This article deals with how automobile manufacturers design their products and organize
their international marketing channels to respond to global and local pressures. The
integration-responsiveness framework assumes that international marketing decisions mean
tricky trade-offs between adapting to local market conditions on the one hand, and reaching
the efficiencies that standardization across countries and regions imply on the other hand.
According to this framework, a standardization approach entails efficiency advantages at the
cost of the adaptation to local market conditions. No studies so far have related the
integration-responsiveness framework to the brand profile. At a first glance, integration and
responsiveness appears to apply to any across-market marketing setting, under limited
influence from brand profile. However, recent evidence reveals a high degree of success for
premium brands, although they engage a lot less in local adaptation compared to volume
brands. The empirical data reveals interesting differences in the application of integration and
responsiveness for premium and volume brands, and provide a number of explanations for the
success of premium brands also in areas where local adaptation is very limited. The findings
suggest that premium brands may benefit from not emphasizing local responsiveness, since
the very reason the brand is attractive is that it represents product design, a consumption
culture and values that differ from what is expressed in local products.
2011. 1-18 p.