Purpose – The pupose of this paper is to investigate consumers' behavior in emerging countries. In particular, it simultaneously assesses the effects of country image and country‐of‐origin's image on consumers' uncertainty, aspiration and purchasing intention of high‐tech products. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a sample of 479 Chinese consumers, structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships. Findings – Results show that compared to country‐of‐origin, country's image is a more effective tool in reducing consumers' uncertainty and increasing their aspiration to purchase high technology products. Contrary to country's image, however, country‐of‐origin's image plays a considerable role in influencing the product image. Research limitations/implications – The major role of a country‐of‐origin is to influence product image while that of country's image is to increase consumers' aspiration to acquire its product and diminish their uncertainty and hesitation about buying the product. In other words, the image of a product is much more prone to the effect of country‐of‐origin's image than country's image. Practical implications – Marketers should understand that consumers in emerging countries are ambivalent when they consider the purchase of complex products. On the one hand, highlighting the country image can contribute in alleviating consumers' uncertainty and increasing their aspiration to purchase sophisticated and complex products. On the other hand, promoting the country‐of‐origin's image can prove an effective means to improve product image in emerging markets. Originality/value – Most of the previous studies have focused on one of the two concepts (i.e. country's image or country‐of‐origin), interchangeably used both of them, and relatively ignored their simultaneous impact on consumer behavior. The present study has tried to address this shortfall through simultaneously studying their influences on product image and consumer purchase intention; and highlighting their differential impacts.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 23, 2011
Keywords: Country image; Country‐of‐origin's image; Product image; Emerging markets; Consumers' uncertainty and aspiration; Consumers; High‐tech products; Purchase intention