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Glocalization of Web Visual

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022768/00001

Material Information

Title: Glocalization of Web Visual A Content Analysis of Visuals on the Local Web Sites of Global Brands
Physical Description: 1 online resource (72 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Kim, Minji
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: analysis, cluster, content, cross, cultural, global, glocalization, internet, visual, website
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As a result of literature review, the study have found that although studies have discovered the differences between countries in terms of the development of locally appealing Web sites by applying theories of cultural dimension, few researchers have focused on similarities. Such focus on site differences results in having a limited scope of observed countries. Additionally, the comparison between cultural clusters is highly weighted toward Eastern versus Western cultures. This calls for studies that explore how the top global brands accommodate to local cultures across all continents. In an effort to fill these gaps this research attempts to explore the visual factors used in the local Web site communication of global brands, the study examines whether particular brands employ similar visual communication strategies across different countries. The study also attempts to identify if common visual factors are exhibited on local Web sites within the same cultural clusters. A Web site content analysis was adopted as methodology to examine the level of standardization existing in the global brands? Web sites for local markets. The sample brands, Yahoo, Citi, Ford, and Coca-Cola, were selected from the 2007 BusinessWeek world?s top 100 global brands. The series of data analysis, including calculating the National Similarity Index, factor analysis, and cluster analysis, were conducted. The study results showed that the level of visual similarity between each local Web site to the parent U.S. Web site varies across tested brands. The research also has discovered clusters of nations in which a great degree of commonality in their Web site visuals can be found. At the same time, cluster analysis identified those countries for which the local Web site clearly differs from others.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Minji Kim.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Page, Janis Teruggi.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022768:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022768/00001

Material Information

Title: Glocalization of Web Visual A Content Analysis of Visuals on the Local Web Sites of Global Brands
Physical Description: 1 online resource (72 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Kim, Minji
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: analysis, cluster, content, cross, cultural, global, glocalization, internet, visual, website
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As a result of literature review, the study have found that although studies have discovered the differences between countries in terms of the development of locally appealing Web sites by applying theories of cultural dimension, few researchers have focused on similarities. Such focus on site differences results in having a limited scope of observed countries. Additionally, the comparison between cultural clusters is highly weighted toward Eastern versus Western cultures. This calls for studies that explore how the top global brands accommodate to local cultures across all continents. In an effort to fill these gaps this research attempts to explore the visual factors used in the local Web site communication of global brands, the study examines whether particular brands employ similar visual communication strategies across different countries. The study also attempts to identify if common visual factors are exhibited on local Web sites within the same cultural clusters. A Web site content analysis was adopted as methodology to examine the level of standardization existing in the global brands? Web sites for local markets. The sample brands, Yahoo, Citi, Ford, and Coca-Cola, were selected from the 2007 BusinessWeek world?s top 100 global brands. The series of data analysis, including calculating the National Similarity Index, factor analysis, and cluster analysis, were conducted. The study results showed that the level of visual similarity between each local Web site to the parent U.S. Web site varies across tested brands. The research also has discovered clusters of nations in which a great degree of commonality in their Web site visuals can be found. At the same time, cluster analysis identified those countries for which the local Web site clearly differs from others.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Minji Kim.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Page, Janis Teruggi.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022768:00001


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GLOCALIZATION OF WEB VISUAL: A C ONTENT ANALYSIS OF VISUALS ON THE LOCAL WEB SITES OF GLOBAL BRANDS By MINJI KIM A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Minji Kim 2

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To my father, Sun Dong Kim; and my mother, Hyun Sook Ahn All this was possible with their support and love. 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The completion of this study could not have been realized without the help of many people. First of all, I am sincerely grateful to my chair, Dr. Janis Teruggi Page, for her support and encouragement in carrying out this research stud y. I am also thankful to my committee members (Dr. Lynda Lee Kaid and Dr. Michael Mitrook) who provided me with in valuable comments and suggestions throughout. I am especially grateful to my family and friends in Korea. Although I dont always see them, as a saying goes, I know they are always th ere like stars. With deep appreciation, I am also grateful to the mentors at Sookmyung Womens University who have greatly influenced in shaping the path of my life since the early years of my educational advancement. I also want to give thanks to all the faculty members in the College of Journalism and Communications and the Korean Gators in journalism and communications, who always motivated and encouraged me to k eep focused on finishing this study. Finally, I came to know a numbe r of people here in Gainesvi lle who have hearts of gold. They all have prayed for my happiness and succes s, and to them I extend my deep appreciation. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................................9CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................112 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................................................... 13Communication and Cultures .................................................................................................13A Note on Cultural Framework .......................................................................................13Cultural Clusters ..............................................................................................................14Global Communication and WWW ........................................................................................16Standardization vs. Loca lization of Web sites ................................................................18Visual Persuasion on Web sites .......................................................................................19Cross-cultural Studies on We b Site Visual Presentation .................................................20Graphics. ..................................................................................................................20Colors. ......................................................................................................................21Layout. ......................................................................................................................21Summary and Research Questions ..................................................................................223 METHODOLOGY .....................................................................................................................29Research Design and Sampling Procedure .............................................................................29Measurement ...........................................................................................................................31The Unit of Analysis .......................................................................................................31Coding and Inter-Coder Reliability .................................................................................32Data analysis ...........................................................................................................................334 RESULTS ...................................................................................................................................37Analysis of National Similarity Index (NSI) ..........................................................................37Results of the Factor Analysis ................................................................................................38Results of the Cluster Analysis ...............................................................................................395 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION.........................................................................................54Discussion ...............................................................................................................................54Conclusion ..............................................................................................................................56 5

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Limitations and Future Research ............................................................................................57APPENDIX A. CODING SHEET FOR CONTENT ANALYSIS ....................................................................59B. CODING BOOK FO R CONTENT ANALYSIS ......................................................................61LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................65BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................................72 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Hofstedes and Halls Dimensions of Cultural Differences ..............................................242-2 Cultural Clusters by past studies .......................................................................................253-1 Full list of local Web sites in Citi, Yahoo, Coca-Cola and Ford ......................................354-1 NSI in Yahoo, Citi, Coca-Cola, Ford ................................................................................424-2 First new visual components Citi .....................................................................................444-3 Second new visual components Citi .................................................................................454-4 Communalities estimates prior to the second factor analysis Citi ...................................46 7

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Dendrogram from cluster analysis Yahoo ........................................................................474-2 Dendrogram from cluster analysis Citi ............................................................................484-3 Dendrogram from cluster analysis Ford ...........................................................................494-4 Dendrogram from cluster analysis Coca-Cola .................................................................504-5 Screenshots of Coca-Colas local Web sites .....................................................................524-6 Screenshots of Yahoos local Web sites ............................................................................53 8

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication GLOCALIZATION OF WEB VISUAL: A C ONTENT ANALYSIS OF VISUALS ON THE LOCAL WEB SITES OF GLOBAL BRANDS By Minji Kim December 2008 Chair: Janis Teruggi Page Major: Mass Communication As a result of literature review, the study have found that although studies have discovered the differences between countries in terms of the development of locally appealing Web sites by applying theories of cultural dimension, few resear chers have focused on similarities. Such focus on site differences results in having a limited scope of observed countries. Additionally, the comparison between cultural clusters is highly wei ghted toward Eastern versus Western cultures. This calls for studies that explore how the t op global brands accommodate to local cultures across all continents. In an effort to fill these ga ps this research attempts to explore the visual factors used in the local Web site communication of global bra nds, the study examines whether particular brands employ similar visual communica tion strategies across di fferent countries. The study also attempts to identify if common visual factors are exhibi ted on local Web sites within the same cultural clusters. A Web site content analysis was adopted as methodology to examine the level of standardization existing in the global brands We b sites for local markets. The sample brands, Yahoo, Citi, Ford, and Coca-Cola, were selected from the 2007 BusinessWeek worlds top 100 global brands. The series of data analysis, including calculating the National Similarity Index, factor analysis, and cluste r analysis, were conducted. 9

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10 The study results showed that the level of visual similarity be tween each local Web site to the parent U.S. Web site varies across tested brands. The research also has discovered clusters of nations in which a great degree of commonality in their Web site visuals can be found. At the same time, cl uster analysis identified those countries for which the local Web site cl early differs from others.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In more recent times the communication voice of organizations can easily be heard in a variety of new environments, such as the Intern et and over wireless tele phones. The increase in the use of the Web has been phenomenal, making it an indisputable communication medium for global communication (ZenithOptmedia, 2005). With the given luxury of time and space that this new communication medium inherently provides target-specific communication efforts have been made by organizations seeking to ta rget consumers located all over the globe. Although considerable emphasis has been placed on the need for studies that focus on cultural similarities (Gupta et al., 2002; Javidan & House, 2002), researchers have primarily been exploring the differences in communication style among countries. In addition, while some authors put great emphasis on high ly localized online communication, there appears to be a void in empirical research investigating global-local mix strategies in Web communication. Specifically, the field of visual components ma y indeed call for greate r research attention because visual messages on the Web are more eas ily and quickly processed (Wurtz, 2006). They are also more effective in getting attention a nd stimulating interest th an are verbal messages (Wells et al., 2003). However, current resear ch on cross-cultural co mparisons of visual communication on the Web is quite limited and fails to address differences in global communication across a broade r range of countries. The purpose of this study is to fill this identified research gap by examining the visual factors used at the local level in Web site communication of global brands. The study examined whether particular brands utilize similar vi sual communication strategies across different countries. The study also attempted to determine if, and identify where possible, common visual factors which are exhibited on local Web sites in the same cultural clusters. 11

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The objective of this study is important for several reasons: 1. Brand sites provide an ex cellent platform to foster genuine relationships with potential and actual customers based on a continuous di alogue around the globe (Chirstodoulides and Chernatony, 2004) 2. Visual elements play a very important role in delivering global brand identity on brand web sites (Kernan & Domzal, 1993; Ryan & Theodore, 2004). 3. Culturally appealing Web site visual presentati on is essential in or der to engage target audiences in the local market and to crea te positive information exchange experience (Fogg et al, 2002; Nielsen, 2000). Through the empirical research of bra nds which enjoy global popularity, this study attempts to observe if any similarities or differences between, and within, clusters appear in the visual presentation of their local Web sites. 12

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Communication and Cultures The study of culture is one of the discipline s strongly related to communications. It is also the interdisciplinary area that is intensivel y researched in a conceptual or empirical manner by communications scholars (Sriramesh & Ve rcic, 2003). Although all communication fields contain a cultural aspect (Donal, 1990), public relations distinctivel y pertain to a cultural activity. Banks (2000) furthers that the reason public relati ons distinguishes itself from others is because it proposes identities of both the organizations it speaks for a nd the audiences it addresses (p.30). Culture, as one of the environmental factor s which public relations practitioners consider when designing public relations campaigns, has b een investigated by scho lars in the public relations field for more than a decade (e.g., Huang, 2000; Rhee, 1999, 2002; Sriramesh, 1992, 1996; Sriramesh, J.E. Grunig, & Dozier, 1996; Srir amesh, Kim, & Takasaki, 1996). Therefore, it is necessary, particularly for this study which at tempts to conduct a cross-cultural analysis, to inspect the key concepts of culture. A Note on Cultural Framework In spite of centuries of numerous stud ies conducted on culture, there still exists no unanimously accepted definition of the term. Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952) presented a list of 164 definitions of culture and 300 other variatio ns of the listed definition. The reason why numerous different definitions of the term ar e proposed is because the concept of culture contains a wide range of sub concepts, such as values, faith, belief, ideology, customs, language, religion, knowledge, habits, ethics, and laws (Tylor, 1981; Linton, 1945). A more recent definition of culture is presented by Geert Hofs tede (2001). He defines culture as a collective mental programming: it is part of our conditioni ng that we share with other members of our 13

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nation, region, or group but not w ith members of other nations or groups. (p. 9) Although he admits that his definition is not comprehens ive, many communication researchers adopted his notion of culture because they agree that it covers what they wanted to measure (Sriramesh, J.E. Grunig, & Dozier, 1996). Many scholars have made efforts to identify categories of cultural dimensions that differentiate one country from another (e .g., Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1973; Hall, 1976; Hofstede, 1980, 1984; Hofstede & Bond, 1988, Riddle, 1986, Gudykust and Ting-Toomey, 1988; Schwartz, 1992; Keiller et al., 1996; Trom penaars & Hampden-Turner, 1997; Triandis & Gelfand, 1998; Steenkamp, 2001). Cultural dimensions refer to aspects of a culture that can be measured relative to other cultures (Hofst ed, G. & Hofstede, G.J., 2005, p. 23). Among various findings concerning these dimensions, Hofstede s and Halls cultural dimensions are most frequently incorporated by studi es in the marketing and communi cation field (Zhang, Beatty, & Walsh, 2008). Utilizing a series of surveys, Hofstede (1980, 1984) collected 160,000 questionnaires from IBM employees in more than 70 countries. His data analysis yielded four cultural dimensions in which work styles differ. These are power dist ance, uncertainty avoida nce, individualism/ collectivism, and masculinity/f emininity. Another popular cultur al framework was proposed by Edward Hall (1976, 2000), in which he classified culture into high-co ntext cultures and lowcontext cultures. Descriptions of these cultur al dimensions are summarized in Table 1. Cultural Clusters In addition to cultural dimensions, more than a half century of effort has been directed at identifying intercultural similarities and dissimila rities by historians, sociologists, and scholars in the marketing field. (e.g., Toynebee, 1947; Cattell, 1950; Haire, Ghiselli, and Porter, 1966; Sirota and Greenwood, 1971; Ronen and Kraut, 1977; Hofstede, 1980; Furnham, Kirkcaldy, and Lynn, 14

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1994; Smith, Dugan, and Trompenaars, 1996; Brodbec k, Frese, Ackerblom, Audia, Bakacsi, and Bendova, 2000; Gupta, Hanges, and Dorfman, 2 002). These scholarly explorers discovered clusters of nations based on linguistic and religious commonality, et hnicity, geographical proximity, and psychological or social character istics, or variables. (Furnham, Kirkcaldy, & Lynn, 1994; Cattell, 1950). Such psychological and soci al variables include attitudes, values, and work goals (Haire, Ghiselli, & Porter, 1966; Ronen & Shenkar, 1985). Depending on different psychol ogical and sociological measures employed, several variations of country clusters presented have be en identified. For example, as a result of the survey of IBM managers, Hofstede (1980) classifi ed countries into six clusters: Anglo cluster, Nordic cluster, German cluster, Latin cluster, Asian cluster, and Japan. Gupta, Hanges, and Dorfman (2002) found 10 cultural clusters South Asia, Anglo, Arab, Germanic Europe, Latin Europe, Eastern Europe, Confucian Asia, Latin Am erica, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Nordic Europe as a result of their study c onducted with international-level data from 61 nations. Table 2 presents a summary of various groupings of cu ltural clusters identified in past studies. The common characteristic of thes e classifications is that the countries in the same cultural cluster are geographically adjacent to each other. At the same time these studies have also discovered countries which do not share a signi ficant similarity in values and cultural characteristics with other neighbor ing countries. For instance, Hofste de (1980)s study result left out Japan because its culture and development is not similar to any ot her neighboring nation. In another study, Gupta et al. (2002)s assessment of societal clusters reveal ed that two countries, Costa Rica and Guatemala, among 61 nations, were found to have a greater resemblance with countries in the Latin European cluster although they were hypothesized to be positioned in the Latin American cluster according to their geographical proximity. 15

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Clusters provide valuable information regarding cultural va riations to both organizations and researchers. Clusters may provide a valid guide for designing a sampling strategy for cross-cultural studies by ensuring that a sufficient sampling of cultural variability is included. Clusters also help researchers to examin e if empirical findings obtained in one culture are applicable in other cultures (G upta et al., 2002). Clustering of cultures is also beneficial from a practical point of view. By using information (e.g., the extent, nature, and dynamics of cultural differences and similarities) that clusters provide, multinational corporations can govern their local branch more efficiently (Javidan & H ouse, 2002) and communicate with audiences in foreign markets more effectively (Robbins & Stylianou, 2003). For example, by understanding the unique cultural traits of Japa n which differentiates from other Asian countries, a director in an Asia-Pacific regional headquart er can better perform leadershi p, negotiations, or assignments. Because studies of cultural clusters provide information about cultural similarities as well as differences, it is also useful fo r global corporations to decide the level of standardization or globalization in their comm unication strategies. As stated in th e Introduction to this paper, this study therefore attempts to observe if any simila rities or differences exist between and within clusters appearing on global brands local Web sites. This is accomplished through an empirical research of brands which have obtained global popularity. Global Communication and WWW According to the Information and Econo my Report presented by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) in 2008, more than fifteen percent of the worlds population uses the Intern et. This almost constitutes a increase in growth two fold compared to the Internet population in 2002. As Internet popularity increased, the World Wide Web acquired a powerful position as a viable mean s for bringing the world together. For-profit 16

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organizations in particular, as opposed to the non-profit sector, rapidly adopt ed the Internet as an ideal tool to reach those publics located beyond domestic boundaries (Gerber, 1993). During the past decade, there has been growing interest by corporations in utilizing the on -line medium for building and extending their br ands. A corporate Web site is a popular vehicle for building and maintaining public relations, an d for image building (Liu, Arnett, Capella, & Beatty, 1997). Other functions that corporate Web sites serv e include electronic commerce, information disclosure, control of informati on flow, and reduced communication expenses (Sullivan, 1999). As Hwang, McMillan, and Lee (2003) asserts, a corporate Web site is central to Web-based communication ( 41) because no other medium takes on more variations of roles. As the Internet penetrates the global populat ion to a still greater degree, interesting utilization changes in the global population map on the World Wi de Web were exhibited. As a fragment of the changing landscape, America yiel ded the top post of the Internet population to Asia. According to information and communication technology statistics database presented by the United Nations agency, International Telecommunication Uni on (ITU), Asia overtook America from 2002 to 2003. The most recent report of ITU (2008) reveals that the gap between the first place region (Asia) and the second (America) in terms of the number of Internet users is now more than three billion. In parallel with this change, another report shows that English is no longer the dominant language on the Web. In 1999, the majority of th e Internet population was reported to be English-speaking users (60% of all users) (Global Reach, 2004). However, the percentage of English-speaking users dropped to half (30.4% of all users) in 2008, while the percentage of nonEnglish-speaking Internet users has steadily increased, led by Chinese (16.6% of all users), 17

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Spanish (8.7% of all users), and Japanese ( 6.7% of all users), (Min iwatts Marketing Group, 2008). Thus, cultural diversity remain s in virtual reality as well. In other words, with the trend of increas ed popularity of this globalized communication channel, the Internet, means neither the dimini shing of cultural differences nor the homogenizing of societal characteristics. As Javidan and House (2001) point out, When cultures come into contact, they may converge on some as pects, but their idiosy ncrasies will likely amplify (p. 291). This remark reveals the challenge that the global corporati ons are facing when communicating with local publics in a foreign ma rket. Later discussion will focus on issues regarding organizations effort to find balan ce between globalized and localized communication strategies. Standardization vs. Localization of Web sites Scholars in the 80s emphasized standardized systems for the global market. Levitt (1983), for instance, suggests that corporations can ignore the superficial regional and national differences, and should employ the same strategy across countries as if the world were one large market (p.92). Allio (1989) also offers that global corporations ad opt global strategies by focusing on the similarities rather than the di fferences between countries. Their argument is largely supported by those social scientists w ho argue that the growing global mass culture is sculpted by Western societies and that such global mass culture is centered in the West and it always speaks English (Hall, 1991, p.28). However, as previous comments on the recent phenomena of the Internet population uncovered, the global mass culture is more diverse than some scholars in the early days of the new media age had predicted. Recently, researchers assert that local market differences have rather been widening, and that communication messa ges should be customized to reflect culture, media availability, and industry structures (Taylor & Johnson, 2002). Similarly, Hamilton (1994) 18

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argues that a global economic development doe s not result in an increasing level of homogenization of cultures across the world; it instead leads to the continuous de velopment of cultural diversity. A compromising view has emerged between these two extremes: glocalization. Glocalization strategies preserve the consistency of underlying global themes and organizational vision. At the same time there exists tailored execution a nd performance, depending on environmental and cultural factors (Okazaki, 2003 ). Applying this glocalization strategy in organizations Web site communication, however, is not a simple task. One of the major advantages that Web site stan dardization strategies generate is related to enhancing global brand. Using iden tical logos, symbol, colors, and design template with the same look and feel across local Web site promot es universal branding, as audiences around the globe share the same brand experience (Becker, 2002). At the same time, organizations should also consider the differences in each foreign market. This is the complication that global corporations are facing : developing local Web sites that are culturally accommodating while maintaining cohesive brand identity across different markets. Visual Persuasion on Web sites Across all media types visual appeal is an important part of the communication process. Visual appeals are used to draw attention and stimulate curios ity (Lester, 2006; Moriarty, 1997). Various visual cues play a role in strengthening or enhancing the communication message (Petty & Cacioppo, 1996). A Web site, in part icular, may contain more variations of the visual element. Therefore, more careful attention to visual presentation is required. A Web site is a collection of Web pages, im ages, videos and othe r digital assets and hosted on a particular domain or sub domain on the World Wide Web (Guild, 2007, p.31). As 19

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this definition explains a Web site to be a conglomeration of texts, imag es, interactive features, animated graphics, and multimedia, the development of such digital assets that are now crucial parts of a Web site naturally place great em phasis on the visual presentation. Wrtz (2006) emphasizes the importance of developing culturally appealing visual presentations of Web sites. As she points out, the localizati on of organizations Web site goes beyond the minimal effort of translation of verbal messages: localization of a corporate Web s ite also involves adjustment of aesthetic and functional design by use of cultural-specific color, images, animation, culturallypreferred layout, images, color, and communi cation patterns (Sun, 2001; Wurtz, 2006). The following includes a review of past cro ss-cultural studies on Web site visuals. Cross-cultural Studies on Web Site Visual Presentation Visual cues that determine the atmosphere of a Web site are overall color scheme, typeface, icons, graphics, and layout (Eroglu et al., 2001; Cyr & Trevor-Smith, 2004). Web sites located in different cultures s how distinctive uses of these visual elements (e.g., An, 2007; Barber & Badre, 2001; Fletcher, 2006; Juric et al., 2003; Marcus and Gould, 2000; Wrtz, 2006; Yu & Roh, 2002). Graphics The pattern of graphics use on Web site s differs depending on cultural values. A dominant value in collectivist cultures is the quality time spent with family and friends, whereas the concept of freedom and persona l time is more valued in individualist societies. Accordingly, studies show that images of group participation in activities are predominant on collectivist or high-context culture Web sites, while images of individuals enjoying themselves tend to be portrayed more often in individu alist or low-context culture We b sites (Wrtz, 2006) In addition to the use of human images, some other disti nguishing features were found between high-context and low-context cultures. An ( 2007)s cultural comparis on on Web site visuals revealed that 20

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Web sites for high-context (Eastern or Oriental) countries tend to use more symbolic visuals, photographs of celebrity endorsers, mix of phot ographs and illustrations, and less product images, whereas Web sites for low-context (Weste rn or Occidental) coun tries on the other hand, portray more literal visuals such as photographs, as opposed to illustrations, and more product images. Colors Several examples of color uses and preferen ces related to culture can be found in the researched literature. Different c ountries attribute different meanings to the same color (Fletcher, 2006; Boor & Russo, 1993). Grey, for example, conveys inexpensiveness in China, but expensiveness, and high quality, in the United States (Fletcher, 2006). Juric et al.s (2003) research found that most of the observed Korean Web sites used white as background color for their Web pages, whereas a variety of background colors, including blue, red, green, orange, and black, was used on British Web sites. Layout Appropriate design layout faci litates the understanding and assessing of information for Web site visitors, and also provides a communi cation bridge between the site and the users (Yu & Roh, 2002). In this study, layout refers to menu placement, overall size of the page, and the proportion of graphics versus textual content on the page. Differences in page placement and specific orientations between different cultures are observed by researchers (e.g., Barber & Badre, 2001). Juric et al. (2003) developed a checklist of cultural markers that appears in the design el ements and applied it to 40 Web sites in South Korea and the United Kingdom. The results show th at while Korean Web s ites are horizontally placed, meaning the bottom scroll bar is used, UK web sites are more vertically aligned, requiring use of the side scroll bar. Marcus and Gould (2000) s uggest that Web sites in those 21

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countries with the highest level of uncertainty av oidance the extent of anxiety that people feel about uncertain or unknown matters show a very simple and clear layou t with limited choices of menus. In contrast, the Brit ish Airways Web site located in the United Kingdom, a country with a relatively low uncertainty avoidance score, shows more complexity of menu choices with pop-up windows and multiple laye rs of interface controls. In addition, a significant disparity in menu and link placement exists between Eastern and Western countries. Cyr and Trevor-Smith (2004) discovered that links in Japanese Web sites were mostly located on the top and left of th e Web page, as opposed to U.S. and German Web sites which place menus on the bottom and left si de. Table 3 summarizes past cross-cultural studies covering visual factors on Web sites. Included in the table are lists of observation items, selected countries, and conceptu al or theoretical background. Summary and Research Questions Based on the literature review, several gaps can be found in past research directed at cross-cultural communication on Web sites. First of all, although studies have discovered the differences between countries in terms of the development of locally appealing Web sites by applying theories of cultural dimension, few resear chers have focused on similarities. Such focus on site differences results in having a limited scop e of observed countries. For example, in those studies that examine culturally di stinctive patterns on Web sites, only one or two countries are usually selected as representative sample countri es for each cultural dimension. While this type of sampling methodology enables one to make a co mparison between the few selected countries, similarities within the same clusters can hardly be tested. In addition, the comparison betw een cultural clusters is high ly weighted toward Eastern versus Western cultures. This calls for studies that explore how the top global brands accommodate to local cultures across all continen ts. Segev et al. analy zed content and design 22

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characteristics of all local web sites of MSN and Yahoo in an attempt to map diversities and similarities across cultural clusters. His research achieved a pioneering positi on in that his cluster analysis presented a new method to explore a wide spectrum of diversity of Web sites in a large number of countries. However, this study sample was confined to portal sites only, where the web sites serve both as product a nd communication medium. Thus, it is uncertain if the findings are applicable to other industry Web sites. Finally, there exis ts much more ground to be explored concerning visual communication strategies on organizations local Web sites. In an effort to fill the gaps that are identified in the previous discussion, two primary research questions are addressed: RQ1: How similar to, or different from, are local We b sites to the same parent Web site in terms of visual presentation? RQ2: What common visual factors, if any, are displayed across cultural clusters? As this research attempts to explore the visual factors used in the lo cal Web site communication of global brands, the study examines whethe r particular brands employ similar visual communication strategies across di fferent countries. The study also attempts to identify if common visual factors are exhi bited on local Web sites within the same cultural clusters. 23

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Table 2-1. Hofstedes and Halls di mensions of cultural differences Dimensions Description Hofstede Power Distance Vertical stratific ation of a society where individuals are accorded different levels of importance and status. The caste system of India is one widely identified example of considerable power distance that occurs in Asian cultures. Individualism/ Collectivism The relationships individuals have in each culture. In individualistic societ y, individuals look af ter themselves and their immediate family only whereas I collectivistic cultures, individuals belong to groups that look after them in exchange for loyalty. Masculinity/ Femininity The roles of men and women in a society and their behavior. Uncertainty avoidance The extent to which a society can tolerate and cope with uncertainty and ambiguity. Hall High-context/ Low-context In high-context cultures, the info rmation is already shared by people, and thus very little info rmation is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. In low-context cultures, the information is vested in the message and detailed background information is needed in the interaction with others. 24

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Table 2-2. Cultural clusters by past studies Haire, Ghiselli, & Porter (1966) Sirota & Greenwood (1971) Ronen & Kraut (1977) Griffeth, Hom, Denisi, & Kirchner (1980) Hofstede (1980) Gupta et al. (2002) Anglo U.K. U.S. U.K. U.S. Australia Canada India New Zealand South Africa Austria Switzerland U.K. U.S. Australia Canada India New Zealand South Africa U.K. Canada U.K. U.S. Australia Canada Ireland New Zealand South Africa U.K. U.S. Australia South Africa (White Sample) Canada New Zealand Ireland Arabic Q a t a r Morocco Turkey Egypt Kuwait Sub-Sahara Africa N a m i b i a Zambia Zimbabwe South Africa (Black Sample) Nigeria Germanic A u s t r i a Germany Switzerland Austria Denmark Finland Germany Norway Sweden Switzerland Austria Germany Israel Switzerland Austria Switzerland Netherlands Germany Nordic Denmark Germany Norway Sweden Denmark Finland Norway Denmark Finland Norway Denmark Finland Netherlands Norway Sweden Finland Sweden Denmark Eastern Europe H u n g a r y Russia Kazakhstan Albania Poland Greece Slovenia Georgia 25

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Table 2-2. Continued Haire, Ghiselli, & Porter (1966) Sirota & Greenwood (1971) Ronen & Kraut (1977) Griffeth, Hom, Denisi, & Kirchner (1980) Hofstede (1980) Gupta et al. (2002) Latin European Belgium France Italy Spain Belgium France Belgium France Belgium Greece Italy Netherlands Portugal Spain Argentina Belgium Brazil France Italy Spain Costa Rica Guatemala Israel Italy Portugal Spain France Switzerland (French Speaking) Latin American Argentina Chile India Argentina Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Argentina Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Venezuela Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Portugal Venezuela Venezuela Ecuador Mexico El Salvador Colombia Bolivia Brazil Argentina Near East Greece Iran Turkey Yugoslavia Far East Hong Kong India Pakistan Philippines Singapore Taiwan Thailand Confucian Asia T a i w a n Singapore Hong Kong South Korea China Japan South Asia I n d i a Indonesia Philippines Malaysia Thailand Iran Independents Japan Brazil Germany Israel Japan Sweden Venezuela Brazil Israel Japan Sweden Japan 26

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Table 2-3. List of crosscultural studies about visu al presentation on the Web Visual factors Conceptual b ackground Countries in comparison Okazaki (2005) Layout, color, photographs, illustrations, charts, graphs, and interactive images Standardization, brand communication, and relationship building (marketing) US (Home country), UK, France, Germany, and Spain (Host country) (5) Wurtz (2006) Images, photographs, and animation Halls High-context vs. low-context cultures and Hofstedes collectivist vs. individualist cultures Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, US (9) An (2007) Literal or symbolic visuals, use of celebrity models, photographs, illustrations, product portrayal Halls High-context and low-context cultures Korea, China, Japan, Germany, UK, and US (6) Robbins & Stylianou (2003) Presentation (animation, frames, graphics sound, and video) and navigation features (hyperlinks, search engine, and sitemap) Hofstedes cultural cluster UK, US, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Switzerland, India, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Japan (16) Segev et al. (2007) Frames, banners, background colors, photos, links, menus, pop up windows Hofstedes cultural dimensions US, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Malaysia, France, UK, Italy, Latin America, Korea, Belgium, Norway, Arabia, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Spain, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden, Israel, Denmark, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Mexico, Switzerland, China, Finland, South Africa, Austria, Germany, Argentina, Spain, and Catalan (37) Cyr, D. & TrevorSmith, H. (2003) Symbols, graphics, color preferences, links, maps, search functions, and page layout Hofstedes cultural dimensions Germany, Japan, and US (3) 27

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Table 2-3. Continued Visual factors Conceptual b ackground Countries in comparison Marcus, A., & Gould, E.W. (2000) Symbols, graphics, animation, navigation scheme, color, typography Hofstedes cultural dimensions Malaysia, the Netherlands, Germany, Costa Rica, Japan, US, Sweden, Belgium, UK, China (10) Juric, R., Kim, I., & Kuljis, J. (2003) Graphics, color, typography, layout, animation, 3D Barber and Badres cultural markers Korea and UK (2) Singh & Matsuo (2004) Graphics, symbols, color Halls High-context and low-context cultures, Hofstedes cultural dimensions Japan and US (2) Note. Numbers in parentheses under the column with a heading as counties in comparison refer to the total number of countries studied. 28

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Research design and sampling procedure This study adopts Web site content analysis as methodology to examine the level of standardization existing in the global brands Web sites for local markets. Content analysis is a method of studying and analyzi ng communication in a systemic objective, and quantitative manner for the purpose of measuring variable s (Wimmer and Domini ck, 2006, p.150). It is a suitable method for investigating communication messages and mode of message presentation, as opposed to those studies undertaken to examine attitudes and responses of the audience (Kassarjian, 1997). Visual content analysis, in particul ar, enables the break ing down of visual presentation into its constituent elements to describe aggregation (Leeuwen and Jewitt, 2001). This study conducts stratified sampling in an e ffort to obtain representative samples in each industry sector. A stratified sample is the approach used to get adequate representation of a subsample (Wimmer and Dominick, 2006, p. 96). As Babbie (2005) notes, stratified sampling enhances the representation of ot her variables related to the res earch objectives by ensuring the proper representation of the strati fication variables (p. 206). When taken into consideration the fact that significant differences are found in Web site content and design across various industries (Huizingh, 2000), stratified sampli ng is appropriate methodology for this study. The sample Web sites in this study are selected from the 2007 BusinessWeek worlds top 100 global brands. Most studies of Internet content have difficu lty in attaining a reasonable sampling framework of Web sites. It can be assume d that successful global brands have invested extensive amounts of resources to develop locally and globally effective Web sites, and consequently customized each local Web site to the target country. It would be reasonable, to assume, therefore, that such globa l corporations provide leadership in the use of their corporate 29

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Web sites (An, 2003; An, 2007; Maynard and Tian, 2004; Okazaki, 2005). It is on the basis of this assumption that top global brands were c hosen as suitable subjects for this study. Sampling for this study was conducted using f our industry sectors as strata. The four industry sectors were derived from Nielsen Online s report of leading indu stry advertisers. This report provides a list of the ten industry sector s that spend the most am ount of money for online advertising. According to this reports chart, nine ty percent of online adve rting is comprised of seven industries Web media, financial services telecommunications, retail goods and services, entertainment, consumer goods and the automoti ve sector. Industry sectors mentioned above were chosen due to their high expenditure on online communication. Four industry sectors Web media, financial services, consumer goods and auto motive were chosen for this study. The rest of the industry sectors were excluded because: No global brands were found in the mentioned industry, or Web sites were predominantly used for elect ronic commerce, in which major activities consist of the buying and selling of products or services rather th an communicating or r building relationships with audiences. The sampling procedure is as follows: 1. For global brand Web sites, a list of the top 100 global brands is obtained from the 2008 BusinessWeek (2007) Web site. 2. By comparing BusinessWeek s list of top global brands with Nielsen Online s list of leading industry online adve rtisers, four industries are selected as strata. 3. One global brand that topped BuinessWeek s ranking in each stratum (industry sector) was selected. If the brand is hea dquartered outside of the United State, the next U.S.-based brand in the ranking is selected. Accordingly, Yahoo in Web media, Citi in financial services, Coca-cola in consumer goods and Ford in automotive are selected as sample brands. 4. Local Web sites for each brand are searched us ing the brands global corporate Web site as a guide. 30

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This above procedure resulted in 120 local Web sites for Coca-cola, 36 local Web sites for Yahoo, 68 local Web sites for Citi and 50 local Web sites for Ford See Table 1 which provides the full listing of local Web sites in the sample brands. Measurement The unit of analysis The unit of analysis is limited to the first or main page of local Web sites. This is done because the front page of corporate Web sites op erates as a front door to the whole Web site (Ha & James, 1998; An, 2007). In the case of intr oductory Flash animation occurring, the next available page, where the actual navigation by the visitor begins, is treated as the front page. An observation item list with detailed operational definitions is develope d and is designed to capture the visual components of di fferent local Web sites. The measure for this study is partially adapted from coding schemes suggested by Segev et al. (2007), who conducted a comprehensive examination of local Web sites relating their level of content and format si milarity to a parent Web site. In addition, specific visual components of these thre e concepts are derived from a comprehensive review of past studies of crosscultural content analysis of Web site visuals (Segev et al., 2007; Wurtz, 2006; An, 2007; Ok azaki, 2005; Cyr and Trevor-Smith, 2004; Juric, Kim and Juljis, 2003). In a large scale representati on of concept, graphics, color, and Web page layout, these were identified in previous studi es as remarkably different across countries (Fletcher, 2006; Marcus and Gould, 2000). This study focuses on three formats of graphics: photographs, illustrations, and active images. The category photograph is further divided into four variations based on subjects: human individual photographs, human group phot ographs, product photographs, and non-human object photographs. Active images include animated graphics and flash-formatted files that contain multiple slides of graphics. The number of colors used for text, page background, and 31

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menu box background are measured. Layouts of local Web sites are examined by measuring location of menus and graphics, a nd the percentage of area that graphics occupy. The location for each element was further operationalized in detail; for example, coders were instructed to draw vertical and horizontal lines in the center of a Web site and ju dge on which side the specified item is positioned. Most of the components are m easured on a numerical scale as to the number of occurrences of each visual component. (See Ap pendix A and B for the full list of observation items) Coding and inter-coder reliability All coders use a standard coding sheet to reduce the risk of equivalency threats to internal validity. Prior to performing the main coding task, the coders will be trained by using instructions designed to familiarize them with the definitions and operationalisations of the coding categories and variables. Additionally, tutorial session on using the Cool Ruler application tool will be provided. Taking into acc ount the rapidly changing nature of the Web, on which contents can be updated and changed cons tantly, all sample Web sites are simultaneously downloaded and saved to the coders computers between June 1 and June 10, in order to uniformly serve without bias as subjects for this study. Two coders in total, including the author, are conducting the coding task. They are all Korean graduate students with a major in mass communications. It would be ideal to appoint native speakers to enter Web site data of each di fferent country to minimize cultural bias and misinterpretation. However, it is almost impossi ble to recruit such a la rge number of coders given the limited resources a nd within the required time fram e. For this reason, visual components that are associated with culture-specific symbolism and metaphors have been excluded in the measurements for this study. 32

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To assess inter-coder reliability, twenty seven Web sites (10% of the total Web sites) were coded by two independent coders. After each coding set, coders exchanged feedback and repeat the coding process until they achieve an ac ceptable rate of inter-coder reliability using Holstis method. In the initial ca lculation the chance agreement of some items such as the number of menus on left, right, bottom, and t op, and the number of graphics in each position were around .50, showing some disagreement for coding variables. Then, the coding book was revised for more clarification. After having additional training session with a coder using the revised coding book, a new reliability check was conducted. The new score for the inter-coder reliability reached 0.838 on average, which is an acceptable level. Data analysis The data analysis begins with calculating the National Similarity Index (NSI) This calculation is taken from Segev et al. (2007)s work, in which th ey explored the diversity of content and form of local Web sites of two l eading portals. The NSI i ndicates the level of similarity of each local homepage to the pare nt U.S. homepage (Segev et al., 2007, p. 1276). The calculation process is described by Segev et al. (2007) as follows: 1. Compute the ratio between each local homepage and the U.S. homepage for each observation. 2. If the ratio is greater than 1, use the reciprocal value (absolute ratio), so that it will be possible to intersect the ratios average per each local homepage. 3. The NSI is derived from the average of t hose ratios among all independent variables for each local homepage. (p.1276) The result value of this calculation ranges from 0 to 1 a value of 0 meaning the highest level of dissimilarity and 1 the highe st level of similarity. In addition to the NSI, further statistical analysis is conducted to explore factors behind the diversities shown in the inde x and investigate in detail the cl usters of local Web sites.. The statistical analysis is executed in four steps. First, factor an alysis is performed to extract 33

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correlated variables so that they can be grouped into fewer numbers of variables that describe visuals. Second, cluster analysis is used to identify groupings of local Web sites according to the level of similarity in their vi sual characteristics. Third, with the groupings obtained by cluster analysis, this study then compares the groupings obtained by cluster anal ysis with Hofstede (1980)s cultural clusters to see if any commonality of grouping can be observed. Lastly, the study traces the common factor in each cluster. This study will be able to present the common visual factors of local Web sites in the same cl uster because the clusters are generated based on the new variables which are the results of factor analysis. Content analysis of this study contains 25 variables sampled over 265 Web sites (35 Yahoo! + 61 Citi + 119 Coca-Cola + 50 Ford). In total, 6,625 observations will be collected. 34

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Table 3-1. Full list of local Web sites in Citi, Yahoo, Coca-Cola and Ford Coca-Cola Yahoo Algeria Angola Argentina Australia Austria Bahrain Belgium Benin Bolivia Botswania Brazil Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Canada Cape Verde Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Costa Rica Cyprus Czech Republic Democratic Republic of Denmark Djibouti Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritea Estonia Ethiopia Finland France Gabon Gambia Germany Ghana Great Britain Greece Guatemala Guinea Guinea Bissau Honduras HongKong Hungary Iceland India Iraq Ireland Isreal Italy Ivory Coast Japan Jordan Keyna Korea Kuwait Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Mali Mauritania Mauritius Nigeria Norway Oman Palestine Panama Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Congo Romania Russia Rwanda Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelle Singapore Slovakia South Africa Spain Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tanzania Tunisia Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uruguay USA Venezuela Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Argentina Australia Austria Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia Denmark Finland France Germany Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Japan Korea Malaysia Mexico Netherland New Zealand Norway Peru Philippines Russia Singapore Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand UK USA Venezuela Vietnam 35

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Table 3-1. continued Citi Ford Australia China Guam Hong Kong India Indonesia Japan Korea Malaysia Philippines Singapore Taiwan Thailand Algeria Kenya Tanzania Uganda Zambia Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Slovakia Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States Canada Costa Rica Dominican Republic El Salvador Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Panama Puerto Rico Trinidad Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela Bahrain Egypt Jordan Kazakhstan Pakistan Turkey United Arab Emirates Argentina Australia Austria Begium Belarus Brazil Canada Chile China Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong Hungary India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Russian Federation Slovakia Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand Turkey UK Ukrain United States Venezuela Vietnam 36

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Analysis of National Similarity Index (NSI) The National Similarity Index provides informa tion about the similarity of local Web sites to the parent Web site (U.S. in this study) in the pattern of visual presentation. Table 5 summarizes the similarity for Yahoo, Citi, Ford, and Coca-Cola. Values closer to 0 indicate a greater difference from the U.S. Web site and values closer to 1 indicate a greater similarity. It was difficult to find a similar ranking pattern be tween sampled global brands. In Yahoo, the local Web site in China was quite different from its U. S. parent Web site, while the China Web site for Ford yielded the highest NSI valu e, which means greater similar ity to the U.S. Web site. In addition, in Coca-Cola, those Web sites that share a greater similarity to the U.S. Web site are mostly African countries (e.g., Ke nya, South Africa, Uganda, Egypt, Algeria, and Angola). On the other hand, local Web sites that scored higher level of similarity to Fords U.S. Web sites are those countries in the AsiaPacific region (e.g., China, Indone sia, Vietnam, Taiwan, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, Austra lia, Thailand, and Philippines) Another interesting result provide d by the NSI analysis is that the range of similarity varies between the sampled global brands. The range of the NSI values of the local Web sites for Yahoo, Citi, and Coca-Cola is relatively wider than that for Ford (NSI range in Yahoo, .53; Citi, .61; Coca-Cola, .67; Ford, .40). The NSI value of th e Web site in the Ukraine, which scored the minimum NSI value among the local Web sites for Ford, is the same as the median of NSI for Citi. Because the NSI only portrays how similar each local Web site is to the U.S. parent Web site, it is impossible to examine the similarity or diversity of visual fa ctors between local Web sites. A further statistical study a nd analysis could reveal such sim ilarity and/or diversity of local Web sites. 37

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Results of the Factor Analysis In addition to the NSI, statistical analyses were conducted to further explore the visual factors behind the observed diversity of the global brands local Web sites. First of all, a factor analysis was conducted by using principal co mponent methods to extract the correlated variables. The result of this f actor analysis, however, did not re veal very logical relationships. Table 6 presents the percentage of explained variation accoun ted for by the new components. The matrix revealed seven new components extracted with the eigen values over 1 as a set limit. The number of extracted components is more than the study allowed. Furthermore, this correlation matrix showed somewhat unreason able relationships among the 20 variables. Therefore, another set of factor analysis was c onducted in an effort to extract components with more reasonable relationships. In the second session of factor analysis, the number of factors to be extracted was determined before conducting the analysis. The results of this second factor analysis are displayed in Table 7 and 8. Ag ain, any new component with a reasonable relationship was not extracted. Not all communalities, which estimates the proportion of a variables variance explained by a factor structure (Pohlmann, n.d.) are above the commonly accepted value of .30. Additionally, both factor analyses of visual variables in the sampled global brands created different groups of variables. Therefore, a cluster analysis was further conducted using the originally coded 20 independe nt variables as input. 38

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Results of the Cluster Analysis The cluster analysis groups t ogether local Web sites with similar patterns of visual elements. Wards linkage method was used to cl uster groups in the given data. This method is found to be most optimal for this kind of st udy because it generates a small number of groups encompassing relatively more Web site s (Ward, 1963; Segeve, et al., 2007). Figures 1 to 4 present the results of a cluster analysis in Yahoo, Citi, Ford, and Coca-Cola. It was decided to focus on clusters in this st udy, which are distanced between 3 and 8 units from each other. Accordingly, six main clusters in Yahoo, seven clusters in Citi, four clusters in Ford, and six clusters in Coca -Cola were entailed. Figure 1 shows that the U.S. Web site was lo cated within the biggest cluster (no. 4) and that Yahoo Japan and Yahoo China were located in separate clusters (no. 5 and no. 6). This means that the visual factors of Yahoo Japan and Yahoo China are signifi cantly different from the visual patterns of other loca l Web sites in Yahoo. The first cl uster (no.1) consists of local Web sites of European countries, such as Aust ria, Switzerland, Finla nd, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Russia. The second clus ter (no. 2) includes local Web sites of the Asia-Pacific region mostly (e.g., New Zealand, Singa pore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand). Figure 2 displays clusters of local Web site s for Citi. Unlike Yahoo, the U.S. Web site in Citi does not belong to the biggest cluster. While the two largest clusters (no.4 and no. 7) include local Web sites of various regions, there are some clusters which contain countries from only one continent. A number of local Web sites from the African region, for ex ample, are located in cluster number 1. The fifth cluster (no. 5) c ontains only Asian count ries (e.g., Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, and Indonesia). 39

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Compared to the other global brands in the data sets, Ford yields a relatively smaller number of clusters. A unique observation of the Ford clusters is that the U.S. Web site is grouped together with only one local Web site, Ford Ca nada. The cluster number 1 (in Figure 3) mostly consists of the local Web sites of the Asia-Pacific region (e.g., Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Chin a), while most of the local Web sites in the European countries are located in the cluster number 3 (no. 3). Lastly, the results of the cluster analysis of Web sites f or Coca-Cola, which has the greatest number of local Web sites, are depicted in Figure 4. The U.S. We b site was located in the biggest cluster (no. 1) and Coca-Cola Spai n Web site was separated as an independent cluster. One of the interesting resu lts revealed in the analysis of Figure 4 is that there is a cluster (no. 4) which only includes the Coca-Cola Web s ites of Latin American countries (e.g., Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Ecuador). The cluster analysis of local Web sites of f our global brands yielde d a number of common results. Firstly, there exist clusters that include d the local Web sites of only one specific region that share proximity of geogra phical location or cultural values The cluster analysis of Yahoo Web sites, for example, reveals two clusters th at contain Asia-Pacific countries and European countries respectively. Similarly, one cluster in Citi only consists of local Web sites of African countries. Most of the Latin American Web sites of Coca-Cola were located in the same cluster. Figure 5 displays screenshots of six local Web sites in Coca-Cola from three different clusters. These screenshots clearly indicate that the loca l Web sites of Coca-Cola located in the same cluster have very similar layouts regarding the nu mber of text and background colors as well as the graphics used. 40

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Another interesting result is that those clusters that cont ain mostly European local Web sites were the most distanced from those clusters containing Asian local Web sites. For instance, the distance between the cluster (no. 1 in Figur e 1), which only includes European local Web sites, and the independent clus ters of Yahoo Japan and Yahoo China is greater than 20 units. Figure 6 shows the screenshots of the representati ve local Web sites in the European cluster, Yahoo Japan, and Yahoo China. The figure clearly i llustrates how different these groups of Web sites are. Yahoo Finland and Ya hoo Netherland have much more simple layouts and a much smaller number of graphics, menus, and colors. 41

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Table 4-1. NSI in Yahoo, Citi, Coca-Cola, Ford Ranking Diversity (Yahoo) Mean: 0.71, Median: 0.74 1.00 USA 0.78 Vietnam 0.74 Brazil 0.65 N orway 0.87 Spain 0.77 Germany 0.73 Philippines 0.63 N etherland 0.85 Mexico 0.77 N ew Zealand 0.72 Japan 0.59 Denmark 0.85 France 0.76 Indonesia 0.71 Taiwan 0.58 Russia 0.81 Argentina 0.76 Thailand 0.69 Peru 0.56 Switzerland 0.80 Korea 0.76 Hong Kong 0.69 Singapore 0.56 Finland 0.79 Italy 0.75 India 0.69 Australia 0.56 Austria 0.78 Canada 0.75 Chile 0.66 Colombia 0.47 China 0.78 Malaysia 0.75 Venezuela 0.65 Sweden Ranking Diversity (Citi) Mean: 0.60, Median: 0.60 1.00 US 0.65 Uruguay 0.60 Malaysia 0.54 Ecuador 0.82 Denmark 0.65 Thailand 0.60 Philippines 0.54 Indonesia 0.78 Germany 0.64 Czech Republic 0.60 Hungary 0.53 Slovakia 0.73 Peru 0.64 Egypt 0.60 Panama 0.53 Ireland 0.72 Portugal 0.64 UK 0.59 Taiwan 0.53 N orway 0.71 Spain 0.64 Colombia 0.58 Costa Rica 0.52 South Africa 0.70 Greece 0.64 Russia 0.58 China 0.47 Dominican Republic 0.70 Brazil 0.63 India 0.58 Jamaica 0.47 Romania 0.69 Canada 0.63 Australia 0.58 Japan 0.47 Kazakhstan 0.69 UAE 0.63 Zambia 0.57 Tanzania 0.46 Sweden 0.68 Puerto Rico 0.62 Italy 0.57 Haiti 0.45 Jordan 0.68 Singapore 0.62 Korea 0.57 Hong Kong 0.44 Argentina 0.67 Belgium 0.62 Turkey 0.56 Poland 0.39 N igeria 0.66 El Salvador 0.61 Paraguay 0.56 Kenya 0.66 Venezuela 0.60 Guatemala 0.55 Uganda 0.65 Bahrain 0.60 Honduras 0.55 Algeria Ranking Diversity (Ford) Mean: 0.74, Median: 0.75 1.00 United States 0.80 Portugal 0.74 Luxembourg 0.67 Denmark 0.86 China 0.80 Turkey 0.74 Japan 0.67 Hungary 0.86 Indonesia 0.79 Ireland 0.73 Chile 0.65 Russian Federation 0.85 Vietnam 0.79 Croatia 0.73 Sw eden 0.65 Spain 0.84 Taiwan 0.79 Puerto Rico 0.72 Israel 0.65 Italy 0.83 New Zealand 0.78 Canada 0.72 Norway 0.64 Korea 0.83 Malaysia 0.77 Estonia 0.69 Po land 0.64 Greece 0.83 India 0.77 Latvia 0.69 Netherlands 0.63 Germany 0.83 Australia 0.77 Argentina 0. 69 UK 0.63 Czech Republic 0.82 Thailand 0.77 Cyprus 0.68 Bela rus 0.61 Brazil 0.82 Philippines 0.76 Hong Kong 0.68 Mexico 0.60 Ukraine 0.81 Austria 0.76 Belgium 0.67 Finland 0.81 Lithuania 0.75 Venezuela 0.67 France 42

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Table 4-1. Continued Ranking Diversity (Coca-Cola) Mean: 0.78, Median: 0.89 1.00 USA 0.90 Lesotho 0.89 Chile 0.62 Honduras 0.91 Ireland 0.90 Luxembourg 0.89 France 0.61 New Zealand 0.91 Kenya 0.90 Madagascar 0.89 Peru 0.61 Costa Rica 0.91 Philippines 0.90 Malawi 0.89 Switzerland 0.61 Nicaragua 0.91 South Africa 0.90 Mali 0.87 Uk raine 0.61 Panama 0.91 Uganda 0.90 Mauritania 0.86 Uruguay 0.61 Venezuela 0.91 Egypt 0.90 Mauritius 0. 85 Bahrain 0.59 Ecuador 0.91 Serbia 0.90 Mayotte 0.85 India 0.59 El Salvador 0.90 Algeria 0.90 Morocco 0.85 Jordan 0.59 Dominican Republic 0.90 Angola 0.90 Mozambique 0.85 UAE 0.58 Russia 0.90 Belgium 0.90 Niger 0.84 Kuwait 0.58 Malaysia 0.90 Benin 0.90 Nigeria 0.84 Palestine 0.58 Portugal 0.90 Botswana 0.90 Paraguay 0.84 Saudi Arabia 0.57 Japan 0.90 Burkina Faso 0.90 Republic of Congo 0.84 Yemen 0.56 Netherlands 0.90 Burundi 0.90 Rwanda 0.80 Great Britain 0.56 HongKong 0.90 Cape Verde 0.90 Senegal 0.77 Poland 0.53 Slovakia 0.90 Chad 0.90 Seychelle 0.76 Argentina 0.53 Czech Republic 0.90 Comoros 0.90 Swaziland 0.75 Cyprus 0.53 Taiwan 0.90 Democratic Republic of Congo 0.90 Tanzania 0.70 Bulgaria 0.51 Denmark 0.90 Djibouti 0.90 Tunisia 0.68 Is real 0.51 Finland 0.90 Equatorial Guinea 0.90 Zambia 0.68 Canada 0.51 Norway 0.90 Eritrea 0.90 Zimbabwe 0.67 Brazil 0.51 Sweden 0.90 Ethiopia 0.90 Iraq 0.67 Mexico 0.49 Lithuania 0.90 Gabon 0.90 Lebanon 0.65 Germany 0.47 Estonia 0.90 Gambia 0.90 Oman 0.65 China 0.47 Latvia 0.90 Ghana 0.90 Qatar 0.64 Australia 0.46 Italy 0.90 Greece 0.90 Syria 0.64 Korea 0.42 Singapore 0.90 Guinea 0.89 Turkey 0.64 Colombia 0.41 Romania 0.90 Guinea Bissau 0.89 Austria 0.63 Spain 0.33 Iceland 0.90 Ivory Coast 0.89 Bolivia 0.62 Guatemala 43

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Table 4-2. First new visual components Citi Rotated Component Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Number of brand logo images .175 -.077 -.127 -.014 .005 .835 -.013 Number of human individual photographs -.081 -.177 .845 -.050 -.018 -.029 -.034 Number of human group photographs .144 .373 .195 -.506 .048 .201 -.063 Number of product images .723 .112 -.063 .055 -.060 .326 .047 Number of non-human object photographs .216 .022 .118 .846 -.112 -.110 -.041 Number of illustrations .208 .756 -.018 -.116 .083 -.242 .097 Number of interactive images .739 -.039 .049 .255 -.153 -.069 .196 Number of text colors .625 .388 .036 -.143 .247 .067 -.093 Number of background colors .041 .106 .037 .003 .001 -.032 .953 Number of menu box colors -.180 .378 .410 -.205 -.225 .503 -.087 Number of menus on left side of the Web page .096 .793 -.055 -.009 -.105 .041 .381 Number of menus on right side of the Web page .624 -.131 .049 .084 .399 -.076 -.056 Number of menus on bottom of the Web page .624 .414 -.074 -.167 .215 -.005 -.114 Number of menus on top of the Web page .348 -.204 -.215 -.112 .627 .198 .122 Number of drop-down menus .745 .133 .091 -.105 .149 .040 .066 Number of graphics on left side of the Web page .057 .753 .037 .317 .085 .184 -.181 Number of graphics on right side of the Web page -.221 .235 .057 .602 .256 .264 .026 Number of graphics on bottom of the Web page .033 .221 .146 .045 .709 -.152 -.077 Number of graphics on top of the Web page .241 .181 .717 .216 .178 -.057 .154 Number of graphics in the middle of the Web page .595 .056 .525 -.053 -.381 -.103 -.127 Note. Extraction Method: Prin cipal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation conve rged in 10 iterations. 44

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Table 4-3. Second ne w visual components Citi Rotated Component Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 Number of brand logo images .188 -.022 -.145 .310 Number of human individual photographs -.095 -.198 .723 -.044 Number of human group photographs .120 .258 .162 .575 Number of product images .678 .143 .083 .157 Number of non-human object photographs .171 .181 .239 -.757 Number of illustrations .181 .709 .028 .096 Number of interactive images .675 .024 .237 -.193 Number of text colors .630 .353 .058 .323 Number of background colors .046 .256 .000 -.077 Number of menu box colors -.271 .296 .422 .450 Number of menus on left side of the Web page .024 .787 .053 .228 Number of menus on right side of the Web page .662 -.040 -.071 -.302 Number of menus on bottom of the Web page .631 .378 -.020 .262 Number of menus on top of the Web page .537 -.079 -.448 .042 Number of drop-down menus .749 .146 .136 .147 Number of graphics on left side of the Web page .025 .776 .075 -.028 Number of graphics on right side of the Web page -.142 .416 -.078 -.509 Number of graphics on bottom of the Web page .205 .303 -.116 -.109 Number of graphics on top of the Web page .256 .246 .634 -.134 Number of graphics in the middle of the Web page .438 -.037 .726 .084 Note. Extraction Method: Prin cipal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a. Rotation converged in 7 iterations. 45

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Table 4-4. Communalities estimates pr ior to the second factor analysis Citi Communalities Extraction Number of brand logo images .153 Number of human individual photographs .572 Number of human group photographs .438 Number of product images .512 Number of non-human object photographs .692 Number of illustrations .546 Number of interactive images .549 Number of text colors .630 Number of background colors .074 Number of menu box colors .542 Number of menus on left side of the Web page .675 Number of menus on right side of the Web page .536 Number of menus on bottom of the Web page .610 Number of menus on top of the Web page .497 Number of drop-down menus .623 Number of graphics on left side of the Web page .609 Number of graphics on right side of the Web page .459 Number of graphics on bottom of the Web page .159 Number of graphics on top of the Web page .547 Number of graphics in the middle of the Web page .728 Note. Extraction Method: Princi pal Component Analysis. 46

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Distance 0 5 10 15 20 25 Label +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Austria Switzerland Finland Norway 1 Sweden Netherland Denmark Russia New Zealand Singapore Colombia 2 Philippines Indonesia Thailand Chile Peru Venezuela Vietnam Hong Kong 3 Spain USA Argentina Italy India Malaysia Germany Mexico 4 Brazil Canada Australia France Korea Taiwan Japan 5 China 6 Figure 4-1. Dendrogram from cluster analysis Yahoo 47

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0 5 10 15 20 25 Distance Label +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Tanzania Zambia Keyna 1 Uganda Spain Uruguay Turkey Bahrain UAE 2 Czech Republic Egypt Poland South Africa 3 Canada Portugal Italy Brazil Panama Venezuela Denmark US 4 Greece Hungary Japan Colombia India Germany UK Belgium Russia Singapore Thailand Philippines China Taiwan 5 HongKong Malaysia Korea Indonesia Romania Slovakia 6 Guatemala Haiti Honduras Paraguay El Salvador Jamaica CostaRica Ecuador DominicanRepublic Algeria Puerto Rico 7 Kazakhstan Norway Jordan Sweden Ireland Australia Peru Nigeria Argentina Figure 4-2. Dendrogram from cluster analysis Citi 48

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0 5 10 15 20 25 Label Num +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Distance Malaysia New Zealand Australia India Indonesia Vietnam China Philippines 1 Taiwan Puerto Rico Thailand Japan United States Canada 2 Latvia Venezuela Turkey Czech Republic Luxembourg Belarus Poland Ukrain Italy Russian Federation Lithuania Brazil 3 Ireland UK Belgium France Portugal Norway Sweden Denmark Netherlands Greece Hungary Spain Finland Austria Germany Argentina Cyprus Chile 4 Hong Kong Croatia Israel Estonia Mexico Korea Figure 4-3. Dendrogram from cluster analysis Ford 49

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C A 0 5 10 15 20 25 Label Num +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Zambia Zimbabwe Algeria Tanzania Tunisia Seychelle Swaziland Rwanda Senegal Paraguay Republic of Congo Niger Nigeria Morocco Mozambique Mauritius Mayotte Mali Mauritania Madagascar Malawi Lesotho Luxembourg Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast Greece Guinea Gambia Ghana Ethiopia Gabon Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Democratic Republic of Congo Djibouti Chad Comoros Burundi Cape Verde Botswania Burkina Faso Belgium Benin Angola South Africa Uganda Ireland Keyna Philippines Serbia Egypt India USA Peru Switzerland Austria Chile France Bolivia Uruguay Ukraine Figure 4-4. Dendrogram from cluster analysis Coca-Cola 50

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C A 0 5 10 15 20 25 Label Num +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Great Britain Turkey Saudi Arabia Yemen Kuwait Palestine 1 Qatar Syria Lebanon Oman Jordan United Arab Emirates Iraq Bahrain Poland Australia Romania Czech Republic 2 Slovakia Korea Malaysia Portugal Singapore 3 Isreal Taiwan Japan Panama Venezuela Costa Rica Nicaragua 4 Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Dominican Republic Colombia Argentina New Zealand Russia Canada Cyprus HongKong Bulgaria China Mexico 5 Iceland Netherlands Norway Sweden Denmark Finland Brazil Germany Latvia Lithuania Estonia Italy Spain 6 Figure 4-4. Continued 51

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Cluster no. 1 Coca-Cola US Coca-Cola South Africa Cluster no. 4 Coca-Cola Costa Rica Coca-Cola Venezuela Cluster no. 5 Coca-Cola Norway Coca-Cola Finland Figure 4-5. Screenshots of Co ca-Colas local Web sites 52

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Yahoo Finland Yahoo Netherland Yahoo China Yahoo Japan Figure 4-6. Screenshots of Yahoos local Web sites 53

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Discussion This research aimed to understand how global br ands employ similar or different strategies across different countries. The study also attemp ted to explore how local Web sites can be grouped together in terms of their visual presentations. The purpose of this research required that a series of tests be conducted to examine the similarity or diversity of the visual elements of the Web sites. Since past cross-cultural studies in the field were limited to the use of cultural dimensions as a theoretical framework, and existe d for only a small number of sample countries, this study was designed to present different appro aches in exploring the gl ocalization of visual strategies on larger scale. The study posed two research questions: th e first concerns the level of visual diversification of local Web site s to the parent Web site, and the second addresses patterns of visual presentation across clusters Some of the NSI results presen ted similar findings as found in past studies, whereas local Web sites in Asian countries are most dissimilar to the local Web sites of Western countries. Consistent with the NS I findings, the cluster anal ysis of this research revealed the distinctive differentiation of local Web sites by some regions: Scandinavian Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The colorfulness a nd fully loaded layout of Asian Web sites correspond with the findings of previous studies which revealed similar patterns in Web site design and the online advertising of global corporations (Becke r, 2002; Wurtz, 2005; Segev et al., 2007). The reason why these three clusters are common ly identified in this study can be found in the previous studies on cultural dimensions. The countries in the Scandinavian/ Nordic, Asian, and Latin American clusters reco rded very distinctive scores in cultural dimensions such as 54

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power distance, and individualism/ collectivism. For example, Hofstede (1980)s study revealed that the Latin American cluster scored very high in power distance and collectivism/ individualism. The Asian cluster achieves a significantly higher long-te rm orientation ranking. Therefore, it is suspected that the Nordic, Latin American, and Asian clusters contain highly distinguishing cultural characteristics, leaving very little chan ce of cultural convergence with other clusters. However, the ranking of diversity for the loca l Web sites, as shown in the NSI, was not consistent across the global brands and their fi eld of industry. Ford China topped the rank of visual similarity to the U.S. Web site, while Yahoo China scored the lowest in the level of similarity to its parent U.S. We b site. The explanation of such di sparity may be found in previous studies, which suggests industry category as a co variate (Cutler, Javalgi, & Erramilli, 1992). Cutler and his colleagues (1992) points out in their study that the vi sual components of advertising differ by product and service category. Similarly, Willis (2006) asserts that the Western luxury goods execute most standardized communication campaign across local markets. He explains that what consumer s want is the original, authentic, and value-ridden Western product as this was a link to a world of per ceived success, glitter, and empowerment (p. 65). Therefore, the Chinese Web site for Ford may execu te relatively less localized visual strategies because the company is selling a product as well as the Western identity that Chinese consumers want to pursue. Another important finding is that globa l brands furnish several versions of standardized Web site templa tes and assign different templates to different regions respectively. In other words, local Web sites in the same regional or cultural cluster often adopt regional design templates, in which layout, color, and graphic schemes are very 55

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similar. Then, further localization of visual st rategies is made within the given visual framework of the template. This finding sh eds a refreshing light on the stages of glocalization of Web site vi suals. The regional boundaries as well as national boundaries are considerably taken into acco unt when balancing the standardized and localized visual strategies. The study also showed that there still exist some local Web sites that are not similar to any other local Web sites of neighboring nations, thus separating themselves from other clusters. The cluster analysis classified Yahoo Japan as a singlemember cluster. This result may explain an aspect of the past cultural cluster studies, where they left out Japan due to its independence from other cl usters because Japan projects apparent uniqueness in terms of cu ltural characteristics. An alternative explanation on the occurrence of singlemember clusters can be found in Ronen and Shenkar (1985)s meta-analysis of cultural clustering: The countries classified as independe nts allow one to hypothesize that economic development and technology override the traditional dimensions of language, geography, and religions as a basis for cluster membership. Those countries higher on economic development tend to separate from their geographic groupings. (p. 452) As they address above, other dimensions, su ch as economic advancement and Internet development may play a stronger role in a designing locally accommodating Web site. Conclusion This study attempted to utilize a different approach in exploring the global brands glocalization of visual strategies for their local Web sites. By calculating the National Similarity Index, the study showed that the level of visual similarity between each local Web site to the 56

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parent U.S. Web site varies across tested bran ds. Further statistical an alyses have discovered clusters of nations in which a great degree of commonality in their Web site visuals can be found. At the same time, cluster analysis identified those countries for which the local Web site clearly differs from others. Contrary to previous crosscultural studies that focused primarily on the comparison between nations (e.g., An, 2007; Marcus & Gould, 2000; Robbins & Stylianou, 2003), the clustering of countries has been taken into accoun t for this study. Little has been learned about the similarity and diversity of Web site visual strategies that geogr aphically or culturally neighboring countries share. Over emphasis on site differences onl y seems to result in studies being confined to the limited se lection of countries and theore tical frameworks. Hence, this academic exploration contributes to filling the ga p in the area of global Web site communication. Additionally, the findings of this study will benefit communication professionals as well. The results of this Web site visual analys is of a broad range of countries will help communication practitioners to develop a wide r spectrum of understanding about visual strategies taking place around the globe. Those identified clusters and independent counties noted in the study may be useful information for developing effective and efficient visual strategies for organizations Web sites. Limitations and Future Research In spite of its contributions, there are some limitations to this study that should be allowed for in developing future studies. First, the local Web sites in the sample only covered those from four purposively selected brands. Although the study may portray exemplary Web site visual strategies performed by top global brands, a larger sample selection of brands may have provided still more representative results. 57

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Because this Web site content analysis utilized only numeric scales for data analysis, the study may have overlooked some information that numeric values cannot grasp. A qualitative examination about similar or different patterns of Web site visual strategies within or between regions may enrich the unders tanding of visual communicat ion on the World Wide Web. Lastly, another shortcoming of this study can be found in the nature of the Internet. As mentioned earlier in discussing methodology, the e phemeral nature of Web sites, meaning that the content and form of the Web sites are cons tantly changing and being updated, may put the reliability of findings at risk. Th e findings that the study has discovered may be a mere snap shot of the fluctuating continuum. Th is limitation of the study suggests a topic for future research: longitudinal cross-cultural studies of cha nges in Web site visu al communication. 58

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APPENDIX A CODING SHEET FOR CONTENT ANALYSIS 1. General case information 1.1. Case number: 1.2. Coder initials and date: 1.3. Name of global brand: 1.4. Host country of local Web site: 2. Graphics 2.1. Number of brand logo images: 2.2. Number of human individual photographs: 2.3. Number of human group photographs: 2.4. Number of product images: 2.5. Number of non-human object photographs: 2.6. Number of illustrations: 2.7. Number of interactive images: 3. Color 3.1. Number of text colors: 3.2. Number of background colors: 3.3. Number of menu box background colors: 59

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4. Layout 4.1. Menu 4.1.1. Number of menus on left: 4.1.2. Number of menus on right: 4.1.3. Number of menus on bottom: 4.1.4. Number of menus on top: 4.1.5. Number of drop-down menus: 4.2. Graphics 4.2.1. Number of graphics on left: 4.2.2. Number of graphics on right: 4.2.3. Number of graphics on bottom: 4.2.4. Number of graphics on top: 4.2.5. Number of graphics in middle: 60

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APPENDIX B CODING BOOK FOR CONTENT ANALYSIS Coder Instructions: Please code the variables you were given on the sa mple list according to this codebook. The unit of analysis for this study is lim ited to the front page of the brands web sites. If an introductory page in flash format appears, sk ip that page and start coding the following page. If you have any question as to which variables to code, feel free to contact the coding trainer. 5. General case information 5.1. Case number Assign a unique number identifying each Web site. 5.2. Coder initials and date Coder should include their init ials and the date of coding. 5.3. Name of global brand Type in the name of global brand of the coded Web site. 5.4. Host country of local Web site Type in the host country of the coded local Web site. 61

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6. Graphics Count the number of specified graphics that app ear on the front page of the Web site. A graphic used for any format (i.e., background, menu buttons, banners and fl ash files) should be included. If a flash contains several images c ount each slide as an individual graphic. Graphics Operational Definition 1. Number of brand logo images Count the number of brand logo images that appear on front page of the Web site. 2. Number of human individual photographs Count the number of human model photographs that show only one person in one image. 3. Number of human group photographs Count the number of human gr oup photographs that show a group of people in one image. An image that presents two or more people is considered as a human group photograph. 4. Number of product images Count the number of product im ages that appear on front page of the Web site. 5. Number of non-human object photographs Count the number of photogr aphs that do not contain a human model. Do not take product images into account. 6. Number of illustrations Count the number of graphics that are not photographed. An image which is either hand drawn or computer generated is considered as an illustration. 7. Number of interactive images Count the number of intera ctive images (i.e., flash, animated banners). Although a flash is composed of a collection of slides, if it is poste d as a single file, count it as one. 62

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7. Color Count the number of colors used for the specif ied elements on the front page of the Web site. Although some of the colors are in the same direction of hue, if the shades are visibly different, consider them as different colors. For example, if navy blue and light blue appear on a Web site, identify them as two different colors. Color Operational Definition 1. Number of text colors Count the number of colors that are used for texts. 2. Number of background colors Count the number of colors that are used in the background of a Web page. 3. Number of menu box colors Count the number of colors that are used for menu boxes 8. Layout 8.1. Menu Count the number of dominant menus that are po sitioned in the specifie d location on front page of the Web site. Regarding iden tification of dominant menus, refer to the following description: Dominant menus are usually charac terized by the larger text or images compared to any other sub-menus. Dominant menus can also be id entified by their location on the page. Among different levels of menus on left, for exampl e, the higher the menus are positioned, the higher they are in rank. When identifying location of menus (left, right, bottom and top), imagine a vertical or horizontal line in the middle of th e page and see on which side menus are listed. 63

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64 Menus Operational Definition 1. Number of menus on left: Count the number of menus on left side of the Web page. 2. Number of menus on right: Count the number of menus on right side of the Web page. 3. Number of menus on bottom Count the number of menus on bottom of the Web page. 4. Number of menus on top Count the number of menus on top of the Web page. 5. Number of drop-down menus Count the number of drop-down menus on front page of the Web site. A menu that contains a string of submenus in a drop-down format should be counted as one. 8.2. Graphics Count the number of graphics positioned in sp ecified areas. When id entifying location of graphics (left, right, bottom and top), imagine a vertical or hori zontal line in the middle of the page and see on which side graphics are listed. Take any types of graphics (photographs, illustrations and animation) into account. Graphic location Operational Definition 1. Number of graphics on left Count the number of graphics on left side of the Web page. 2. Number of graphics on right Count the number of graphics on right side of the Web page. 3. Number of graphics on bottom Count the number of graphics on bottom of the Web page. 4. Number of graphics on top Count the number of graphi cs on top of the Web page. 5. Number of graphics in middle Count the number of graphics in the middle of the Web page.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Minji Kim was born and grew up in Taegu, Kor ea. She developed her cultural sensitivity since her high school years learning English, Ja panese, and Chinese in Taegu Foreign Language High School. She received her B.A. in adver tising and public relati ons from Sookmyung Womens University in 2005. She worked for a pub lic relations agency, Biz Communication and Consulting, Inc., in Seoul, Korea. In fall of 2006, she furthered her academic career with a masters program in the Department of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Upon completion of her masters program, Minji Kim continued her doctoral studies in public relations at the University of Florida for her heart is yet to be quenched of its academic curiosity. 72