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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Maria Sääksjärvi, Katarina Hellén and George Balabanis

The purpose of this paper is to examine women’s reactions to celebrity endorsers holding positive and negative public images and the consequences for purchase intentions…

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4409

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine women’s reactions to celebrity endorsers holding positive and negative public images and the consequences for purchase intentions of the endorsed product.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the social comparison literature and applies the theory of upward and downward comparisons to the celebrity endorsement context.

Findings

Study 1 shows that exposure to celebrities holding a positive public image decrease consumers’ temporal self-esteem, while celebrities holding a negative public image increase temporal self-esteem. Study 2 suggests that this change in self-esteem transfers to the product depending upon the type of social comparison focus (similarity vs dissimilarity) which people have. Study 3 shows that for consumers low in true self-esteem, i.e. self-esteem based upon a stable foundation, celebrities holding a positive public image decrease purchase intentions. For consumers high in true self-esteem, there was no difference between exposure to celebrities holding a positive and a negative public image for purchase intentions. Study 4 focused on replicating the results found in Studies 1-3 in the context of an achievement celebrity (as opposed to a regular celebrity). The findings in Study 4 provide further support for the results of Studies 1 and 3, and identify expert celebrities as a boundary condition for the effects found in Study 2.

Practical implications

The results provide evidence suggesting that celebrities holding a negative public image can be used as celebrity endorsers in product categories in which it can be considered helpful to protect women’s self-esteem, such as beauty products or self-expressive products.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature on celebrity endorsement by adding a boundary condition for the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement. According to the results, choosing a positive celebrity can, for some groups, have negative effects on purchase intensions and that a negative celebrity might be the safer choice.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Carmen Lopez and George Balabanis

Extant research has largely treated country image (CI) as an exogenous variable, focusing mostly on its consequences for consumers’ evaluations and purchases of products…

Abstract

Purpose

Extant research has largely treated country image (CI) as an exogenous variable, focusing mostly on its consequences for consumers’ evaluations and purchases of products or brands originating from a country. Scant research has examined the instrumental role of a country’s brands and products in the evaluations of CI. This study aims to investigate how the brands of a country contribute to CI ratings and the conditions underlying their effect on CI.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies test the hypotheses, one pertaining to the effect of brands on CI (N = 227), the second to the effect of products on CI (N = 116) and the third to the effect of brands and products on industry image (N = 215). The experimental approach overcomes the limitations of cross-sectional surveys commonly used in CI studies to detect the direction of the observed effects. Furthermore, respondents (British consumers) were allowed to determine the brands and products associated with a country.

Findings

Drawing on memory schema theory, across three studies, the authors identify two types of reverse inferences: from brand to CI and from product category to CI. The reverse inference from a brand to a superordinate image is stronger for industry image than for CI.

Research limitations/implications

This research focuses on consumers’ evaluations from only one country (the UK). Further research could replicate the studies across different countries and with different countries of origin (COOs). Researchers could also examine the influence of brands misidentified with the wrong COO and mistakenly stored as such in consumers’ memories.

Practical implications

The results are relevant for managers and consultants working with country- (place-) branding campaigns. Brands and industries can help strengthen the evaluations of the economic dimension of different countries; however, these assets are underdeveloped in country-branding campaigns. Linking countries with brands and industries in campaigns could result in positive associations, which, in turn, could enhance the reputational rating of the countries.

Originality/value

This research extends previous studies on the effects of a country’s products and brands on CI by incorporating the mediating role of industry image between brands/products and CI, separating the effects of brand and product category on CI, allowing consumers to determine, which brands and products are associated with a country and adopting an experimental methodology to ascertain the causal direction of the effects.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Ting-Hsiang Tseng, George Balabanis and Matthew Tingchi Liu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the inconsistency of explicit and implicit domestic country bias (DCB) across different types of products and in the context of two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the inconsistency of explicit and implicit domestic country bias (DCB) across different types of products and in the context of two countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies in two countries are conducted to examine the inconsistencies in implicit and explicit DCB. The first study collected data through mall intercept survey method in Taiwan and identified 189 valid respondents. The second study applied a mixed (within and between subjects) factorial experiment in China using 200 subjects.

Findings

Results show that explicit and implicit attitudes are moderately related to each other. The results also confirm that ethnic product typicality can explain inconsistencies in both explicit and implicit DCB. For ethnically typical products, DCB is more pronounced in consumers’ explicit attitudes than in consumers’ implicit attitudes. On the contrary, for ethnically atypical goods, DCB makes itself present in both explicit and implicit attitudes.

Originality/value

The results shed new light on DCB and confirm that the bias could divaricate between explicit and implicit attitudes in the case of ethnically typical products.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

George Balabanis and Nikoletta-Theofania Siamagka

Despite the well-established impact of consumer ethnocentrism (CET) on purchase intentions, extant literature offers limited evidence on actual purchase behaviour. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the well-established impact of consumer ethnocentrism (CET) on purchase intentions, extant literature offers limited evidence on actual purchase behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to address the gap by investigating the factors underlying variations in CET behaviour using reported brand purchases. Product category, product cost and visibility, brand and country of origin (COO) of purchased products are investigated for their impact on the differences in the behavioural effects of CET.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses survey data collected in the USA from a sample of 468 consumers. Self-reported brand purchases are used and involve ten product categories, 432 brands, and 22 countries of origin. Logistic regressions for repeated measures are used to test the hypotheses formulated.

Findings

The results confirm that product category is an important determinant of the behavioural effects of CET. CET also has a significant impact on purchases of the most expensive product categories rather than frequently purchased convenient items. Contrary to existing empirical evidence, cultural similarity does not mitigate the negative effects of CET and product visibility does not strengthen the behavioural effect of CET.

Practical implications

The study results should enhance managers’ understanding of the determinants of ethnocentric behaviour. The results caution managers about the value of self-reported measures and indicate that product features other than COO may be more effective in mitigating the negative effects of CET.

Originality/value

This study contributes to extant literature on CET and COO by investigating, for the first time, the problem of inconsistent predictions of purchase behaviour in the context of foreign vs domestic brands. For this purpose, the study adopted a novel methodological approach to investigate actual brand purchases.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Irene R.R. Lu, Louise A. Heslop, D. Roland Thomas and Ernest Kwan

Country image (CI) has been one of the most studied topics in international business, marketing, and consumer behaviour of the past five decades. Nevertheless, there has…

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1296

Abstract

Purpose

Country image (CI) has been one of the most studied topics in international business, marketing, and consumer behaviour of the past five decades. Nevertheless, there has been no critical assessment of this field of research. The purpose of this paper is to understand the status and evolution of CI research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review 554 articles published in academic journals over 35 years. The authors examine publication, authorship, and research procedure trends in these articles as an empirical and quantitative assessment of the field. The authors identify weaknesses and strengths, and the authors address disconcerting and encouraging trends.

Findings

The authors find a number of laudatory trends: CI research is becoming less US-centric, more theory driven, more sophisticated in methodology, evaluating more diverse product categories, and making use of multiple cue studies. There are, however, two major methodological concerns: poor replication and questionable generalizability of findings. The authors also noted the influence of CI articles has been decreasing, as well as their rate of publication in top tier journals.

Originality/value

Since the authors present data that reflect actual practices in the field and how such practices have changed across time, the authors believe the study is of substantial value to CI researchers, journal editors, and instructors whose curriculum includes CI. The critical assessment and subsequent recommendations are accordingly empirically justified.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

George Balabanis, Marios Theodosiou and Evangelia S. Katsikea

Export marketing research over the last four decades has covered a number of theoretical and practical issues such as standardisation and customisation, export development…

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3847

Abstract

Export marketing research over the last four decades has covered a number of theoretical and practical issues such as standardisation and customisation, export development processes, barriers to exporting, export performance, etc. Rapid technological, institutional, legislative, economic and attitudinal changes across the globe pose challenges for the future development of export marketing research. The emergence of turbulent and hypercompetitive business environments calls for exporters to reconsider the bases and sustainability of their competitive advantage to overseas markets. In particular, future research should focus on the identification of the right export marketing capabilities that firms should develop or acquire, the ability to leverage or transfer them across markets, and the ability to constantly upgrade them using proper organisational learning routines. Of critical importance are the processes used to develop capability‐based strategies and to manage relationships with international customers. This double issue comprises ten articles that deal with some of the main challenges posed to export marketing.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 21 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1993

George I. Balabanis and Michael J. Baker

Recently many EC countries have expressed an increasing interest inthe development of strong trading companies (TCs) which will assist inthe growth of national exports…

Abstract

Recently many EC countries have expressed an increasing interest in the development of strong trading companies (TCs) which will assist in the growth of national exports. However, a lack of clear direction for the envisaged TCs′ development has been observed. Attempts to identify the mechanisms by which TCs change their structure and strategies. A set of internal and external factors which influence TCs′ development and change has been identified and combined in a comprehensive conceptual framework. Both institutional and competitive (market) approaches are included. Based on this theoretical framework the direction of European TCs′ development route across a number of possible dimensions is explored. The research involved a sample of large EC TCs and a sample of EC environmental agents which were found to influence directly or indirectly TCs′ development.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2011

Ting‐Hsiang Tseng and George Balabanis

The purpose of this paper is to test the applicability of product typicality in explaining the product‐specificity of country of origin (COO) effects.

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3844

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the applicability of product typicality in explaining the product‐specificity of country of origin (COO) effects.

Design/methodology/approach

To help select stimuli used in the study, two dimensions of product typicality regarding COO images were created. A total of 416 participants from a business school in Taiwan participated in this experiment and rated their perceived COO images and attitudes towards specific products from select countries.

Findings

The results indicate that product typicality can help explain the discrepancies between COO images across products from a country, and across COOs of a product. Typical products received more favourable consumer attitudes and stronger COO images than atypical ones. This study also manipulated two other factors, product type and product category level. While product type had no significant impact on the effects of typicality, tests on product category level revealed enhanced effects for subordinate product categories.

Originality/value

The study provides a stepping stone towards the development of a general theory of COO. By testing the effects of a category‐based concept, typicality, in the context of the COO image, this study formally testifies the applicability of categorisation theories on COO effects, which may provide informative sources for the future development of COO studies. Based on the rationale of typicality, this study also tests the possible moderation effects of product types and category levels.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

George Balabanis, Ruth E. Stables and Hugh C. Phillips

Examines the degree to which leading UK charities have adopted the marketing concept in the last five years and how this has affected their performance. Based on Kohli and…

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7442

Abstract

Examines the degree to which leading UK charities have adopted the marketing concept in the last five years and how this has affected their performance. Based on Kohli and Jaworski’s (1990) work, an adaptation of the MARKOR scale was used to measure charities’ orientation towards their markets for funds and volunteers (donors). A mail questionnaire was sent to the top 200 UK charity organizations and a response rate of 29 per cent was achieved. Although charities’ orientation towards their donor market is still relatively low, it has significantly increased in the last five years. No differences in the levels of donor market orientation among different type of charities were observed. Donor market orientation was negatively related to the organizational size and the number of departments. A lag effect between donor market orientation and performance was detected. Discusses limitations and recommendations for future research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

George Balabanis, Rene Mueller and T.C. Melewar

By using a core element of culture, human values, the paper seeks to identify patterns in the way individuals perceive other countries and their products. Based on the…

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4567

Abstract

By using a core element of culture, human values, the paper seeks to identify patterns in the way individuals perceive other countries and their products. Based on the above a conceptual framework and a set of hypotheses were developed. Variables such as direct contact with a country, fluency in a country’s language as well as demographic differences are included as control variables. Results indicated that human values can predict better country of origin images than other variables. However, the predictive ability of different human values was inconsistent across the two samples, suggesting that the context within which values are developed is important.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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