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Cultural Value, Consumption Value, and Global Brand Image: A Cross-National Study

Hye-Jung Park
Korea Polytechnic University

Nancy J. Rabolt
San Francisco State University

ABSTRACT
In expanding their market to the global level with clear and consistent global brand images across nations, marketers are ever confronting the issue of how to deal with different cultural values. Cultural value is identified as an influential factor on brand image and is widely accepted as one of the crucial concepts in understanding consumer consumption value, which determines choices of consuming everyday products and services. Most firms endeavoring to establish and maintain consistent global brand images, however, adopt a standardized brand image strategy that usually does not consider individual target markets characteristics, including the concepts of cultural value and consumption value. This study developed a conceptual framework which incorporated cultural value not only as a direct antecedent of brand image, but also as an indirect antecedent of brand image through consumption value, and empirically tested it using the category of apparel. Following this framework, this study hypothesized the differences in brand image, cultural value, and consumption value between the U.S. and South Korea. Data were gathered through surveying university students residing in the San Francisco and Seoul metropolitan areas using a convenience sampling method. A total of 329 completed questionnaires were used in factor analysis, discriminant analysis, and structural equation
Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 26(8): 714735 (August 2009) Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. DOI: 10.1002/mar.20296 714

modeling. The results provide insights into standardized brand image strategies and suggest some implementable tools that might prove effective in both countries. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

In the increasingly competitive marketplace, strong and consistent brand images contribute to nurturing a loyal customer base (Haynes, Lackman, & Guskey, 1999). A consistent and effective brand image also helps develop and reinforce brand equity in the long run (Biel, 1992; Keller, 1993; Roth, 1995a). Marketers failure to achieve brand image consistency may confuse consumers, which in turn will negatively affect long-term brand equity (Hsieh, 2002). Dunning (1981) proposed ownership advantage, internalization advantage, and location advantage as three conditions needed for a company to undertake its expansion to the globe. The more of these advantages a company has, the more likely it is that the company will effectively expand its global customer base. Considered as an equity, a strong and consistent global brand image might be one of the core asset-based ownership advantages of a global company that contributes to the companys successful global market expansion. The dominance of transnational corporations manufacturing and marketing consumer goods around the world has fueled the proliferation of global consumer culture (Ger & Belk, 1996), and global integration has accelerated this homogenization of consumer behavior among developed countries and emerging markets (Dholakia & Talukdar, 2004). The need for strong empirical studies supporting global consumption homogenization was raised by Wind (1986) over two decades ago, and much research (Boddewyn, Soehl, & Picard, 1986; Gabel & Boller, 2000; Holt, Quelch, & Taylor, 2004; Quelch, 1999; Sheth, 1986; Zhou, Teng, & Poon, 2008) has discussed global consumer culture along with the standardized marketing strategies adopted by global brands. Other than the study by Dholakia and Talukdar (2004), which revealed the existence of consumption convergence in emerging markets, no meaningful empirical research has been conducted to date on global consumer homogenization. Assuming the homogeneity of consumers, without strong evidence, transnational corporations tend to employ standardized global brand image strategies rather than localized ones, and especially when running international advertising campaigns, they often ignore cultural values in local markets (Gregory & Munch, 1997). Pointing out the importance of cultural differences in the global market, however, many marketing studies (Huang & Tai, 2003; Khairullah & Khairullah, 2002; Lowe & Corkindale, 1998; McCarty & Hattwick, 1992; Roberts & Hart, 1997) have empirically shown differences in cultural values cross-culturally or cross-nationally. Regarding these differences, Wong and Ahuvia (1998) noted that consumers in Asian and Western societies may buy the same products but not always for the same reasons or purposes. Hence, establishing a consistent brand image globally while not adapting brand image strategies to cultural values and other characteristics of individual markets is not an easy task. Brand image needs to be tailored across countries reflecting cultural differences across markets, which are indicators of consumers different needs across nations (Roth, 1995b). Considering the importance of brand image management across the global market, Roth (1995a) concluded that brand image performance is influenced by cultural characteristics and that the degree of brand image customization is also influenced by cultural characteristics based on Hofstedes
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(1984) cultural dimensions. Related to brand globalization, Hsieh (2002) proposed a measure of the degree of global brand image perception cohesiveness across markets as an indicator of the degree of brand globalization and found that national characteristics such as the level of economic development, cultural dimensions, and geographic distance affect brand image perception. Concerning global brand image, other research (Roth, 1992, 1995b) emphasized that countries are culturally heterogeneous. As such, marketers constantly encounter the issue of how to establish consistent brand image across the globe despite cultural differences. Even though the global brand strategies adopted by transnational corporations have received a great deal of attention, empirical studies on the establishment of global brand image are still limited. This study, therefore, was intended to provide some insight on this issue and encourage marketers to focus their efforts on understanding how to effectively develop and implement strong and consistent brand images, which will enable them to successfully compete in the global market. The aforementioned studies, however, have not addressed the concept of individual consumption value that is specific to a product, which belongs to a brand, overlooking the interlinking between cultural values and consumption values. Consumers from different cultures may use different product attributes to express similar underlying consumption values (Tse, Wong, & Tan, 1988). In this context, Taylor (2000) raised the need for more research identifying how culture influences consumer behavior and marketing, and Steenkamp (2001) noted that culture has long been recognized as a major factor underlying systematic differences in behavior. McGregor (2000) empirically showed that cultural value and consumption value are related, but not exactly the same, through crosscultural comparative analysis using cultural value as a proxy for consumption value. He noted that cultural value influences consumption value in that cultural value is seen to act as a justification for individuals acquiring certain goods and services. Huang and Tai (2003) also identified significant effects of cultural value on consumption value. In recent years, the influence of culture on consumption and marketing has received increasing attention (Soares, Farhangmehr, & Shoham, 2007). Recognizing the differences in cultural and consumption values across markets and their impact on brand images, each cultural value and consumption value should be carefully considered in establishing global brand image strategies. In other words, standardized brand image strategies should be modified and adapted according to cultural and consumption differences across nations. In order to support this, this study proposed a conceptual framework which incorporated cultural value not only as a direct antecedent of brand image, but also as an indirect antecedent through consumption value, and then empirically tested it for both the U.S. and South Korea. Under this framework, it was hypothesized that brand image as well as its two antecedents, cultural value and consumption value, differ between the two countries. The results may reveal why brand images are perceived differently across nations and may suggest ways to incorporate differences in brand image strategies to establish a consistent global brand image across nations. As apparel brands are representative of globalized consumer product brands, this study was conducted using an apparel product. Most global apparel companies, whose product lines change frequently, implement standardized image strategies. This could be justified by Samiee and Roths (1992) finding that
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marketers are more likely to standardize their marketing programs when they compete in industries where product changes are frequent. However, a globalized clothing brand being the subject, this study may show how vulnerable a standardized strategy is in building and sustaining the same brand image across nations where cultural and consumption values differ. Dobni and Zinkhan (1990) addressed factors that contribute to developing brand image: product attributes, sponsoring organization, marketing mix, modes through which people tend to perceive, personal values, experience, type of people associated with the use of brand, and context variables. Also, marketing practitioners have emphasized that marketing mix, such as manufacturing, assortment, and advertising, should take into account cultural differences (Translating a Brand Image Abroad, 1998). However, ideas about how to reflect these differences in actual strategies is vague due to the lack of empirical tests. Therefore, it may be meaningful to examine whether these individual and cultural differences lead to different brand images across nations.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESES


Cultural values are identified as influential factors on brand images (Roth, 1992, 1995a) and consumption values are related to cultural values (Henry, 1976; Huang & Tai, 2003; McGregor, 2000). Based on these findings, this study conceptualized that cultural value and consumption value, which are expected to be inherently different across nations, formulate brand images. Based on this conceptual framework, three hypotheses are developed. The following section discusses how brand image is influenced by cultural and consumption values and shows the development of the hypotheses.

Brand Image
In marketing research, brand image is defined in a variety of ways. By tracing various definitions and justifications, Dobni and Zinkhan (1990) defined brand image as the concept of a brand held by the consumer and is largely a subjective and perceptual phenomenon formed through consumer interpretation (p. 118). Besides the diverse definitions, there is no consensus on the most accurate and effective standardized measurement for brand image (Hsieh & Li, 2008; Martinez & Chernatony, 2004; Martinez, Polo, & Chernatony, 2008). Pointing out the need for the development of different scale items of brand image according to product category, Low and Lamb (2000) proposed a protocol for developing product categoryspecific measures of brand image which was empirically tested. Measurements should be customized to accommodate the unique characteristics of specific brand categories (Bearden & Etzel, 1982; Park & Srinivasan, 1994). In consideration of this, the brand image scale used in this study was developed following the protocol recommended by Low and Lamb. This protocol begins with a pretest which asks a small number of respondents, who are relevant to a main study population, to provide any ideas, feelings, or attitudes that they associate with a brand. Based on analyzing and tabulating the open-ended responses, most frequently named terms are used to develop semantic differential brand image items which are asked of the studys sample while showing a brand advertisement.
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Despite the growing importance of global brand image in the international marketing arena, studies to understand the differences in global brand image between the home market and foreign markets are still limited. Most of the attention on brand image has focused on identifying the relationship between brand image and consumer behavior at the national level, such as consumer personality (Shank & Langmeyer, 1994), self image (Graeff, 1996; Hogg, Cox, & Keeling, 2000; Schenk & Holman, 1980), consumption situation (Graeff, 1997), price promotion (Hunt & Keaveney, 1994; Villarejo-Ramos & Snchez-Franco, 2005), retailer image perception (Pettijohn, Mellott, & Pettijohn, 1992), and behavioral outcomes (Esch et al., 2006). In entering foreign markets, marketers should deal with the issue of standardization versus adaptation to local markets. Most research related to this issue is focused on products rather than on brands. Therefore, there is a need to review the issue related to standardized brand image strategy which might not fit with cultural values of all countries. Even though the issue of how brand images differ across nations is dealt with in many studies (Roth, 1992, 1995a; Hsieh, 2002), there is no research about the influence of cultural and consumption values on brand image, especially the differences of brand images cross-nationally. Thus, as the first step to identify this relationship, this study hypothesized the difference in brand image perceptions between the U.S. and South Korea. Perceptions about brand images spurred by standardized brand image strategies may differ significantly in different countries according to each countrys cultural and consumption values which are learned behaviors.
H1: There are differences in brand image perceptions between the U.S. and South Korea.

Cultural Value
Culture provides a sort of shared understanding among people in a society that allows them to predict and coordinate social activities (Sternquist, 1998), and cultural values refer to the core of the entire cultures mindset shared by a society (McGregor, 2000). Shared cultural values help to shape the contingencies to which members of a society should adapt in the institutions in which they spend their time (Schwartz, 1999). Therefore, it seems apparent that cultural values in the U.S. and South Korea are quite different from each other because of their different cultures. In spite of the growing awareness of the importance of global brand image to international marketers, there has been no research on whether cultural values may influence brand image. Related to brand, there is only one study (Zinkhan & Prenshaw, 1994) that identified the impact of differences in visions of good life, which are culturally determined, among Asia, the U.S., and Europe on brand name image rather than on brand image. Sternquist (1998) pointed out that the element of culture is an important factor for retailers and that the retailer is being confronted with culturally different surroundings, although the retailer operates using a standard format throughout the globe. As globalization is a pervasive phenomenon in the business arena, much research has been conducted on cultural values across the globe, revealing that marketing success depends on knowledge of cultural differences. Most of this research used Hofstedes (1984) cultural dimensions as cultural values

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(Sondergaard, 1994), including masculinityfemininity, individualism collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and power distance. Other measurement instruments, such as VALS (Values and Lifestyle Segmentation), RVS (Rokeach Value Survey), LOV (List of Values), and SVS (Schwartz Value Survey), have been used to measure cultural values in marketing studies. Steenkamp (2001) noticed that SVS has much potential for international marketing studies because of its solid theoretical foundation. SVS recently has been applied in various research (Collins, Steg, & Koning, 2007; Hartman et al., 2006; Johnson & Lenartowicz, 1998; Polegarto & Bjerke, 2006) attesting to its usefulness. Schwartz (1994, 1999) showed the structure of SVS efficiently capturing the differences in national cultures of over 40 nations, including the U.S. and South Korea. Thus, this study used SVS to measure cultural values in the two countries. SVS is composed of seven types of values (harmony, egalitarianism, intellectual autonomy, affective autonomy, conservatism, hierarchy, and mastery) and uses 45 items in measuring such values.
H2: There are differences in cultural values between the U.S. and South Korea.

Consumption Value
As this study was specific to apparel and clothing, it used the variable clothing consumption value, which refers to the values attached to the consumption of clothing. In the clothing research arena, the term clothing value is widely perceived to have the same meaning as clothing consumption value. This study adopted the term clothing consumption value because it is more widely used in the marketing arena than clothing value. In identifying consumer behavior related to consumption values, many studies (Albaum et al., 2002; Chen, Shang, & Lin, 2008; Finch, Trombley, & Rabas, 1998; Long & Shiffman, 2000; Pope, 1998) have used Sheth, Newman, and Gross (1991) theory of consumption values, composed of functional value, social value, emotional value, epistemic value, and conditional value. The theory defined each value as follows: Functional value is the utility that is perceived to possess on criteria salient to its physical or functional purposes (p. 32); social value is derived from its association with one or more distinctive social groups (p. 38); emotional value is derived from feelings or affective states (p. 50); epistemic value is derived from its capacity to provide novelty, arouse curiosity, and/or satisfy knowledge-seeking aspirations (p. 62); and conditional value is derived from its capacity to provide temporary functional or social value in the context of a specific and transient set of circumstances or contingencies (p. 69). The theory of Sheth, Newman, and Gross (1991) provided standardized procedures and questionnaire formats to researchers by enabling them to adapt them to their research topics, and it is appropriate in capturing value content due to its flexibility. This study followed the theory in identifying consumption value of clothing. The theory recommends using focus groups in developing consumption value scales; however, this study used an open-ended questionnaire because of the difficulty of using the same level of qualified interviewers and the location and time limitations across the U.S. and South Korea. Tse, Wong, and Tan (1988) found differences of clothing consumption values using product attribute importance as consumption value measures in their

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cross-cultural study. Based on this study, which found differences in clothing consumption values in five geographically proximate Asia Pacific regions (Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan), it seems apparent that there are differences in clothing consumption values between the United States, a Western culture, and South Korea, a Confucian culture. The differences are worth studying as most global fashion retailers targeting the younger generation generate standardized advertisements assuming clothing consumption values are the same across the globe.
H3: There are differences in consumption values between the U.S. and South Korea.

METHOD Developing Measurement of Variables Measures for Brand Image. The brand Polo was chosen both because
there are abundant subjects around the globe who know the brand well enough to rate its brand image, and Polo implements standardized advertising and merchandise strategies across the global market. The researchers of this study examined Polos advertisements in American fashion magazines such as Vogue and Allure and the Korean versions of those magazines and confirmed that the company used the same advertisements in the U.S. and South Korea. The researchers also confirmed that the advertisements did not contain any culturally relevant stimuli that could have been evaluated and processed differently by individuals within the individualist culture and the collective culture as found by Leach and Liu (1998). Brand image measures were developed by a pretest, as suggested by Low and Lamb (2000). Fifty-three female university students from the U.S. and 60 from South Korea were asked to write down brand image words representing ideas, feelings, and attitudes that they associated with clothing. The open-ended responses were categorized on the basis of common meanings and content and examined by frequency, and the most frequently named responses in each category were selected to develop semantic differential items to measure brand image. The content and frequency analyses led to 14 items for the U.S. and 19 for South Korea, with nine items common to both countries. The final set of 24 brand image items were selected: expensive/inexpensive, high status/low status, good quality/poor quality, trendy/outdated, popular/unpopular, sexy/unappealing, feel positive/feel negative, professional/unprofessional, luxurious/economic, sophisticated/unsophisticated, fun/boring, youthful/old, fashion/basic, unique/ common, active/inactive, romantic/practical, cute/ugly, feminine/masculine, elegant/inelegant, colorful/dull, casual/formal, comfortable/uncomfortable, global/ local, and soft/hard. Advertising is essential to the process of informing consumers of inherent product benefits and positioning the brand in their mind (Meenaghan, 1995). Therefore, Low and Lamb (2000) showed an advertisement for a brand to their subjects before asking them to rate the brand image. However, this study did not provide an advertisement for the following two reasons. First, creating images in consumers minds depends on specific advertising appeals such as

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value-expressive, symbolic, or utilitarian. These advertising appeals are also found by some research to be the reflection of consumers commonly held values (Cho et al., 1999; Fam & Grohs, 2007; Gregory & Munch, 1997; Lowe & Corkindale, 1998; Moon & Chan, 2005; Roberts & Hart, 1997). Second, through brand extension, Polo has many affiliated brands that have their own design concepts, price ranges, and target markets. Therefore, there was a concern that showing a single Polo advertisement to the subjects of this study might merely make them focus on the one brand. For these reasons, instead of showing an advertisement of one of Polos brands, this study showed an image of the Polo brand logo to its subjects. Acknowledging that brand logo as a visual stimulus is a crucial part of brand strategy (Henderson et al., 2003) and that, in the case of Polo, an identical brand logo is used throughout its extended brand products and brand image strategies globally, the Polo brand logo was shown on the top of the brand image questions in the questionnaire. Subjects were asked to express their brand images of Polo on 24 brand image scales following the question, I think that the brand is. Semantic differential scales ranging from extremely (1) to extremely (7) were used (for example, extremely casual to extremely formal), since semantic differential is regarded as a common tool for measuring perceptions of brands (Fry & Claxton, 1971).

Measures for Cultural Value. Using scales developed by Schwartz (1992,


1994, 1999), the subjects of this study were asked to rate the importance of each value item as guiding principles in my life, using a nine-point scale: of supreme importance (7), very important (6), unlabeled (5, 4), important (3), unlabeled (2, 1), not important (0), or opposed to my values (1). This study used 45 items from the most recent study by Schwartz (1999), and the number of cultural value items for each factor was 6, 5, 3, 9, 15, 4, and 3, measuring mastery, hierarchy, harmony, egalitarianism, conservatism, affective autonomy, and intellectual autonomy, respectively. Each value item was followed by a short explanatory phrase in parentheses, as described in Schwartzs (1992) study.

Measures for Clothing Consumption Value. Although many studies were conducted to identify clothing values and the influence of those values on clothing behaviors, they lacked a consistent clothing consumption values measurement. Because there is no single best measurement of clothing consumption value, especially across countries, this study developed a clothing consumption value measurement utilizing the theory of consumption value by Sheth, Newman, and Gross (1991), composed of functional, emotional, epistemic, social, and conditional values. In developing clothing consumption values, a pilot test was conducted with 62 female university students from the U.S. and 66 from South Korea who were not included in the pretest for developing brand image measures. The students were asked to provide some of the most important attributes, feelings, aspirations, associations, and temporary values that influence their purchasing of clothing. For this, following Sheth, Newman, and Grosss consumption value theory, the following questions were used to draw out measurements of each of the five values (functional, emotional, epistemic, asocial, and conditional value items respectively) from subjects: (1) What are some of the benefits (physical and utilitarian attributes) or problems that you associate with purchasing clothing?; (2) What feelings are aroused by your decision to purchase clothing?; (3) What triggered your decision to purchase clothing
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(usually pertaining to curiosity and the desire for knowledge, novelty, and complexity)?; (4) What are the groups of people associated with the clothing you purchase?; and (5) What are the circumstances or situations that would cause you to purchase clothing? For each value, the responses obtained from each country were separately categorized and examined by frequency. The most frequently named responses from each country in each value were selected and combined as clothing consumption values held by consumers in both countries. As a result, eight items of salient responses, six in common for both countries and one each from the U.S. and South Korean subjects, were determined for functional value. Regarding emotional value, six items, four in common for both countries and two from the U.S. subjects, were determined. There were nine items, four in common for both countries, four from the U.S. subjects, and one from the South Korean subjects, for epistemic value. For social value, nine items, four in common for both countries, two from the U.S. subjects, and three from the South Korean subjects, were selected. For conditional value, there were nine items, five in common for both countries, two from the U.S. subjects, and two from the South Korean subjects. In the questionnaire, subjects were asked to complete 41 consumption value scales under each value category. For functional value, subjects were asked to indicate their perception of each benefit or problem associated with purchasing clothing. For emotional value, subjects were asked to indicate their feelings associated with their decision to purchase clothing. Epistemic values were measured by asking subjects to indicate their level of agreement with reasons for purchasing their clothing. The question on social value in this study was not consistent with the case of buy or not to buy cited in the theory of consumption value by Sheth, Newman, and Gross (1991). Therefore, the question was modified to investigate the degree of influence of social groups associated with purchasing clothing; the question recommended by the theory is intended to measure the degree of consumers beliefs about certain social groups behaviors as consumers. For measuring social value and conditional value, subjects were asked to indicate how much they are associated with each referent when purchasing clothing and how much their behavior in purchasing clothing would be changed by each condition, respectively. Seven-point Likert-type scales were used, ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7) for functional, emotional, and epistemic values and from extremely not at all (1) to extremely very much (7) for social and conditional values.

Data Collection
Aiming to better support hypotheses of the difference of values and brand images between the U.S. and South Korea, this study employed subjects who were homogeneous across the two countries. Since university students are more homogenous than other samples, the sample for this study was composed of female university students in the San Francisco and Seoul metropolitan areas. As similar segments of consumers across borders are more likely to be found in urban than in rural areas (Quelch, 1999), students in urban areas were selected. The fact that the two cities are generally perceived as two of the most cosmopolitan cities in the two countries was also considered in the selection process. Conducting this study with university students may also provide useful information to the marketing arena recognizing the growing importance of young
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consumers in the global market. Solomon (2007) pointed out that global marketing efforts are likely to succeed when targeting consumers in different countries who share a common world view, not only because their frame of reference is relatively more international or cosmopolitan, but also because they receive much of their information about the world from sources that incorporate a worldwide perspective. He suggested that the youth segment is the first to tap because their tastes are strongly influenced by the mass media, which deliver many of the same images to the globe simultaneously. Currently, the proliferation of the Internet has accelerated the pace towards homogeneity among the younger generation of the world. Utilizing the convenience sampling method, the data were gathered by surveying female students during fashion-related classes at a university in San Francisco and two universities in Seoul. The questionnaire for this study contained measurement scales of brand image, cultural values, and consumption values; 158 questionnaires from the U.S. and 171 from South Korea were used in exploratory factor analysis and discriminant analysis using the SPSS program. The Amos 4.0 program was also used for structural equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation in order to provide confirmatory factor analysis, the fit of the scales, and the fit of the model proposed in this study. The fits were evaluated by examining chi-square statistics, goodness-of-fit index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), and Tucker-Lewis index (TLI). This study also examined comparative fit index (CFI) because CFI is robust to sample size while other indexes are not (Bentler, 1990).

RESULTS Factor Analysis and Variable Reliabilities Exploratory Factor Analysis. To identify the underlying factors of brand
image and each of the five consumption values, an exploratory factor analysis using principal component method with varimax rotation was performed. In conducting the analysis, this study used combined data from the U.S. and South Korea to extract the common factor items of the two countries and thus could show the relative differences of brand images and values between the two countries. Comparing the brand images and values between the two countries based on the same brand images and values enables this study to achieve its research purpose. In conducting factor analysis, an eigenvalue of greater than one was used as the criterion for extracting factors. A factor reduction process was carried out to eliminate the scale items having small loadings (below 0.50) and sizable crossloadings on more than one factor. Four factors of brand image were extracted after eliminating 11 items. Total variance explained with the four factors was 62.05%. For consumption values, two factors each for functional, emotional, and epistemic values and three factors each for social and conditional values were extracted after eliminating one item of social value and two items of each of epistemic and conditional values. Total variance explained with the two factors for functional, emotional, and epistemic values was 53.36%, 67.85%, and 66.81%, respectively. Total variance explained with the three factors for social and conditional values was 64.33% and 63.29%, respectively.

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Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Regarding brand image and consumption value scales, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to further investigate whether the extracted factor properties of the scales fit to each of the two countries. CFA was also conducted for the cultural value scale in order to investigate whether the seven-dimension structure of cultural value, which was used by Schwartz (1999), fit to each of the two countries. Using a first-order CFA model, the tests were conducted for each group separately. Throughout this process, items and factors which had factor loadings and regression weights below 0.50 or not significant with their latent variables at p 0.05 in either data set were eliminated to develop common factors or dimensions for both countries, and the modification indexes were examined to eliminate or add paths as necessary. For brand image, a two-factor model was best fitted and two items and one item each of the two factors were eliminated in the process. The tests for the factorial validity for each country are shown in Table 1. Chi-square statistics were significant and GFI, TLI, and CFI were also quite acceptable, indicating responses to the brand image could be explained by the two factors. Therefore, the factors could be considered to best represent the structure of brand image items for each country. The Cronbachs coefficient alphas for the two factors of brand image were 0.66 and 0.70 for the U.S. subjects and 0.58 and 0.77 for the South Korean subjects (see Table 2), indicating that acceptable reliability was achieved for both countries. In order to confirm the cultural value dimensionality, seven-factor analysis was performed for each group separately. For this variable, two items each of mastery, hierarchy, and egalitarian values and three items of conservatism value were eliminated. The fit of the scale items confirmed the cultural value dimensionality as follows: For the U.S. subjects, 2 647.72, p 0.000, GFI 0.83, TLI 0.95, CFI 0.96; for the South Korean subjects, 2 565.08, p 0.031, GFI 0.85, TLI 0.98, CFI 0.98 (see Table 1). Although the 2 statistic was significant and the values of GFI (0.83 and 0.85) for both subjects were

Table 1. Dimensionality Test for Brand Image, Cultural Value, and Consumption Value. U.S. (N 158) 2 p GFI TLI CFI 2 Korea (N 171) p GFI TLI CFI

Brand Image 7.05 0.22 Cultural Value 647.72 0.00 Consumption Value Functional value 5.84 0.6 Emotional value 2.30 7 Epistemic value 9.26 0.1 Social value 0.74 3 Conditional value 0.15 0.3 2 0.3 9 0.7 0

0.98 0.98 0.99 5.30 0.26 0.99 0.97 0.99 0.83 0.95 0.96 565.08 0.03 0.85 0.98 0.98 0.99 0.99 0.98 0.99 1.00 1.02 0.97 0.99 1.01 1.06 1.00 0.99 0.99 1.00 1.00 4.88 8.02 11.24 0.22 1.97 0.7 7 0.0 1 0.1 3 0.6 4 0.1 6 0.99 0.98 0.98 0.99 0.99 1.02 0.88 0.97 1.05 0.90 1.00 0.98 0.99 1.00 0.98

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Table 2. Reliability for Brand Image, Cultural Value, and Consumption Value U.S. (N 158) a Brand Image 1. Trendy OutdatedTrendy/UnappealingSexy. 2. Refined InelegantElegant/PracticalRomantic/NegativePositive. Cultural Value 1. Mastery 2. Hierarchy 3. Harmony 4. Egalitarian 5. Conservatism 6. Affective autonomy 7. Intellectual autonomy Consumption Value Functional Value 1. Benefit Clothes make me look better/Clothes protect my body/ I enjoy aesthetic of clothing/I enjoy expressing myself with clothes. 2. Problem It is difficult because clothes dont fit me well/ It is difficult to find comfortable clothes. Emotional Value Good/Confident/Satisfied/Excited Epistemic Value 1. Hedonic Seeking I often feel like buying anything including clothes/ I sometimes purchase clothing by impulse/ I want to change my mood by purchasing clothes. 2. Novelty Seeking I like clothes that are new different/ I like to experiment with clothing. I like the aesthetic expression through clothing. Social Value 1. Fashion forward people influence Celebrities/High society people. 2. Peer influence Friends/People who have the same taste with me. Conditional Value 1. Situational factor Weather condition/Have time to shop. 2. Stimulation by others Stimulation by shopping companions/Stimulation by sales persons. 0.70 0.66 Korea (N 171) a 0.77 0.58

0.87 0.70 0.80 0.90 0.90 0.87 0.83

0.84 0.78 0.87 0.89 0.89 0.79 0.84

0.76

0.79

0.56

0.54

0.85

0.87

0.77

0.79

0.85

0.74

0.80 0.64

0.66 0.53

0.52 0.50

0.50 0.58

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indicative of a very poor fit, TLI and CFI were quite acceptable. Therefore, it could be concluded that the seven-dimension structure of cultural value is validated for the data across the two countries, as in the study of Schwartz (1999). The Cronbachs coefficient alphas for the factors of cultural value ranged from 0.70 to 0.90 for the U.S. subjects and from 0.78 to 0.89 for the South Korean subjects (see Table 2), indicating that all item measures for each cultural value dimension showed high degrees of internal consistency in both countries. For consumption value, a first-order CFA model was used for each value dimension in order to investigate the factorial validity of each value dimension. The two-factor analysis was for functional, emotional, and epistemic values and the three-factor analysis was for social and conditional values. Throughout the analyses, one factor each of emotional, social, and conditional values was eliminated; also, one item each of one factor in epistemic value and of two factors in social value and two items of one factor in functional value were eliminated. The tests for the factorial validity for each country are shown in Table 1. All factors for both countries except for emotional value for the South Korean subjects did not reach 2 statistical significance, and other fit statistics were also quite acceptable. For the South Korean subjects, two values showed minimal acceptable values of TLI: emotional value 0.88 and conditional value 0.90. The results indicate that all factor structures of each consumption value dimension were well fitted across the two countries. Consequently, it could be concluded that responses to the value dimensions of consumption value could be explained by extracted factors. Therefore, the factors derived from exploratory factor analysis, except for one factor each of social and conditional values, were retained for further analysis. Despite the low internal consistency of one factor of functional value both for the U.S. subjects (a 0.56) and the South Korean subjects (a 0.54), of one factor of social value for the South Korean subjects (a 0.53), and of two factors of conditional values for both for the U.S. subjects (a 0.52, 0.50) and the South Korean subjects (a 0.50, 0.58), all of which were below 0.60 (see Table 2), this study retained these factors based on the CFA for each country. Regarding brand image and value dimensions of consumption value, the results showed the generated factors from the combined data adequately fit to the data of each country, and thus the factors could be used as common factor items for both countries to show the relative differences of brand images and values. CFA confirmed the seven-dimension structure of cultural value was well fitted across the two countries, enabling this study to conduct further analysis.

Test of Model
Having sufficiently good fits of factorial structure and dimensionality of variables, this study proceeded to test the differences of responses of factorial and dimensional structures of each variable between the two countries. However, there was an additional need to test for the validity of a causal structure, which the hypotheses of this study were based on, related to the three variables. The extracted factors and established dimensions of variables in the model were used as observed variables, but not as latent variables. This is not problematic because the aforementioned CFA for each country confirmed their factorial and dimensional validity. The observed variables for brand image and cultural value were calculated with the means of factor and dimension items, respectively, and
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Mastery Hierarchy Harmony Egalitarian Conservatism Trendy Affective Autonomy Intellectual Autonomy 0.29* (0.17*) Consumption Value 0.48*** (0.27**) Brand Image Refined Cultural Value 0.21*

Functional

Emotional

Epistemic

Social

Conditional

Note: Path coefficients for the U.S. subjects are shown with those for the Korean subjects in parentheses. Dotted arrows indicate insignificant paths for the Korean subjects. * p 0.05; **p 0.01; ***p 0.001.

Figure 1. Structural equation model. Table 3. Fit Statistics of the Model (Goodness-of-Fit Measures). 2 U.S. students (N 158) Korean students (N 171) 76.22 87.39 p 0.123 0.078 GFI 0.93 0.94 TLI 0.98 0.97 CFI 0.98 0.98

those for consumption value were calculated with the means of factor scores, which were calculated with the means of factor items. The conceptual framework was tested on each data set using structural equation modeling. Figure 1 shows the measures of the latent constructs from the conceptual framework and the path coefficients among latent constructs for each country with their degree of significance. The goodness-of-fit measures for the proposed model for each data set is shown in Table 3. For both countries, 2 statistics were not significant, and the values of GFI, TLI, and CFI were also a quite acceptable fit: For the U.S. subjects, 2 76.22, p 0.123, GFI 0.93, TLI 0.98, CFI 0.98; for the South Korean subjects, 2 87.39, p 0.078, GFI 0.94, TLI 0.97, CFI 0.98. The goodness-of-fit measures indicated that the model represented a substantively reasonable fit to both countries. Even though the purpose of this study was not to identify the effect of cultural value and consumption value on brand image, this study provided the path coefficients in Figure 1 in order to provide additional evidence that the model was
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adequately proposed. For the U.S. subjects, all paths were significant. For the South Korean subjects, all paths except the one between cultural value and brand image were significant. Therefore, it could be concluded that, for the U.S. subjects, cultural value influences brand image not only directly but also indirectly through consumption values, whereas for the South Korean subjects, cultural value has influence on brand image only indirectly through consumption value. The results showed why brand images are different between the two countries: It is because cultural values significantly influence brand image directly and/or indirectly through consumption value. All the significant path coefficients confirmed the proposed relationship between the variables in the model was acceptable, indicating that cultural value is a determinant of brand image and consumption value intervenes in the process. As such, it can be concluded that the differences in cultural and consumption values result in different brand images between the two countries and that the model fit for each country is acceptable for further analysis to test the hypotheses.

Hypothesis Test
In order to ascertain the differences in the extracted factors from brand image and consumption value and dimensions of cultural value between the U.S. and South Korea, data were analyzed by stepwise discriminant analysis, since this reveals the factors and dimensions discriminating the two countries as well as the differences between the two countries. For brand image, the two factors of brand image were retained by the stepwise procedure. As shown in Table 4, the trendy factor of brand image was a powerful discriminating variable, with standardized canonical discriminant function coefficient of 0.95. Although the refined factor was a discriminating variable, it showed little influence, with the coefficient of 0.12. The differences in the factors of brand image for the two countries supported H1, indicating that the U.S. subjects were more likely to perceive the brand to be trendy and refined than the South Korean subjects. The findings suggest that Polos marketing efforts to build brand images in the South Korean market should be focused on making South Korean consumers perceive the brand to be trendy

Table 4. Discriminant Analysis for Brand Images Between the U.S. and Korea. U.S. Factor Trendy Refined Eigenvalue Canonical correlation Wilks lambda Chi-square
Notes: Scale ranges from 1 to 7. *** p 0.001.

Korea SD 1.19 1.04 M 1.10 0.06 SD 0.86 0.92

Coefficient 0.95 0.12 0.474 0.567 0.678 126.446***

M 0.24 0.11

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Table 5. Discriminant Analysis for Cultural Values Between the U.S. and Korea. U.S. Factor Egalitarian Affective autonomy Intellectual autonomy Hierarchy Harmony Eigenvalue Canonical correlation Wilks lambda Chi-square
Note: Scale ranges from 1 to 9. *** p 0.001.

Korea SD 1.19 1.27 1.39 1.65 1.65 M 3.95 4.46 5.13 4.05 3.63 SD 1.49 1.48

Coefficient 0.79 0.55 0.25 0.12 0.08 0.791 0.665 0.558 186.785***

M 5.85 5.81 5.74 3.70 3.87

and refined as much as their American counterparts do, supporting the need for localized marketing communication efforts to sustain a consistent global brand image across nations. Table 5 presents the results of the discriminant analysis for cultural values. Of the seven dimensions of cultural value, five were retained by the stepwise procedure. The egalitarian value dominated in discriminating the U.S. subjects from the South Korean subjects, with the coefficients of 0.79, and the affective autonomy, intellectual autonomy, harmony, and hierarchy values were influential, in that order, with the coefficients of 0.55, 0.25, 0.12, and 0.08, respectively. Therefore, it can be concluded that cultural values were different across the two countries, supporting H2. The results suggest that brand building should reflect different value systems across the two countries, knowing that Americans are more likely to consider egalitarian, affective autonomy, intellectual autonomy, and harmony values more important than South Koreans, while South Koreans are more likely to consider hierarchy value more important than Americans. Table 6 presents the results of the discriminant analysis for consumption values. Of the nine factors of consumption values, two were retained by the stepwise procedure. With the coefficient of 0.96, the situational factor of conditional value is the most discriminating variable. The hedonic seeking factor of epistemic value has little influence, with the coefficient of 0.08. The results indicate that, when purchasing clothing, Americans are more likely to be influenced by the situational factor, while South Koreans are more likely to be influenced by the hedonic seeking factor, supporting H3. The results showing different purchasing motives for the Polo brand in the two countries suggest that different consumption values should be reflected in efforts to build consistent brand images across nations. In other words, localized branding content touching consumers at different levels of consumption values in each country would be effective for building a consistent global brand image across nations.

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Table 6. Discriminant Analysis for Consumption Values Between the U.S. and Korea. U.S. Factor Conditional value (Situational factor) Epistemic value (Hedonic seeking) Eigenvalue Canonical correlation Wilks lambda Chi-square
Note: Scale ranges from 1 to 7. *** p 0.001.

Korea SD 1.22 1.41 M 3.95 5.01 SD 1.19 1.23

Coefficient 0.96 0.08 0.218 0.423 0.821 63.863***

M 5.03 4.91

CONCLUSIONS
This study examined the effectiveness of standardized brand image strategies and revealed the differences in brand images in two countries, which are products of differences in cultural and consumption values. The issue of how brand images differ across nations has been reviewed by many studies; however, none before this study has offered information about the influence of cultural and consumption values on brand images. This would be the first empirical study to approach brand images across nations by identifying the differences in underlying consumption values along with cultural values with scales developed to measure the values and brand images held by consumers across nations. The results of this study may serve as guidelines for apparel companies in adapting standardized brand image strategies seeking to establish and sustain consistent global brand images across nations. As indicated by the results of discriminant analysis, the subjects of this study in two countries held different brand images, cultural values, and consumption values. Regarding brand images, Americans were more likely to perceive the Polo brand to be trendy and refined compared to South Koreans. Regarding cultural values, Americans were more likely to value egalitarian, affective autonomy, intellectual autonomy, and harmony values compared to South Koreans, whereas South Koreans were more likely to value hierarchy compared to Americans. Regarding consumption values, American were more likely to be influenced by situational factors, such as weather conditions and having time to shop, compared to South Koreans, whereas South Koreans were more likely to emphasize the hedonic pleasure of their consumption of clothing compared to Americans. The findings offer some insights about what differences in brand image could exist between different countries and may help global retailers in implementing brand image manipulations in each individual country for the sake of establishing and maintaining consistent brand images across nations. When communicating with consumers in different countries, marketing managers should also take into account the differences in cultural and consumption values in those countries. Moreover, the result of the discriminant analysis showing powerful variables discriminating the two subject
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countries suggests on what aspects of global branding marketers should put more effort to be more effective. Based on the additional findings of causal relationship in this study, it is possible to conclude that the perceptions about brand images spurred by standardized brand image strategies differ in different countries according to each countrys cultural and consumption values, which are learned behaviors. The results clearly show that consumers in different countries have different brand images for a specific brand, and these are attributed to differences in cultural values and consumption values, which are difficult to control by standardized strategies. Global marketers could use these results in enhancing their understanding of what makes consumers perceptions of a brand in different countries different, and they may incorporate this in their global brand image strategies. The results that cultural values play a significant role in explaining different perceptions of brand image both directly and indirectly suggest that global marketers should continuously monitor the intrinsic value system in local markets and evaluate their global branding strategies across nations in terms of how each cultural difference influences their brand images. And then the contents of standardized global branding strategies should reflect individual countries different brand image perception and value system. This study improves the understanding of brand image dimensionality and consumption values across nations following a rigorous method to identify the brand image dimensionality and consumption values commonly held by the subject countries.

LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH


Reflecting on limitations of this study, some directions for future research are suggested as follows. First, the results of this study might stem from the differences between Confucian and Western cultures beyond the national differences. Therefore, further studies may replicate this study for different countries in Confucian and Western cultures. No differences in the results might imply that cultural characteristics rather than country characteristics should be considered in identifying the differences in brand images and that brand image study is the realm of the cross-cultural study of consumer behavior. Second, exclusion of some factors of brand image and values in discriminant analysis might be caused by their relatively low reliabilities. In conducting cross-national studies, therefore, future studies should use measures that are highly reliable in applying to all subject countries. Third, this study examined only cultural and consumption values in identifying differences in brand images across nations. There may be other variables that could influence brand images other than these values. Future research, therefore, may include additional variables in an effort to identify the differences in brand images across the globe. For instance, level of economic development as a national characteristic may be considered as a variable, as Hsieh (2002) showed that countries with similar levels of economic development have similar brand image perceptions. Fourth, the result showing nonsignificance between cultural value and brand image for only the South Korean subjects suggests that the theoretical framework proposed in this study might not be generalized throughout the globe. In addition, the possibility of generalization of causal relationships between cultural value and brand image in the two countries in this study should be explored by empirically testing across
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various countries. In other words, future studies should examine whether this framework is applicable to other countries. It should be of interest not only to marketers working cross-nationally, but also to researchers working on brand image. Fifth, the researchers of this study experienced difficulty in a priori theorizing that constituted the hypotheses of this study because of limited prior research findings. Empirical results of this study may suggest new directions for a priori theorizing for future studies. Sixth, the subjects of this study were limited to university students living in metropolitan areas and to apparel. Therefore, future studies should examine whether the proposed model can be generalizable to broader populations and businesses such as service and Internet industries other than consumer goods industries.

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