The Starbucks Brandscape and Consumers

10413 WordsOct 22, 201242 Pages
The Starbucks Brandscape and Consumers ' (Anticorporate) Experiences of Glocalization CRAIG J. THOMPSON ZEYNEP ARSEL* Prior studies strongly suggest that the intersection of global brands and iocal cultures produces cultural heterogeneity. Little research has investigated the ways in which global brands structure these expressions of cultural heterogeneity and consumers ' corresponding experiences of glocalization. To redress this gap, we develop the construct of the hegemonic brandscape. We use this theoretical lens to explicate the hegemonic influence that Starbucks exerts upon the sociocultural milieus of local coffee shops via its market-driving servicescape and a nexus of oppositional meanings (i.e., the anti-Starbucks…show more content…
Thompson is Churchill Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, 975 University Avenue, Madison, Wl 53706; email: cthompson@bus.wisc.edu. Zeynep Arsel is a doctoral candidate in marketing at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, 975 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; e-mail: zarsel@bus.wisc.edu. For many helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this research, the authors extend much appreciation to the editor, the Journal of Consumer Research reviewers, Doug Holt, J. Paul Peter, and the marketing faculties at the University of Tennessee—Knoxville and Southern Denmark University—Odense. 631 2004 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. • Vol. 31 • December 2004 All rights reserved. 0093-5301/2004/3103-0015$l0.00 632 wielded by transnational corporadons (see Holt 2002; Mazzarella 2003). Although the homogenizadon thesis may be flawed as an anthropological explanation of globalization 's cultural effects (see Miller 1996), it can function as a folk theory that consumers use to interpret the meanings of global brands vis à vis local alternatives. Second, these studies underestimate the hegemonic (i.e., culture-shaping) influences that global brands can exert upon local markets, consumer tastes, and consumption pracdces (see Askegaard and Csaba 2000). This theoretical oversight is particularly glaring for market-driving experiential brands (Pine and Gilmore 1999; Schmitt 1999), which, in conjunction with their

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