Newcastle University Business School

Event Item

The Cross-Cultural Scale Development Process: The Case of Brand Nostalgia in Belgium and the United States

A Strategy, Organisations and Society Research Seminar

Date/Time: Thursday 11 May 2017, 13.30-15.00

Venue: Room 2.13, Newcastle University Business School

Guest Speaker: Dr Altaf Merchant, Kings College London

Contemporary branding activities by a host of companies demonstrate a managerial interest in nostalgia as a practical marketing tool. Such activities, employed in a wide variety of product categories, aim to take consumers back to the past. For example, Old Navy gave their brand a boost by tapping into 1980s pop culture, while Herbal Essences re-released their “Shine and Smooth” hair care collection from the 1990s.

In NBC Universal’s (2013) “Brand Power Index” study, which measures the 500 most talked about brands as determined by factors like social media buzz and online searches, brands evoking the past shot to the top of the Index.

This suggests that brand evoked nostalgia can be a key driver for consumer brand purchase (Balmer 2011; Braun-LaTour et al. 2007; Brown et al. 2003). Little attention, however, has been paid to measuring the complex and multiple dimensions of this construct. More academic research is surely warranted to develop and validate a generalizable measure of brand nostalgia to help companies gauge and track the nuanced components of nostalgia associated with their brands.

Considering this gap, we contribute to the literature by developing a rigorously tested, reliable and valid scale to measure and decouple the multi-dimensional nature of brand-induced nostalgia across two countries – Belgium and the U.S. Following scale development procedures suggested by Churchill (1979) and Devellis (2003), we develop emic (country and market-specific) scales in Belgium and the United States through several iterative studies. By using items common to both emic scales, we then compose a derived etic (universal across countries and markets) scale.