Consumers' use of country-of-manufacture information: Turkey versus the U.S.A.
Kurpis, L. V.
Helgeson, J. G.
Academy of Marketing Studies Journal
82 - 100
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Globalization and the growth of international trade increase the importance of strategic decisions involving the positioning of brands for successful entry into foreign markets. One of these marketing decisions concerns whether the use of the country-of-manufacture information should be emphasized or masked in brand positioning. Country-of-manufacture (the "made in") information has been shown to influence consumers' purchase decisions. However, a number of researchers have been recently questioning the universality of this impact by pointing out at the instances when consumers stated or demonstrated that the country-of-manufacture information did not significantly influence their purchase decisions. The purpose of this study is to expand our understanding of the boundary conditions for the country-of-manufacture (COM) effect. Specifically, this study examines whether the consumers from Turkey (an emerging market) or the U.S.A. (a developed market) differ in their reliance on the country-of-manufacture information. The study was conducted in non-laboratory setting, a condition that provides a more rigorous test for the study hypotheses since the influence of the country-of-manufacture information cue was examined in our study in the presence of many other information cues (product appearance, retailers' reputation, salespeople advice, etc.) that could have potentially weakened the country-of-manufacture influence on consumer decisions. The results indicate that consumers in Turkey rated the COM importance higher, were more aware of the country-of-manufacture of their recent purchases, and cited the "made in" information as a purchase-influencing factor more frequently than consumers in the U.S.A. The effects of country/culture was significant even when the data were adjusted for individual differences in consumer ethnocentrism, and the influence of income, age, and education were taken into account. Consumers' age, income, ethnocentrism and perceived importance of brands as sources of product quality information were positively related to COM importance in both countries while retailers' role as guarantors of product quality was negatively related to COM importance in the U.S.A only. This exploratory study has tested the differences between Turkish and American consumers' perceptions of the role of retailers as guarantors of product quality and their reliance on brands (ratings of brand importance). As expected, Turkish consumers gave higher ratings to brand importance and lower ratings to retailers' role as guarantors of product quality. Several possible explanations including cultural differences and stage of market development were discussed in this explanatory study.
Country of manufacture
Country of origin