The Concept of Culture of Brand Origin (COBO) A New Paradigm in the Evaluation of Origin Effect
Origin information of a product was once perceived to be the most significant pulling factor that attracted consumers to the brand. However ‘Made In’ is becoming irrelevant in today’s marketing context due to the globalization effect as a product may be designed, assembled and manufactured in different countries. There were some gaps identified in the studies conducted so far. In majority of COO studies, respondents were usually required to appraise a product from a particular country. Therefore it evaluated image of the product and not the country. Also the emphasis was given on origin effect at product level and not the brand level. Therefore to close the identified gaps, Thakor and Lavack (1996) proposed the ‘brand origin’ (BO) and highlighted a perceptible distinction between the concepts of COO and BO. They defined Brand Origin as “the place, region or country where a brand is perceived to belong by its target market”. It was later postulated that a culture effect is an important factor that can affect brand preference and purchase intention. There has been conflict between standardization of brand name and localization of brand name. It has been argued that people from diverse geographic locations and cultural backgrounds to share the same preferences, resulting in the emergence of global brands. On the other hand, many companies change the brand name of their product according to the country they target. This study postulated that the cultural characteristics that are appended to a brand are in fact the linguistics characteristics of a brand name which these factors can modify consumer’s attitude towards the brand as well as to affect his or her intention to purchase the brand.
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