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Country of origin effects in international marketing channels: How overseas distributors account for the origins of products and brands

Byeong-Joon Moon (School of Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Han-Mo Oh (Department of International Trade, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Republic of Korea)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 10 April 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the country-of-origin (COO) effect on overseas distributors’ behaviour in international marketing channels. Integrating the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the concepts of country-induced biases, the current study develops an empirically testable model that explains and predicts overseas distributors’ behaviour in international marketing channels.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested using primary data stemmed from a survey of channel relationships between exporters and their overseas distributors. Data were collected from 103 distributors in the USA.

Findings

Empirical evidence shows that attitude towards foreign brands, social valuation of the origin of brands, and perceived behavioural control affect overseas distributors’ intention to place foreign brands. In addition, country-induced bias factors – buyer animosity and country-related affect to the origin of manufacture – are considered to be the antecedents of attitude towards foreign brands.

Research limitations/implications

Because this study adopted a cross-sectional design, the limitations of this method can be applied to the study. In addition, because of the research context, the results of the present research may lack generalizability. This manuscript, however, integrated the TPB and the concepts of country-induced biases and addressed the calls for research on the COO effects on overseas distributors’ decision in international marketing channels.

Practical implications

The manuscript suggests that to build positive attitudes towards foreign brands, a firm should focus on promotions through various media in international markets to lower animosity and the perceived risk to the origin of manufacture. In addition, firms with foreign brands need to identify and target a segment that feels comfortable about spending their resources on those brands. Finally, international marketers should focus on creating positive attitudes towards foreign brand goods and proper pricing strategies.

Originality/value

This manuscript fills the knowledge gap of the COO effect on organizational buyer behaviour in international marketing channels.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editors and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. In addition, the authors thank participants of the 2014 Global Marketing Conference held in Singapore for their constructive recommendations. This paper was supported by research funds of Chonbuk National University in 2014.

Citation

Moon, B.-J. and Oh, H.-M. (2017), "Country of origin effects in international marketing channels: How overseas distributors account for the origins of products and brands", International Marketing Review, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 224-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-03-2015-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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