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Paper info: INNOVATIVE FORMS OF MARKETING INTEGRATION IN LOCAL NETWORKS

Title


INNOVATIVE FORMS OF MARKETING INTEGRATION IN LOCAL NETWORKS

Authors


Andrea Runfola
Università degli Studi di Perugia
Italy
Andrea Runfola and
Simone Guercini
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Italy
Simone Guercini

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.

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Abstract


Marketing cooperation (i.e. trade fairs organization, export consortia) has been regarded as a factor of success for local systems composed of small and medium-sized businesses. Furthermore, the cooperative dimension has been considered relevant for the development and maintenance of manufacturing capacity in the various local areas (i.e. industrial districts). Traditional forms of marketing cooperation among the players of a local network are currently facing a challenge from the type of competition that characterizes the present-day international scene, which is increasingly evolving towards buyer-driven and geographically diversified networks. Such a situation stands in contrast to the more traditional systems of marketing and coping with competition. In this context, new forms of marketing cooperation emerge in the local network of fashion firms, and include the integration of cooperative retail strategies (i.e. store openings) and branding (i.e. brand management). These new forms seem to be characterized by a more complex level of integration of marketing processes and refer to an "aggregation" of actors created to establish suitable links with the final market.  Consequently, new forms of cooperation can have relevant impacts on buyer-seller relationships. In fact, they can be considered by traditional customers of small/medium local firms (i.e. big buyers) as threats or opportunities to deal with. Such a situation is occurring in the fashion industry, where recent developments (i.e. geographical diversification of the supply chains, global shift of manufacturing, increased power of retailers, emerging role of suppliers from ",low wage", countries) seem to strain traditional marketing cooperation forms leading to the development of new forms. Empirically, the paper presents three cases which are investigated in depth and which represent innovative forms of marketing integration in local networks of fashion firms.