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Varumärket Sverige: En medveten variabel i företagets varumärkesstrategi? En jämförande studie av två svenska företag.
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET).
2009 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [sv]

In these days of globalization, with a higher level of openness and interaction over geographical, cultural and economical borders, the importance of the company’s intangible asset, its brand, is gaining importance as a differentiating factor.

Building a strong brand and the emphasis on strategic brand management is something that before was given less attention in firms but today we can see a general increase in awareness and relative emphasis in the strategic work of companies.

Countries as brands: Is it possible to consider a nation or a country as a brand the same way you consider a product? Well, looking in to the subject it seems to be a rather complex matter and there are many questions to be asked and answer. Nations around the globe are indeed marketing and positioning themselves for several purposes. It can be for example to attract tourists, investments and venture capital, qualified labour and business in general. So nations as brands do exist and it is of importance for the individual country to handle this valuable asset consciously.

There are many factors contributing to the image of a nation and how others consider a nation image to be. It is also different according to whom and where you ask.

The contributors to the image may be different channels of the mass media, famous persons and events, tourists visiting the country, national promotion agencies and also the main character in this study, the companies.

The nature of nation branding is inert and complex so there is of importance that the contributors mentioned above have a mutual and homogeneous vision for the nations image and are working together.

Companies tend to both contribute to and take advantage of the set of values that are more easily connected to a nation than others. Some companies do this more than others. The company should have:

The awareness of the individual company of what they want its brand to be and stand for.

The awareness of what the nation brand of Sweden stands for.

The ability to choose between weather to consciously connect their brand to Swedish values or not.

Accordingly, the main factor here is the awareness of the company in its strategic brand management. A nations image consists of a complex set of values and it is hard or maybe impossible to avoid some connection with this image but to a large extend the company can choose its positioned brand values.

And the final question to be asked here is weather there can be found factors that indicates that some business or products can have a greater use or advantage of its connections with its nations brand image than others.

The study

My first intention was to carry out this study by including large and well-known Swedish companies like IKEA and Volvo, investigating their strategical brand management concerning my core-questions.

This was not possible so the empirical part of this study was carried out by conducting interviews at two midsized companies in Arvika, Sweden. The first participating company is Klässbols Linneväveri, (Klässbols´ Linen mill), a recognized, successful textile company and the second one is Thermia AB a manufacturer of high quality, energy efficient heat pumps. I consider this inclusion of smaller companies to be even more interesting and rewarding when there is less to explore considering the big Swedish profile-companies.

The main criteria’s was that the respondent companies should belong to different fields of business and that they should have presence abroad through export.

For this particular study the most appropriate method and the one giving the richest and most valid image of the core question is the semi-structured interview. The actual interview took place at the locality of the two respondent companies. The persons chosen for the interviews at each company were picked by their position within the companies and were the ones most suitable and able to make the best possible contribution to this study.

The main results found in this study are:

It is natural that companies connect their brand to the image of country, being the nation of origin or a nation of choice. Having a country name included in a brand name helps customers to evaluate the product and make purchase decisions.

The product or business of the company matters in the decision whether or not you should associate to the nations values or not. Sweden is associated with a set of values that you more easily can connect with certain businesses and products than others.

It is of importance that the product is designed in Sweden and that this origin is emphasized in the market communication. In comparison, the country were the product is produced is on a relatively lower level of importance, although this level depends on which business it considers.

Knowledge is power! To be able to make a conscious choice whether to connect to Swedish values or not, the individual company has to be aware of its own values and how they want to be seen as a brand.

As long as the choice to include Swedish values is strategical, and conscious and the company can live up to these values, it is right. But it is also evenly right to choose not to include the same values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för Ekonomi och Teknik (SET) , 2009.
Keyword [sv]
Varumärke, Nation branding, Nationer som varumärken, Varumärkesstrategi
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2315Local ID: 2082/2717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-2315DiVA: diva2:239533
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-02-17 Created: 2009-02-17 Last updated: 2009-02-17

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