Effect of perceived brand origin associations on consumer perceptions of quality
Mrugank V. Thakor Anne M. Lavack
Associate Professor, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Associate Professor, Faculty of Administation, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Keywords Brand identity, Country-of-origin, Corporate ownership, Consumer psychology, Component manufacturing, Manufacturing industries Abstract Reviews recent work in the country of origin and brand name literatures regarding the formation of perceptions regarding perceived brand origin. Based on this review, presents six hypotheses concerning such perceptions, including their effect on consumers' ratings of quality. Using real brands in two experiments, finds support for several of our hypotheses relating to the effects of country of component source, country of manufacture, and country of corporate ownership. In particular, finds that country of manufacture had no effect on product quality evaluations when country of corporate ownership was also present.
The recognition of the importance of brand equity has led to significant research interest on the relationship between brand characteristics and consumer brand perceptions (Aaker, 1990, 1991). One such area of research focuses on how consumer perceptions of brands are likely to be shaped by brand characteristics, such as the intrinsic properties of different brand names (Zinkhan and Martin, 1987; Meyers-Levy, 1989; Pavia and Costa, 1993). To elicit perceived country of origin associations, many brands use cues that are either implied in the brand name or in promotional appeals (Agrawal and Kamakura, 1999). This is particularly true within categories in which perceived origin or national identity is exceptionally important to their image (e.g. Gucci and Tag Heuer signify Italy