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Journal of International Business Studies (2007) 38, 726–745

& 2007 Academy of International Business All rights reserved 0047-2506 $30.00 www.jibs.net

Country image and consumer-based brand
equity: relationships and implications for
international marketing
Ravi Pappu1,
Pascale G Quester2 and
Ray W Cooksey3
1
UQ Business School, University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia; 2School of Commerce,
University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia;
3
New England Business School, University of
New England, Armidale, Australia

Correspondence:
R Pappu, UQ Business School,
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law,
University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072
QLD, Australia.
Tel: þ 61 7 3365 6567;
Fax: þ 61 7 3365 6988;
E-mail: r.pappu@business.uq.edu.au

Abstract
This paper examines the relationships between consumers’ country-level and product-level images of a country, and the equity they associate with a brand from that country, using canonical correlation analysis. Results from mallintercept surveys conducted in an Australian state capital city indicated that the consumer-based equity of a brand was significantly associated with both the macro and micro images of the country of origin of the brand. The relationship between these two sets of constructs was found to be positive as well as product category specific. Furthermore, each consumer-based brand equity dimension contributed differently to the relationship according to the product category, while the contribution of both country image dimensions (macro and micro) was also product category specific. Results also showed that cars, as a product category, are more sensitive to country image than televisions. These findings have direct and important implications for international marketers. Journal of International Business Studies (2007) 38, 726–745. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400293

Keywords: country image; consumer-based brand equity; international branding; country of origin; international marketing

Received: 29 February 2004
Revised: 31 May 2006
Accepted: 5 September 2006
Online publication date: 28 June 2007

Introduction
From a consumer or marketing perspective, brand equity has been referred to as consumer-based brand equity (Yoo and Donthu,
2001). Despite prolific research on both country image and brand equity over the past few decades, the extant marketing literature does not explain whether consumer-based equity of a brand is linked to the macro and micro images of the country in which it is produced. Further, it is not clear whether the impact of country image on the consumer-based equity of a brand is product category specific. Therefore this study examines whether macro country image, micro country image and consumer-based brand equity are related, and whether these relationships hold across different product categories.

The present research provides new findings and offers support to existing findings. Its main contribution is that it extends brand equity research (e.g., Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993; Yoo and Donthu, 2001) into the international context, by providing empirical evidence of the relationship between consumer-based brand equity dimensions and the macro and micro country images of a brand.

Country image and consumer-based brand equity

Ravi Pappu et al

727

While extant research in marketing has provided
evidence of the relationships between some of the
consumer-based brand equity dimensions (e.g.,
perceived quality/brand image) and the macro and
micro country images, neither ‘brand image’ nor
‘perceived quality’ was treated or recognised as a
dimension of brand equity in these studies. Hence
the present research is one of the first studies
examining the relationship between these two sets
of constructs. Another contribution to the literature is our suggestion that the relative impact of macro and micro country images on consumer-based
brand equity may also be product category specific.
Furthermore,...
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