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Congruent versus Incongruent Branding for Emerging Market Firms

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Saurabh BhattacharyaORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor & Francis, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Extant research suggests that emerging market firms that use foreign branding suffer from incongruent branding practices. When consumers realize the discrepancy between a foreign-sounding brand name and the country of manufacturing, they negatively evaluate brands from emerging markets. However, the extant literature does not explore appropriate brand naming practices across product categories where firms in emerging markets have a positive product category image. Leveraging on schema congruency theory as applied by two studies, we are testing for the effects of a brand name’s complete and moderate congruity versus incongruity through a product evaluation, in which one of the emerging markets, namely India, has a positive image of a specific product category. Our findings suggest that due to the unfamiliarity of the phonetics and linguistics of Indian words, brands from India were positively evaluated by foreign consumers when a moderately congruent brand name (i.e., when the country name was embedded in the brand name and the brand name was in English) was used instead of a completely congruent brand name (i.e., when the brand name was in a native Indian language) or an incongruent brand name (i.e., when the brand name was in English with no country name).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agnihotri A, Bhattacharya S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of International Consumer Marketing

Year: 2021

Volume: 33

Issue: 2

Pages: 226-237

Online publication date: 18/05/2020

Acceptance date: 07/05/2020

Date deposited: 28/06/2020

ISSN (print): 0896-1530

ISSN (electronic): 1528-7068

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/08961530.2020.1767528


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