Purpose: Globalization and outsourcing have decoupled country of origin into the country of origin of manufacture (COM) and the country of origin of the brand (COB). This study seeks to extend the work of Gurhan-Canli and Maheswaran and Lee et al. by investigating the interactive influence of COB and personal involvement with a product on purchase intention.
Design/methodology/approach: A total of 168 young adults in Hong Kong were intercepted for mall interviews and presented with mock advertisements for personal computers ostensibly with brands originating in Japan and Korea. Their personal involvement with such products was measured using an instrument designed by Zaichkowsky, and their purchase intentions were self-assessed.
Findings: COB was found to predict purchase intentions among consumers with a low level of personal involvement with computers, but not among consumers with a high level of personal involvement.
Research limitations/implications: First, to improve internal validity, the study involved a single product type and a sample limited to 15-34 year olds. However, this improvement in internal validity places limitations on generalisability. Second, a median split was used to divide the subjects into low and high involvement groups. Third, only one dependent variable, purchase intention, was studied.
Practical implications: For marketers whose product is branded in a country with a favorable image, emphasizing the COB would be appropriate when communicating with low involvement consumers. Marketers whose product is branded in a country with a less favorable image ought to emphasize other peripheral cues when communicating with low involvement consumers.
Originality/value: By finding that COB has a significant impact on the purchase intentions of low involvement consumers, but not with those more highly involved, this research constitutes a small but important extension of the conclusions of Gurhan-Canli and Maheswaran and Lee et al.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Business and International Management
- Country of origin
- Consumer behaviour
- Buying behaviour
- Hong Kong