Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the concept of the standardisation of products and marketing communications in an emerging market. The paper further aims to introduce a logical connection between product attributes and consumers' perceptions of product quality. Design/methodology/approach – Relationships between the product attributes of characteristic‐, benefit‐, image‐ and perceived‐product quality are hypothesized. The empirical data, which collected via a consumer survey in Almaty, Kazakhstan, are utilized to test hypotheses using structural equation modeling method. Findings – This study finds that product attributes affect differentially to consumers' evaluation of product quality. For products with higher symbolic meanings such as the automobile in Central Asia, consumers are more sensitive to the benefit attribute of the product rather than the product characteristic attribute. Research limitations/implications – This study uses a single product category and a single segment. Results need to be expanded and confirmed with other product categories in other emergent markets. Practical implications – This study implies that, beyond product standardisation, multinational firms must develop strategic marketing communications by adapting the differences of values, expectations, needs of consumers towards global products, in particular, in emerging markets. Originality/value – Very few studies in global marketing have been carried out in the Commonwealth Independent States region. In particular, to understand the intricacies of product quality judgment by Kazakh consumers towards global products is important to multinational firms that are operating in the region.
International Journal of Emerging Markets – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 10, 2009
Keywords: International marketing; Standardization; Marketing communications; Product quality; National cultures; Kazakhstan