The purpose of this paper is to decompose the concept of country of origin (COO) and test the influence of country of design (COD) and country of manufacture (COM) on consumer evaluations of bi‐national products (products designed in one country and manufactured in another). In addition to global country images, the paper aims to introduce the concept of “fit” or the logical connection between product categories and the COD or COM.
Relationships between constructs (perceived product quality, COD image, COM image and perceived fits) are hypothesized and data are collected via survey on the Tunisian market. Each of the 389 respondents evaluated different combinations (COD/COM) for two product categories (automobiles and television sets). All hypotheses are tested using multiple regression analysis.
The paper finds that the concept of fit between country image (both COD and COM) and product category is an important determinant of product evaluations. For products with status symbolic meanings (automobiles), consumers from emerging countries are more sensitive to COD than for more private goods (television sets) for which COM and COM/product fit are important.
This study used two informational cues (COD and COM), and fairly complex durable goods. Results need to be expanded and confirmed with other product categories on other emergent markets.
Practical implications of the study are that, beyond country images, measurement of fit between COD or COM and the product category will help define marketing communications and product promotions by emphasizing (or de‐emphasizing) global country information, country image/product fit, or both.
The paper provides new insights into consumer judgements of product quality for bi‐national products.
Hamzaoui, L. and Merunka, D. (2006), "The impact of country of design and country of manufacture on consumer perceptions of bi‐national products' quality: an empirical model based on the concept of fit", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 145-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760610663303
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