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Does country‐of‐origin matter in the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention in emerging economies? Evidence from China's auto industry

Xuehua Wang (Faculty of Management and Administration, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau, China)
Zhilin Yang (Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 18 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper aims to investigate the relationship between brand personality, country‐of‐origin (COO) image and purchase intention. Specifically, it is suggested that COO image exerts both main and interaction impact on purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross‐city survey of China's auto industry for the Sino‐German Joint Venture's auto brand of Bora was conducted to test hypotheses, predicted on a sample of 1,200 respondents. Another sample for Japan and the Sino‐Japanese Joint Venture's Honda auto brand was used for validation.

Findings

Results reveal that both brand personality and COO image exert significant positive main effects on purchase intention. Furthermore, COO image is found to be a positive moderator in the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention. Specifically, a positive COO image could enhance brand personality's positive impact on purchase intention, whereas a negative COO image could significantly decrease the positive brand personality effect on purchase intention. Companies with both weak brand personality and a negative COO image achieve a higher purchase intention than those with weak brand personality, yet a positive COO image.

Originality/value

This study provides new theoretical insights into factors influencing consumers' purchase decision making by incorporating COO image as a moderator in the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention. It also offers joint ventures useful advice on whether to emphasize brand origin. If a company is weak in both brand personality and COO image, it is better not to emphasize brand origin.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, X. and Yang, Z. (2008), "Does country‐of‐origin matter in the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention in emerging economies? Evidence from China's auto industry", International Marketing Review, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 458-474. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651330810887495

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited