Overcoming institutional voids: Maisons Spéciales and the internationalisation of proto-modern brands

Nicholas Alexander, Anne Marie Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article explores the role of institutional voids in the internationalisation of proto-modern brands in London from the mid-1820s through to the early 1850s. Internationalising firms addressed institutional deficiencies in the market through the establishment of retail operations identified here as international maisons spéciales and by adopting marketing strategies designed to legitimate their proto-modern brands. Together, these organisational and strategic marketing responses enabled firms to overcome institutional voids and shape market norms. These mutually supporting organisational and marketing innovations occurred at a much earlier date than the literature currently suggests.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages55
JournalBusiness History
Early online date16 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2019


  • institutional voids
  • proto-modern brands
  • international retail
  • market shaping
  • brand development
  • brand indentity
  • trademark regulation
  • Regent Street
  • arenas of consumption

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