Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not EU enlargement would cause companies to standardise their brand portfolios and the brands they offer, between Eastern and Western Europe. Design/methodology/approach – The issue of standardisation versus localisation, and the impact of EU enlargement upon standardisation are examined based on the existing literature. The paper looks at whether fostering more member states within the EU would encourage standardisation. It also explores whether barriers for standardisation still exist. The research employs a case study methodology to set scenarios of possible outcomes. Findings – The research findings imply that external factors, which are market‐based and product‐based elements, seem to encourage standardisation. The effect is brought about by the benefits standardisation offers in terms of efficiency. There are still some minor national barriers that impede standardisation. However, the main obstacles are endogenous to corporations and pertain to company structure, strategy and historic resistance to standardisation. Research limitations/implications – Standardisation of the marketing mix has been practised by managers as a way to combine customers' needs with cost‐effectiveness. The paper offers scope for further research into the application of various portfolio assessment tools to examine brands which will help managers to observe these relationships, and develop customised branding strategies. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the marketing literature on branding and standardisation and supports the strategy of standardisation of brands for better performance.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 18, 2008
Keywords: Brands; European Union; Eastern Europe; Western Europe; Standardization; Emergent strategy