To extend the understanding of country image to the country whose image is less distinctive, the purpose of this paper is to examine two salient factors: one country’s prototypical brand and its cultural influence (i.e. Korean Wave) on shaping the country’s image in the context of Korea and its subsequent impact on product evaluation and purchase intention. Built on the prototype and schema theories, a research framework is proposed and empirically tested on two product categories (cosmetics and tires).
Data were collected from US consumers ages 20 and older and analyzed using structural equation modeling.
The findings largely supported the proposed framework with two additional paths (Korean Wave to product quality and Korean Wave to purchase intention). In both product categories, the findings confirmed that the image transfers from the prototypical brands (e.g. Samsung) to the country image (i.e., Korea), from Korean Wave to country image, and from the macro country image to the micro country image. The influence of the prototypical brand image was greater than that of the Korean Wave. However, some differences were found across product categories; the positive impact of the macro image on product quality evaluation was supported only for tires, not in the case of the cosmetics. The path from the Korean Wave to product quality evaluation was significant only for the cosmetics, and not for the tires.
These findings provided new theoretical perspectives for country image studies, and practical insights for companies, especially in countries whose image is less distinctive, to help develop effective marketing strategies in different product categories.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015S1A3A2046811).
Jin, B., Yang, H. and Kim, N. (2019), "Prototypical brands and cultural influences: Enhancing a country’s image via the marketing of its products", Management Decision, Vol. 57 No. 11, pp. 3159-3176. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-01-2018-0057
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