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Exploring Brand Identity and Entrepreneurship as Drivers of Small Specialist Retailer Internationalisation: A German Case Study

Christmann, H, Alexander, A and Wood, SM (2015) Exploring Brand Identity and Entrepreneurship as Drivers of Small Specialist Retailer Internationalisation: A German Case Study International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 26 (2). pp. 137-153.

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Abstract

While the comparatively sparse literature on small specialist retailing typically supports a proactive interpretation of the drivers of retail internationalisation, a more differentiated picture exists with regard to understanding the role of the brand construct in this process. The wider marketing literature recognises that brand identity, as well as brand image, can inform the process of internationalisation, yet research focusing on small specialist retail internationalisation remains under-developed in this regard. Neither the notion of a multi-faceted brand concept, nor its function as a strategic device in the internationalisation process has been analysed with sufficient depth. Furthermore, a better understanding of how and to what extent brand identity is interdependent upon the characteristics and activities of the entrepreneur is yet to emerge. This paper explores the construct of brand identity and its role within small specialist retail internationalisation, and the related influence of the entrepreneur on the internationalisation process. A case study approach is adopted, examining one German small specialist retailer. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with owner managers and other senior management, an assessment of company documentation as well as participant observation, providing in-depth insights into distinctive internationalisation patterns. The study finds that a simple ‘either-or’ approach, in terms of characterising the retailer’s motivation to internationalisation as being either reactive or proactive is inadequate in understanding this particular case. Whilst initial motivation was characterised as being reactive, the motivations underpinning further planned internationalisation are determined to be more proactive. More particularly, analysis reveals how brand identity is considered to play an important role in the internationalisation of the case study retailer, and highlights the numerous ways in which the characteristics and activities of the entrepreneurial owner-managers impact on the firm’s internationalisation. This research contributes to retail and management research concerning SME internationalisation as well as to the retail-branding literature.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Surrey Business School
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Christmann, HUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Alexander, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wood, SMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 5 November 2015
Identification Number : 10.1080/09593969.2015.1080751
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research on 5 November 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09593969.2015.1080751
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis.Paper accepted for publication in International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research. Full text may be available at a later date.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 Aug 2015 09:07
Last Modified : 10 May 2016 13:35
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/808014

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