Place-of-Origin Effects on Brand Equity : Explicating the evaluative pertinence of product categories and association strength

University dissertation from Stockholm : School of Business, Stockholm University

Abstract: The country-of-origin effect - the alteration of judgment derived from an association to a place, is a much studied phenomenon with great potential implications for brand management and international marketing. However, in light of criticism towards the lack of conceptual development the extant literature, the relevance of the effect has been brought into question.Through an exploration of the psychology of the association between brands and places, the country-of-origin effect is reimagined focusing on the role of association strength as well as how the interplay between place and product categories can shape consumer attitudes.The results of a series of psychometric tests suggest that association strength and the interplay between place and product category constitute antecedent conditions that are crucial for determining if a country-of-origin effect will occur. These findings, and their implications for future research as well as for practice, suggest that a reevaluation of the country-of-origin effect with a widening of the scope to encompass the commercial relevance of place writ large is warranted.

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