The Country of Origin Effect on Consumers – All You Should Know About It

7 Sep 2016 – “Made In” is everywhere in political and economic discourses. Most country-leaders engage themselves in the so-called Nation-branding, to attract investors and stimulate demand for local products, thus sustaining local manufacturing and production of goods and services. Labels are specifically created (e.g. Origine France Garantie) and clusters develop communication plans to touch the general public (e.g. Dubai Fashion Council).

It is therefore key to integrate all these tactics and strategies in some way that is consistent with how the ‘Made In’ impacts consumer behavior. In this presentation, we present an integrated framework displaying all facets of this CoO (Country of Origin) effect. Actually, the stated or assumed origin of a product impacts at various levels and with various degree consumers (with differences from one category to another one), as any other product information that will be processed during the decision making process.

The notion of ‘origin’ refers to different realities: from the origin of the ingredients to the assembly place, including the manufacturing, the design and the headquarters’ locations. The consumer will show some tendency to compare this origin with what he knows about it (his past experience with the country) and with what is said about it (including stereotypes), especially via three dimensions: perceived warmness, perceived technical competency, and cultural and economic perceived proximity with his own country. The combination of these experience and halo effects impacts in a more or less important fashion the consumer’s behavior, and at several stages of the decision-making process. The degree with which the country-of-origin impacts the various stages of the decision-making-process depends on consumer-related variables such as his implication level in the decision-making process or ethnocentricity score, and product-related variables such as product type (hedonic vs. more functional or the type of risk(s) associated with the product (e.g. psychological, financial, social, etc. risk).

Dr. Anne-Flore Maman LarraufieSémioConsult & ESSEC presented some key findings from a study conducted for the French Ministry of Economy, dealing with the values associated with Made in France in several product categories.




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