Argues that, although researchers have studied several aspects of brands which may affect consumer purchasing processes, one significant characteristic of many brands ‐ the origin cues that they contain ‐ has received little or no attention. Reviews current research in the country‐of‐origin area related to branding, as well as the work done by other researchers on brand personality and brand image. Distinguishes brand origin from country of origin, and shows how this concept could be valuable in resolving a methodological problem with some country‐of‐origin studies. Surveys ways in which brand origin is used in practice, both implicitly and explicitly, and discusses the relationship between brand origin and the concept of the global brand. Finally, highlights potential problems associated with the use of brand origin, draws managerial implications relating to its use, and suggests areas where research is needed.
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