International Branding Strategies : In Swedish and Russian Fashion Companies
There are a lot of different business strategies for any company. However, in the fashion industry, the best way to become successful is to develop the brand using special branding strategies. Hence, a brand is the main weapon for fashion companies, which helps to launch international market and to create loyal customers around the world. Nowadays, due to the difficult current political situations and the collapse of oil and the dollar a lot of companies in different industries have to change their business strategies. It is especially true for fashion companies, because they depend on consumers ' income and their purchasing power. In the case of the fashion industry, branding strategy development can be more effective, than just business strategy. Hence, this thesis discusses the following problem: What branding strategy should Russian and Swedish fashion companies choose in order to build a strong brand and enter the international market.
The purpose of this thesis is to analyze various branding strategies of Russian and Swedish fashion companies during the process of entering foreign markets. At the end of this thesis, practical contribution in their process of international branding strategy creation will be discussed. In order to answer research questions more broadly and accurately, the mixed research method, using quantitive and qualitative study through interviews and survey was chosen. Semi-structured interviews were made with the CEO and brand managers of Russian and Swedish fashion companies. Moreover, the survey was made with two different questionnaires: for Russian and for Swedish customers.
In the case of qualitative research, the author found that fashion companies from Russia and Sweden have got not just some features and differences, but also common aspects. The primary data from interviews allowed the author to understand the specifics of brand management in the fashion industry. It was found, that there are some useful aspects in Swedish strategies, which can be used by Russian companies to develop their brands on the international market. In the case of quantitative research, preferences of consumers from Russia and Sweden were analyzed and also some features were identified. Survey results provided the author with a common understanding about purchase habits, attitudes and perceptions to fashion brands. According to these, some hypothesizes, which are formulated in the first part of the thesis, have been proven or disproven. It was found, that preferences of Russian and Swedish people are pretty the same, however Russian customers do not like to risk with new brands and prefer well-known and trusted brands while Swedish customers are open for any brand, which can satisfy their tastes.
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