This study aims to develop a theoretical concept by examining the country image effects on luxury value perception, a matter past studies have overlooked. Multiple facets of country image, cognitive and affective dimensions, have been developed to evaluate perceived luxury value and purchase intention. However, no prior studies have considered all the types of perceived luxury values: utilitarian value, hedonic value, symbolic value and economic value, considered in relation to cognitive and affective country image in an emerging country’s market. Accordingly, this study has attempted to explore the ways Thai luxury consumers perceive the image of the country and the influence of the perceived value of Thai luxury brands, to learn which country attributes strengthen the luxury brand’s value and customers’ purchase intention.
A total of 407 Thai respondents, who were luxury-product consumers who knew and previously had bought either Thai luxury brands or global luxury brands, comprised the final sample examined. Structural Equation Modeling was employed in this research to test the research hypotheses. The structural model proposed a causal relationship between two endogenous constructs, cognitive and affective country images, and five exogenous constructs: utilitarian value, hedonic value, symbolic value, economic value and purchase intention.
The findings confirmed that countries are like brands in that the perceived image of each country’s aspects, cognitive and affective, influences the perceived value in each dimension differently, and so affects purchase intention. This implies that the evaluation of perceived quality or perceived value for money, as in past studies, cannot accurately demonstrate what particular benefits consumers receive when they utilize the country-image cue. Country image has both symbolic and emotional significances for consumers. The findings have provided a more precise measure of the effects of country image as well as important information on country positioning the in the world market.
There are some limitations in this study. The reliance on Thai samples from one city has limited the generalizability of the findings. Moreover, this study considered only one country of brand origin, and only one product category has been chosen as the stimulus, which together are the major limitations of this study. Future research could also consider further testing country image effects on value perception with other extrinsic attributes, rather than using a single cue, as this study did. Additionally, antecedent variables that may have an influence on country-image effects should be considered in future studies.
The relation of country image and value perception could help both governments and companies support their national brands more effectively, or to export products in accordance with the image aspect that most strongly impacts consumers’ positive perception of value. Moreover, it would be valuable for companies producing luxury products to know which country attributes strengthen the brand’s value. Luxury-brand managers will have to take these aspects into consideration when developing their communications strategies (Krupka et al., 2014).
There is a lack of research as regards the impact of a brand name’s perceived origin on the luxury perception associated with that brand (Salciuviene et al., 2010). This research is the first to investigate the theoretical framework of luxury value perception found in relation to cognitive and affective country images. From an academic perspective, this study sought to increase the theoretical research relating to the ambiguous conceptualization of the country-image effect on consumers’ perception of value in luxury products. Additionally, the relation of country image to luxury value perception could help both governments and companies support their national luxury brands more effectively, or to export luxury products in accordance with the image aspect that most strongly impacts consumers’ positive perception of value.
Vijaranakorn, K. and Shannon, R. (2017), "The influence of country image on luxury value perception and purchase intention", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 88-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/JABS-08-2015-0142Download as .RIS
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