Purpose – To investigate, analyse and identify the reasons for contradictory conclusions in past studies of country of origin (COO) influences on buyers' beliefs and purchase intentions. Design/methodology/approach – A review of 96 published studies, discussions and commentaries, with separate sections relating to methodological an contextual issues, the latter in separate sections relating to national cultures and stereotypes, cross‐cultural differences, product‐brand‐market‐segment variations, hybridisation, and price and communications strategies. Findings – Study contexts and methodologies varied significantly, often without an explicit rationale, and were judged inappropriate in some cases. Conflicting findings seem to be largely the result of this variation. Research limitations/implications – The observed variations and contradictions hinder generalisation and theory building. COO studies should be pursued from a target customer perspective and should adopt a comprehensive approach that incorporates the influences, interactions and potential interconnectedness of factors such as brand names, hybridization of offerings, communication and promotional activities, customer characteristics and market dynamics. Practical implications – Marketing practitioners cannot treat COO as a self‐contained marketing and marketing communications strategy, but need to consider the effects, interactions and interconnectedness of other influences on customer beliefs and buying intentions. A more integrated approach is urgently required. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council's success in exporting to Taiwan offers a case example of effective implementation of COO strategy. Originality/value – A wide‐ranging evaluation of the frequently flawed research studies available as the basis for developing theory and practice with respect to the role and effect of COO in marketing.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 13, 2007
Keywords: Country of origin; Consumer behaviour; Buying behaviour; Study methodology
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