Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
PurposeUsing food brands as a case in point, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between a local vs global brand positioning strategy and buying impulsivity, as well as the mediating role of construal level. The findings add a psychological argument to the array of reasons for firms to opt for a local instead of a global brand positioning strategy: local food brands promote higher levels of buying impulsivity than global brands by lowering consumers' level of construal.Design/methodology/approachFive experiments use student and nonstudent samples, different construal level indices and generic and brand-specific buying impulsivity measures to test the hypotheses.FindingsLocal food brands promote higher levels of buying impulsivity than global brands by lowering consumers' level of construal. Because local brands are proximal to consumers' lifestyles, values, preferences and behaviors, they decrease the psychological distance between the brand and the consumer, compared with global brands. The smaller psychological distance lowers consumers' construal level and renders the immediate, concrete, appetitive attributes of the product more salient, thus making consumers more prone to impulsively buy a local brand than a global one.Practical implicationsFor the choice between a global or local brand positioning strategy, this paper argues in favor of the latter. Local (food) branding is a concrete brand positioning mechanism that can influence and benefit from consumers' buying impulsivity.Originality/valueThe research reveals heretofore unknown but important implications of local vs global brand positioning strategies for consumers' construal level and buying impulsivity.