Country Image and Brand Perception of Hybrid Products from Emerging Economies
Posted: 14 Nov 2012
Date Written: October 2012
The multiple country-of-origin products, or so called hybrid products, gain more and more interest in today’s consumer research filed, as empirical studies have shown that while products from industrialized countries generally enjoy positive country image both at home and abroad, products from the emerging market economies suffer liabilities of negative country image. The present study seeks to empirically test whether the country-of-origin sub-components: country-of-design (COD), country-of-assembly (COA), and country-of-parts (COP), of a product with Western and non-Western countries-of-origin is important in the evaluation of unknown brands. Data were collected using a questionnaire that was administered to 345 students at Aalborg University (with 243 usable questionnaires after data editing). The results show that the student respondents do find the country of origins important when forming their brand perception or assessing the product; and they also ranked the products with COD and COA coming from developed countries as the highest. This suggests that emerging economy images remain unfavorable among younger consumers and firms may minimize these liabilities through branding strategies and/or their choice of alliance partners.
Keywords: hybrid products, country of origin, emerging economy
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