Expatriates and Their Brand Relationships: Changes When Moving From an EU Member State to Denmark

Diana Kolind Lund Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Executive summary Over the past five years the there has been an increase of 18,15% in EU citizens moving from their home countries to Denmark. These expatriates have relationships to brands before moving abroad. This study looks at how these relationships change for expats during a move, when the expatriates are seen to be in a liminal period. The main research question for the research was: How is the consumer-­‐ brand relationship with groceries affected by the transition an expatriate goes through? This is studied by looking at the respondents’ relationships to their brands, in the form of ‘Invisible Brands’, ‘old’ brands and new brands. To study this, qualitative methods are applied in the form of semi-­‐structured focused interviews. A mix of deductive and inductive strategy was used, in form of conventional and direct content analysis, to help analyze the data from the interviews. Based on this analysis the model ‘Expat relations to ‘Invisible Brands’ when moving to another country’ was developed. The additional insights, which the data provided, laid ground for an expansion of the brands-­‐ relationship development model by Fajer and Schouten (1995), and here it is shown what seemed to influence the process of deciding to try a new brand, for the respondents in the study. It was found that the ‘Invisible Brands’ as well as the development of new brand relationships could be linked to the liminal period as presented by Noble and Walker (1997), whereas the relation to ‘old’ brands seemed to have no direct influence on the process of moving through the liminal period for the expats in this study. It is suggested that the transition process can be influenced in ways that prolong the process of the liminal period, but also that other influences can make the process of the liminal period faster. It is recommended that a longitudinal study about the subject be conducted, based on these findings.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages224