Can a Luxury Grocery Retailer Internationalise Without Diluting Its Brand Values? Fortnum & Mason and The Japanese Venture.

Drew, F. H. (2010) Can a Luxury Grocery Retailer Internationalise Without Diluting Its Brand Values? Fortnum & Mason and The Japanese Venture. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The dissertation outlines the process of Internationalisation undergone by Fortnum & Mason (F&M) in their venture into the Japanese market. The predominant issue is to ascertain whether in doing so their brand values were diluted through the establishment of a joint venture (JV) in order to cater for this market. Control was shared between their Japanese partners, which presented the opportunity for miscommunication of values and objectives.

F&M’s brand values were defined as quintessential Englishness, heritage, consistent quality and craftsmanship. These values are integral to all parts of their domestic operations and it is, therefore, vital that they be translated into the international market place. This was found to be particularly important as previous distribution agreements had leased too much control to the foreign agent, which resulted in the withdrawal of all distribution agreements. This was a particularly costly move yet essential in retaining control of the brand proposition.

Brand dilution was assessed on the basis of brand and product management alone, which was deemed to have suffered under the Japanese alliance. The predominant issues were quality of communication and F&M’s ability to manage the working relationship in an effective way.

The areas brand dilution are summarised under licensing issues and merchandising issues. Licensing issues refer to the products F&M licenses their JV partners to make due to export restrictions and entail product recipe issues and packaging design issues. The merchandising factors refer to the visual element of the store and entail product range issues and retail environment issues.

The large psychic distance made control difficult to retain and helped contribute to the loss of brand control. It should be noted that there were many areas in which F&M were successful, and in actual fact managed to improve on their brand value of consistent control through the JV.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2011 09:48
Last Modified: 15 May 2016 21:31

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