Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Impact of Country of Origin and Country of Manufacture of a Brand on Overall Brand Equity

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Impact of Country of Origin and Country of Manufacture of a Brand on Overall Brand Equity

Article excerpt

Abstract

The main purpose of this study is to explore the effects of country-of-origin of a brand (COB) and country of manufacture (COM) on the overall brand equity (OBE). A second purpose of this research is to investigate the mediating role of consumer based brand equity (CBBE) on the relationship between COB and COM and overall brand equity (OBE). To undertake this, a conceptual framework was designed and relationships among its constructs COB, COM, CBBE, and OBE were hypothesized. Data were collected from consumers located in two major cities in Egypt who were the owners of the selected brands of mobile phones. All hypotheses were tested using regression analysis. Results indicate that both COB and COM have direct and significant effect on CBBE, yet COM has significant lower effect on CBBE. In addition, COB and COM have direct influence on the overall brand equity. Furthermore, unlike COB, the results emphasized the mediating effect of CBBE on the relationships between COM and the overall brand equity. The current study considers only one product category, future researches would consider different product categories, for example convenience products and non-durable ones. Further research would take into account COB and COM effects from other developed and developing countries. Different sub-dimensions of COO for example Country of Assembly (COA) and Country of Design (COD) would be researched. The value of this paper stems from decomposing country of origin into COB and COM and investigating their plausible effect on the CBBE and the overall brand equity from the Egyptian consumers' points of view. Moreover, the mediating effect of CBBE is another significant issue.

Keywords: country of origin of brand, country of manufacture, consumer based brand equity, brand equity, Egypt

1. Introduction

Since its emergence in the 1960s, branding has attracted the attention of many researchers, with special emphasis on Brand Equity (BE) (Zeugner-Roth et al., 2008; Swaminathan et al., 2009; Keller, 2010; Hamzaoui-Essoussi et al., 2011). According to Keller (2013), brand equity represents the value that consumers associate with a brand. Hence, it reflects consumers' perceptions towards a particular brand (Yasin et al., 2007). Furthermore, branding plays an integral role in acquiring and maintaining long term competitive advantage (Ha et al, 2010; Chang & Liu, 2009; Boo et al., 2009; Moradi & Zarei, 2012; Ishaq et al., 2014).

Despite the importance of brand equity, most researches concentrated on developing brand equity measurement constructs with little emphasis on factors influencing it (Valette-Florence et al., 2011). Moreover, globalization and increased international trade made products from one country available to consumers in another country. Therefore, the country of origin (COO) or the 'made in' label of a product creates secondary association (Baldauf et al., 2009). Country of origin (COO) shapes consumers perceptions, manipulates their preferences and choices of a particular brand, and their tendencies to pay more. In a developing country like Egypt, consumers perceive country of origin of a product as a manifestation of its overall quality, besides sometimes COO symbolizes status and enhance consumer's self-esteem.

However, despite the increased manifestation of multi-national organizations that encourage the emergence of bi-national products where country of origin could be decomposed into its fundamental elements (e.g., country of brand (COB), country of manufacture (COM), country of assembly (COA), and country of design (COD)), brands are still undoubtedly the organization's ultimate asset in today's competing world (Khan and Mahmood, 2012). In an international environment, researchers reported the influential effect of COO on brand equity dimensions (Pappu et al., 2006, 2007; Yasin et al., 2007; Baldauf et al., 2009).

This research is intended to add to the extant literature as follows: first, most of brand equity researches have focused on either Americans or Asian markets, with very little attention is given to developing countries. …

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