International Branding Effectiveness: The Global Image of Nestlé's Brand Name and Employee Perceptions of Strategies and Brands
Banutu-Gomez, Michael Ba, Coyle, Patrick T., Ebenhoech, Sandy J., Fallucca, Kevin A., Minetti, Chris M., Sarin, Michele M., Journal of Global Business Issues
Much has been written about the effects of various branding strategies involving the use of brand names, logos, fighting brands, and links of branding to the success of certain products, however, little attention has been paid to the success of branding strategy based on employee perceptions. This study explored various employee perceptions within the Nestlé Corporation, such as branding strategy, importance of the name, effect on sales, and costs vs. benefits of the company logo on their perceptions of the global image based on both current and future branding. The results indicate that stand alone brands owned by Nestle may not necessarily need to carry the Nestle brand name for success in the marketplace and that there would be more benefits of adding the Nestle logo to struggling brands than costs, based on employee opinions. There is a statistically significant and positive relationship between the collective global image of Nestle, based on current brand offerings, and the over-all branding strategy. This suggests that Nestlé's current global image based on their brands is a product if the collective perception of its employees.
A company's branding strategy often has a large impact on the success or failure of a particular product. This is especially true for large, multi-national corporations because it effects how the consumer correlates a product with the manufacturer. Some large companies choose not to use the manufacturer name and/or logo on all their brands. Often, a company name is wellknown within business circles but unfamiliar to the average consumer, in which case, dissonance can prevent consumers from recognizing the brand name. Other companies pick and chose which of their products will carry the corporate brand name. When Nestlé wanted to enter into low-calorie frozen food, it was felt that the Nestlé corporate brand could not extend into this category, therefore, Nestlé branded the products as part of the Stouffers line and left the Nestlé name to items like the Crunch bar (Nelson and Vogler, 2002).
A fundamental problem with regards to international branding is that firms currently do not pay enough attention to their employees' expertise regarding brand strategy (Davies and Chun, 2002). If a company is able to make a consumer look at a certain product for a fraction of a second longer than its competitors' products, the probability purchase intent increases significantly (Sandom, 2008). Therefore, the way a company brands its products can have a direct link to the success of the product and the brand. This encouraging framework, however, does not mean that employee perceptions of the strategy will be positive; without which the performance of both the brand and the company will be hindered in a significant fashion. Therefore, there exists a need for research to be done regarding how employees feel about current and future brand strategies in order to maximize company potential (Whitelock and Fastoso, 2007).
Due to the complexity of balancing proper brand strategies for multi-national enterprises, balancing which products should carry the manufacturer name and/or trademark is an essential consideration (Onkvisit and Shaw, 1989). It is necessary, therefore, to look into studies to see if using a company's name on all products helped or hindered product sales. There exists a need for research regarding whether or not Nestlé is currently using their corporate name to its full capacity. Effective utilization of international branding strategies takes into account whether stand alone brands need a corporate name to be successful, how sales will be affected by using corporate brand names, and what the benefits of adding a corporate name or logo would be compared to the potential costs. By exploring employee perceptions of these facets of international branding, we can determine if a multi-national firm's global image is a product of its employees' collective perceptions. …