on e-Branding Investment: Linking Pre-Acquisition Marketing Activity to Customer Profitability
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Chapter 6
Fang Wan, Ning Nan, Malcolm Smith
Though marketers are aware that online marketing strategies are crucial to attract visitors to Web sites and make the Web site sticky (Hoffman et... Sample PDF
Consumers' Optimal Experience on Commercial Web Sites: A Congruency Effect of Web Atmospheric Design and Consumers' Surfing Goal
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Chapter 7
José J. Canals-Cerdá
Internet markets are usually under the command of a market intermediary that charges fees for its services. Differences in quality across items... Sample PDF
Nonlinear Pricing in E-Commerce
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Chapter 8
S. Ramesh Kumar
Brand positioning is a crucial strategy to any brand’s strategy. Given the rapid development of technology and it impact on online strategies... Sample PDF
The E-Mode of Brand Positioning: The Need for an Online Positioning Interface
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Chapter 9
Sanjeev Swami
Until 1997, job seekers in India would wait the whole week for the weekly supplements of various newspapers, or sundry employment journals and... Sample PDF
Job Search at Naukri.com: Case Study of a Successful Dot-Com Venture in India
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Chapter 10
Peter O’Connor
Since its launch in 1994, the Web has continued to grow at a phenomenal rate, from an estimated one billion Web documents in 2001 to over eleven... Sample PDF
Trademark Infringement in Pay-Per-Click Advertising
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Chapter 11
Robert Pennington
Brands have evolved from signs of property rights to signs of product attributes to signs of consumer attributes. Brands have become an important... Sample PDF
E-Branding the Consumer for Cultural Presence in Virtual Communities
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Chapter 12
Terry Daugherty, Harsha Gangadharbatla, Matthew S. Eastin
As the Internet expands to include individual applications such as banking, shopping, information gathering, and so on, brand managers and marketers... Sample PDF
Impact of Internet Self-Efficacy on E-Service Brands
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Chapter 13
Shintaro Okazaki, Radoslav Škapa
This study examines Websites created by American multinational corporations (MNCs) in the Czech Republic. Utilizing a content analysis technique, we... Sample PDF
Understanding Brand Website Positioning in the New EU Member States: The Case of the Czech Republic
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Chapter 14
Dahui Li, Glenn J. Browne, James C. Wetherbe
Limited studies have investigated online consumer loyalty and retention from a relationship orientation in electronic commerce research. It is... Sample PDF
Online Consumers' Switching Behavior: A Buyer-Seller Relationship Perspective
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Chapter 15
Piyush Sharma, Rajiv Mathur, Abhinav Dhawan
Offshore outsourcing is a fast-growing aspect of the world economy today and it has drawn attention from policy makers as well as public at large in... Sample PDF
Understanding Consumer Reactions to Offshore Outsourcing of Customer Services
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Chapter 16
Edward J. Garrity
This paper develops a new model of web information systems success that takes into account both intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors. The... Sample PDF
An Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation-Based Model for Measuring Consumer Shopping Oriented Web Site Success
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Chapter 17
Christy M.K. Cheung
The topic of online consumer behavior has been examined under various contexts over the years. Although researchers from a variety of business... Sample PDF
A Critical Review of Online Consumer Behavior
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Chapter 18
Patricia T. Warrington, Elizabeth Gangstad, Richard Feinberg, Ko de Ruyter
Multi-channel retailers that utilize an eCRM approach stand to benefit in multiple arenas - by providing targeted customer service as well as... Sample PDF
Multi-Channel Retailing and Customer Satisfaction: Implications for eCRM
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Chapter 19
Chung-Hoon Park, Young-Gul Kim
Among the potential determinants of consumers’ commitment to on-line shopping site are information features of the web site because on-line shopping... Sample PDF
The Effect of Information Satisfaction and Relational Benefit on Consumer's On-Line Shopping Site Commitment
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About the Contributors