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Resolving the impasse regarding research on the origins of products and brands

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the apparent controversy surrounding the relevance of country of origin (CO) and brand origin (BO) lines of research, with particular reference to an article authored by Magnusson, Westjohn, and Zdravkovic (MWZ) whose research findings assert that CO matters, irrespective of whether customers can actually recall origins of brands. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the extant literature from academic and business publications, the paper offers evidence regarding the relative unimportance of origin‐related attributes in most purchasing situations. In this context, the paper examines the atheoretic nature of CO research combined with a general lack of realistic managerial relevance, consumers’ impoverished CO and BO knowledge base, and the challenges of using CO as a positioning tool in marketing strategy. Finally, the paper examines some critical research issues regarding MWZ's contribution. Findings – Country of origin research is not as relevant in customer choice process as some scholars believe and is generally void of meaningful managerial guidelines. Originality/value – This is a commentary about an International Marketing Review article. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Marketing Review Emerald Publishing
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