The Effects of Brand Cognition Process in Automobile Marketing in the Developed Countries

The Effects of Brand Cognition Process in Automobile Marketing in the Developed Countries

Gautam Dutta (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata, India) and Abhishek Dutta (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.2019010105
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The developed country consumers actually build up three types of barriers while acknowledging inconspicuous automobile brands from developing countries which almost act linearly in three successive phases of brand cognition. These barriers create three types of quantifiable psychological distances. This article, in the backdrop of an Indian automobile brand's marketing endeavor in USA, details the underlying psychological reasons towards ignoring inconspicuous foreign brands of developing countries and quantifies psychological distances for the Indian automobile brand understudy. This article also shows a way to bring the theoretical understanding of COO based brand cognition process to a practical level which the marketing managers of developing countries can use while extending their brands to the developed country markets.
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Indian automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, acronym M&M, began its journey with a dream to become major global player in the automobile sector just at the dawn of Indian independence. Today after 60 years, the Mahindra Group is a leading manufacturer of multi-utility vehicles with significant presence in India. From 1970’s M&M started exporting vehicles to different African and Asian countries and soon became a very popular brand in many developing and least developing countries. In 2002, M&M launched India’s first indigenous Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Scorpio, which got acknowledgment from Indian consumers as the vehicle with right blend between rugged utility and style. During the year 2009, the company decided a have a big presence in the international markets through launching of Scorpio brand SUV in the lead country markets like United States of America (USA) in order to achieve the target of realizing about 20 percent of the total revenue from international operation by the year 2012. As the company was readying its marketing plan for USA it had been worrying about the acceptance of brand ‘Scorpio’ in the US market by the SUV savvy prospective customers. The company was afraid of possible disadvantages originating from first, its brand name unfamiliarity with the US customers; second, not so bright image of the country of origin (COO) i.e. India as SUV manufacturer and third, imminent uneven competition with the established brands endowed with positive COO image.

The purpose of the current study is twofold. One; to understand the underlying psychological reasons towards ignoring inconspicuous foreign brands of developing countries as this can help marketers to frame marketing strategy and two; to devise a framework for assessing the level of acceptance of the domestic brand while accessing the developed country markets which can readily be used by the practicing managers. A handy framework in this direction, considering how the domestic brands from developing or least developing countries are likely to be accepted in developed country in relation to local brands and those originating from other developed countries, would be of interest to companies in their formulation of marketing strategies for the developed country markets. The entire understanding in this paper will be developed, in this regard, in the backdrop of marketing of Indian SUV brand ‘Scorpio’ in the US market.

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