Country's image could influence product purchases, study finds

CHICAGO — Consumers are willing to pay more for a product that comes from a country with a favorable image, according to a new study.

In an article appearing this month in the American Marketing Association's Journal of International Marketing, study authors said they asked participants — college students from Germany — in four different experiments about their willingness to purchase a brand from a different countries. For example, the authors found that participants were willing to purchase Evian water and Nike products from France and the United States, respectively, and were willing to pay more for them, compared with such nations and Turkey and South Korea. The authors also noted, however, the price differential became less substantial the more familiar consumers are with the brand in question, regardless of where the brand originates.

These findings, the AMA said, could help marketers with their pricing decisions and highlight attributes that could boost profit, while at the same time consider the impact on price and consumers' willingness if products are made in a a country with a less favorable image.

"Our findings show that consumers not only prefer and assign a higher value to branded products from a country of origin with a favorable country image but also are willing to spend more money to obtain them," study authors Nicole Koschate-Fischer, Katharina Oldenkotte and Adamantios Diamantopoulos said.

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