The Concepts Of Country Image And Consumer Behavior

1004 Words 5 Pages
Country image is one of many extrinsic signals (e.g., brand reputation, price, etc.) that may contribute to an overall image of a product (Eroglu and Machleit, 1989). The country image is created by such variables as representative products, political and cultural environments, socio-economic development (Wang and Lamb, 1983), history, economic and political background, national characteristics, and traditions (Nagashima, 1970).

Most past research has either illustrated or assumed image of country to be multidimensional, but the number of dimensions for country image is yet agreed (Lala et al., 2009). For instance, Martina and Eroglu (1993) found two dimensions for country image: macro (country) level and micro (product) level. Jaffe and Nebenzahl
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Lantz (1998) and Ahmed et al. (2005) claimed that the concept country image is caused by country’s stereotypes, which affect the way people classify information. They also argued that the degree of effect of country image depends on the level of complexity of the product. For example, Ahmed and d’Astous (2001) insisted that the effect of the country image is larger when evaluating cars than videocassettes, because consumer tends to prefer the complex products produced in industrialised countries, hence lowering the perceived risk of product. Especially when consumer tries to make decision on high-tech products, they tend to consider much extrinsic attributes (e.g., country image), since high-tech products include complex characteristics, which are hard to evaluate (Yong, 1996). To be more exact, country with positive image reduces consumer uncertainty regarding products from that country. This view has been confirmed and reported by Leifield (1993) that country image has significant impact on risk evaluation of consumers and purchase intention. Some researchers have termed this phenomenon as ‘halo effect’, when consumers use indirect evidence (e.g., country image) to evaluate foreign products and brands due to their lack of prior knowledge. On the side of halo view, Johansson et al. (1985) stated that image of country surely affect the product evaluation, …show more content…
The halo effect suggests that consumers may not buy unfamiliar brand simply due to unfavorable inferences regarding the quality. It is claimed by Wright (1975) that consumers may adopt phased tactics in making decision among a number of brand choices from numerous countries. Phased tactics can be regarded as an appropriate heuristics in that one efficient way to simplify a complicated choice process. In addition, Howard and Sheth (1969) discussed a comparable process with the idea of a restricted evoked set of alternatives in their purchasing behavior theory. Additionally, consumers may reduce the set of alternatives by using country image to make purchase decision. Therefore it can be hypothesized that there is a greater effects of country image on purchase intention when consumers are unfamiliar with the product of country than they are not (Han, 1990). It is more effective and direct way in the sense that consumers remove a country’s brand from the set of alternatives without evaluating the brand deliberately. On the other hand, if consumers are familiar with products from a certain country, the country image may have an indirect effect than direct on purchase decisions, since consumers tend to include a country’s brand in the set of alternatives taken into account in detail, and may make a choice after they evaluate their set of

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