A critical review whether country-of-origin (COO) matters in brand

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Abstract: The researcher wants to find out the relationship between brand personality, COO and purchase intension. From my review I have seen that the research objectives are fulfilled. The research results prove that there is positive relationship between COO, brand personality and purchase intension. There is no problem of reliability, validity and bias of the research. The researcher is used the questionnaire as a data collection method which is one of most common and reliable data collation technique. The researcher used the pilot survey to test the questionnaire which increases the reliability of the reach. The researcher used the random sampling to overcome the biasness of the data. The researcher has done the validity and reliability test of the data.


The research area of this selected research is marketing. According to Dichter (1962) cited in Nes, E. and Gripsrud, G. for the acceptance and success of products COO may be very important. COO information stand out as significant in the situation of product evaluation. According to Ohmae (1989) cited in Ahmed, S. and d'Astous, A. consumers are looking for the best possible products paying lowest prices and all-time care about COO. The strength of the association between country image and buying intension depends on whether the country image matches with important product attributes or not. Peterson and Jolibert, (1995) cited in Nes, E and Gripsrud, G. that a large number of studies have confirmed that a COO effect normally exists and the size of the effect may vary.

The more expensive a product is, the consumer attachment to its country of origin, will be more important. Liu and Johnson (2005), Papadopoulos and Heslop, (1999), Schaefer (1997) cited in d'Astous, A. et al marketing studies find out that consumers use the total country image in order to make exact assumption about various product characteristics, including quality. Hong and Wyer (1989) and Okechuku and Onyemah (1999) cited in Carter. L, Lambe, C and Bluemelhuber, C. results shows that the effects of COO and brand image are stronger than the product's attributes when consumers evaluate a products.

COO effects may vary for some specific product categories. Huddleston et al. (2001) cited in Carter, L. Lambe, C. and Bluemelhuber, C. that COO has direct influence on consumers to evaluate the products. This influence is stronger for these types of products which are not necessary for daily living.

According to Keller (1993, 2003b) cited in Carter. L, Lambe, C and Bluemelhuber, C. COO information is consider as an important secondary brand association in today's globalized marketing environment.

Govers and Schoormans (2005), McCracken (1986), Holman (1981) cited in Arora,R. and Stoner, C. is that brand personality is known as the representative and exciting sense that knock consumer demand and influence purchase decision.

Veryzer(1995) cited in Arora,R. and Stoner,C. attention towards brand personality has been extended in recent years because of the complexity of product differentiation based on functionality and quality.

Holman (1981), Solomon (1983) cited in Arora,R. and Stoner,C. Brand personality represent a form of identity for consumers that express symbolic meaning for themselves and for others.

Consumers have a preference of brands which are similar to their own personalities. They prefer brands that development a personality that is reliable with their self-concepts. According to psychology research, brand personality is imagination of products and brands which have representative and emotional appeal that can influence consumer purchase decisions. Brand personality allows the consumers to form closer affection towards certain brands.

The Chinese economy is consistently growing and demand of automobile is annually increase at the rate of 20-25%. In near future china should be the third largest automobile market in the word and projected market share should be 6%. The automobile demand in china in2020 would be 20.74 million units. China has a great potential in automobile market. Because of the effect of globalization many international brand setup joint ventures plant in china with local automobile companies.

The researcher wants to find out the relationship between country of origin, band personality and purchase intension. He construct three following working hypothesis:

H1. Brand personality tends to exert a significantly positive impact on purchase intention.

H2. COO image tends to exert a significantly positive influence on purchase intention.

H3. COO image tends to positively moderate the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention.

I will find out the methodology is used by the researcher is ok or not. The literature used is strongly support the topic or not. Are there any literatures which oppose the title? Is the research result is reliable and valid? Is there any positional effect or any biasness?

Literature Review:

Lin & Chen (2006) cited in Lin,L. and Chen, C. find out that the COO image has an extensively positive impact on the consumer purchase intention.

According to Han & Terpstra(1988) cited in Lin,L and Chen, C impact of the COO image will bigger than the brand name when the consumer evaluates product quality.

According to d'Astous and Ahmed (1992) cited in Ahmed, S. and d'Astous, A .the higher the attachment with the product class, higher the possibility of using COO information in a product assessment situation.

According to Johansson (1993) cited in Ahmed, S. and d'Astous, A. the consumers who want to buy low involvement product do not pay more attention on COO information.

Han (1990) cited in Karunaratna, A. and Quester,P. stated that COO information persuades consumer's attitudes towards brands as well as purchase intension, particularly, when consumers are not familiar with the product.

According to research results conducted by Gurhan-Canli and Maheswaran (2000), Hong and Wyer (1989, 1990), Hui and Zhou (2001, 2002), Kaynak and Kara (2002), Klein et al.(1998); Roth and Romeo( 1992) cited in Carter. L, Lambe, C and Bluemelhuber, C. that COO information is an indicator to measure the quality of a particular country's products.

According to study conducted by Ahmed and d'Astous(1996), Chawla et al. (1995), Han and Terpstra (1988), Johansson et al. (1985) cited in Carter. L, Lambe, C and Bluemelhuber, C found that consumers use COO information to evaluate the product and outline attitudes toward product or brand. Bilkey and Nes (1982), Hong and Wyer (1989), Maheswaran(1994), Okechuku and Onyemah (1999), Supanvanij andAmine (2000) cited in Ahmed,Z. Johnson, J. and Boon,L. studies show that around the world's consumers use COO as an attribute in product evaluation. .

Maheswaran (1994) cited in Ahmed,Z. Johnson, J. and Boon,L.stated that in product evaluation COO is used as a method that allows the consumers to calculate the likelihood of product manufactured in a certain country having certain quality. If a product has positive COO Consumers will evaluate the product more positively.

Research Conducted by Papadopoulos and Butt in 2006 cited in Nes, E and Gripsrud, G.find out that the demand of product is affected by the information about the COO. Information about country of origin is used to assume beliefs about the quality of a product.

COO is often mentioned by consumer research respondents as an important characteristic when considering a car purchase according to Erickson et al (1984), Gupta and Ratchford (1992) cited in Chao,P. and Gupta,P.

Research conducted by Ahmed & Astous (1993) cited in Lin,L and Chen, C when consumers want to buy a car, first the brand influences the consumer to purchase, secondly is COO image, and lastly the impact of least price.

Belk (1988) cited in Arora,R. and Stoner,C. Self expression can be represented by products. Brand personality helps to grow an emotional trustworthiness among consumers.

Freling and Forbes (2005) cited in Arora,R. and Stoner,C that product evaluations and purchase intentions can be positively affected by brand personality.

Though there are some researcher whose opinions is different from the literature used by the researcher.

Schooler (1965) cited in Nes, E. and Gripsrud, G. found major differences in the way products were evaluated according the name of the country specified on a "made in" label.

Research conducted by Verlegh and Steenkamp (1999) cited in Nes, E and Gripsrud, G. indicates that because of COO there has a larger effect on perceived quality rather than on attitude toward the product and purchase intention. They also find out that there is a correlation between COO and economic development of the country.

According to Al-Sulaiti and Baker (1998) cited in d'Astous, A. et al the products made in less developed countries are less favourable than those originated from high developed countries.

The country which already has earned a name for the specific product category, example Swiss watches the product category image may be more important for brand personality than country image.

Verlegh & Steenkapm (1999) cited in Lin,L and Chen, C point out because of the globalization multinational production is widely accepted; some consumers possibly not worry the country or place of product built-up.

Hsieh (2004) cited in d'Astous, A. et al analyzing survey data from 20 nations, found that consumers have a tendency to like products that originate from countries in the same geographical region. Klein et al. (1998) cited in d'Astous, A. et al found that Chinese consumers' do not like to own Japanese products because of their anger toward Japan's past military events and economic tensions.

According to studies conducted by Balabanis and Diamantopoulos( 2004), Elliott and Cameron (1994), Hsieh (2004) cited in d'Astous, A. et al have shown that consumers have a propensity to recognize their country's products more favourably than the consumers of different countries

Elliott and Cameron (1994) cited in Carter.L, Lambe,C and Bluemelhuber,C. find out that COO is not an important product attribute when consumer evaluate products. They consider the quality and price for evaluations.

Agbonifoh and Elimimian(1999), Audhesh et al. (2003), Hong et al. (2002), Papadopulos and Heslop (1993), Pecotich et al. (1996), Pecotich and Rosenthal (2001), Peterson and Jolibert (1995) cited in Pecotich,A and Ward,A Japan, Germany and the USA which are consider as developed countries are associated with high quality products whereas newly developing nations such as Korea, China and the Philippines are associated with poorer quality product. Countries about which consumers have little information have lowest reputation.

According to conducted by Pecotich et al. (1996) cited in Pecotich,A and Ward,A research the status of an unknown country may be lesser than from a developing nation

Multiple studies conducted recently shown that COO effects on consumer product evaluations can be depend on other information. Such as according to Schooler et al. (1987) and Thorelli et al. ( 1989) is product warranty, according to Cordell (1992)Han and Terpstra (1988), Leclerc et al. (1994), Tse and Gorn (1993), Witt and Rao (1992) is brand

, ,accoding to Ettenson et al. ( 1988) is price and material contents of the product, according to Eroglu and Machleit (1989), Wall et al. (1991) is

product type and store prestige according to Chao (1989a; 1989b), Davis et al. (1990) cited in Chao,P. and Gupta,P.

According to Engel et al.(1990), Howard and Sheth (1969) cited in Chao,P. and Gupta,P. for a car, consumer choice decisions are should be to be more complex than for products that are generally less costly and less complicated.

Pecotich and

Rosenthal( 2001), Shimp and Sharma (1987) cited in Pecotich,A and Ward,A. consumers may like domestic goods for many reasons including patriotism , familiarity, and the belief that it helps the economy to boost and employment opportunity for people.


According to some research findings products evaluation by consumers is influenced by country's economic position. Consumers have more negative perceptions of products made in developing countries Wang and Lamb (1983) cited in Nebenzahl,I. and Jaffe,E.

Many Israeli consumers refused to buy Volkswagen cars made in Brazil when they find out that same model is available from Germany but in higher price.

Study conducted by Stewart and Chan (1993), cited in Nebenzahl,I. and Jaffe,E using tourist coaches as a product category ,found that Mercedes-Benz buses made in Brazil and South Korea had a significantly lower image when compared to production in home country Germany. Han and Terpstra (1988) cited in Nebenzahl,I. and Jaffe,E also found that the brand image of automobiles made in the USA and Japan is become low when production was shifted to South Korea. The conclusive evidence found from study that the product value generated by global brand names may not be more important than the effect of country image when production is moved to less developed countries

According to Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, p299) the questionnaire is the most commonly used survey data collection techniques. Self administered questionnaire are usually completed by the respondents can be delivered and returned electronically using either email or internet, posted to the respondents who return them by post after complete or delivered by hand to each respondents and collected later.

Response rate, validity and reliability of questionnaire can be maximized by conducting pilot study. The purpose of the pilot test is to improve the questionnaire so that respondents will have no problems in answering the questions and there will be no problem in recording the data according to Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2003,p 326). It will allow the researcher to get some evaluation of the questions validity and reliability of the data that will be collected.

Bell (1999, 128) cited Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. " however pressed for time you are do your best to give the questionnaire a trial run , without a trial run you have no way of knowing your questionnaire will succeed". According to fink (1995) and Dilliman (2000) cited in Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A for most student questionnaire the minimum number for a pilot is 10, although for large surveys between 100 and 200 responses is usual.

Dilliman (2000) cited in Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, p 305) three types of data variables can be collected through questionnaire: opinion, behaviour and attribute. Opinion variables verify how the respondents feel about something or what they believe or think is true or false. The researcher asked the opinions of the respondents about some auto brand.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, p 318) stated that the researchers need to be careful when translating questions and associated instruction in another language. This is very important that the questionnaire have the similar meaning to all respondents when conducting international research.

Samples are time savings, cost effective and produce quicker results. Hanry (1990) cited in Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, p170) argue that using sample makes possible to get higher accuracy. The researcher can spent more time on designing the research, pilot testing and data collecting. It is possible to collect data more details by using sample.

According to Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, P 180) random numbers allow the researcher to select the sample without bias.

According to Sarantakos. S (2005, p250-1) Likert scales are commonly used mainly for studying attitudes. Semantic differential scale is used to calculate the social units such as teachers, parents, friends or politicians.

The researcher used the exploratory study research strategy in his research. Exploratory studies helps to find out what is happening to seek new insight, to ask questions and to assess phenomena in a new light. Robson (2002) cited in Saunders, M. Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, P114).it is useful to understand a problem clearly. Exploratory research can be compare with the activities of the traveller or explorer. It is flexible and easily changeable

He collected both qualitative and quantitative data.

According to Sarantakos,S. (2005, p 148) Working hypothesis is an initial hypothesis about the research topic, commonly made when there is not enough information available to establish a hypothesis and as step towards formulating the final hypothesis.

Critical discussion:

According to Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2007, p241-244) and Sarantakos. S (2005, P 263) advantages of questionnaire are:

Questionnaire is cheap for the researchers

Using questionnaire data can be collected quickly.

The respondents can answer the questions whenever they want.

The researcher or the interviewer do not ask questions in a different way or in different order

Questionnaire cans coverage widely.

According to Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2007, p241-244) and Sarantakos. S (2005, P 263) disadvantages of questionnaire are:

The researcher cannot help the respondents to answer questions if they facing any difficulty to understand the questions.

the researchers cannot ask other kinds of questions to the respondents

It is Difficult to ask a lot of questions. The respondents feel boring if the questionnaire is too long.

Some respondents whose literacy is limited or have some specific language problem, questionnaire is not appropriate for them.

There is chance of missing data.

Results might be varying in different situation and time.

According to Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, p299) Many authors like Bell 1999, Oppenheim 2000, argue that it is difficult to produce a good questionnaire. The researcher needs to ensure that it will collect the accurate data that researcher need to answer his research questions and achieve the objectives.

Questionnaire is usually not good for exploratory or other research which requires large numbers of open ended questions. Questionnaire requires less skill.

The respondents of self administrated questionnaire are not giving answer to please the researcher or because they believe that their responses are more socially wanted. There is a chance of contamination if the respondents discuss their answers with others. Data reliability will reduce because of any contamination of respondents answer. The response rate of administrated questionnaire is low than the interviewed administrated questionnaire.

According to Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2003, P 180) Random sampling is not suitable to conduct a survey which covers a large geographic area and require a face to face contact. The travel cost will be high. Random sampling is appropriate for large geographical area if alternative techniques of collecting data such as postal questionnaire or telephone interviewing can be used.

There is no mention which type of questionnaire is used. Is it structured, semi structured or unstructured.

From the research results there is positive relationship between brand personality and purchase intension. The results from 2 and 4, the R square change are 8 percent which is statistically significant .There is a positive correlation with brand personality which proves H1.

There is positive impact of COO on purchase intension. Results from model 3 and 4, the change of R square is 1.3 percent which is statistically significant. The results of regression coefficient is 0.154 prove that COO image has a significantly positive impact on purchase intention. The results support the H2.

Results from model 4 change of R square for the interaction factor is 1.5 percent which is statistically significant. Standardized regression coefficient is 0.315, which indicates that the there is significantly positive impact on purchase intention because of interaction.

H3 is strongly supported.

According to Sarantakos,S. (2005,P 83) Validity is a research instrument which measures relevance, precision and accuracy. Validity tells the researchers whether the instrument measures what is supposed to measure and the measurement is accurate and precise or not. According to Sarantakos,S. (2005,P 88) Reliability refers to the capacity of measurement to produce reliable results .A method is reliable if it produces the same results whenever it is repeated and is not sensitive to the researcher, the research conditions or to the respondents.

The researcher had checked both reliability and validity of the data. He checked the reliability of German and Japanese auto questionnaire by using Cronbach's alpha. Cronbach's alpha is normally used to measure reliability. Cronbach's alphas range was from 0.89 to 0.95, higher than the standard.

Convergent and discriminant validity was checked by using COO image and brand personality scale. He used Bivariate correlation analysis to prove the convergent validity. The range of correlation coefficients of four components of brand personality (sincerity, excitement, competence, and sophistication) is 0.737 to 0.807which is significant. The correlation of four components is high with the overall scale of brand personality

The correlation among the four components of COO image ranged from 0.562 to 0.731 and all were statistically significant. The correlation of four components is high with the overall measure of COO image.

The correlation pattern showed that components of each of country image and brand personality were convergent within a common construct is an evidence of convergent validity.

A simple factor analysis was employed by the researcher to test the disriminant validity using the components of brand personality, COO image, and subjective product knowledge and purchase intension. According to the Results four factors more than 82.0 percent of the total variance was explained. The respondents differentiate the measures of brand personality, COO image, product subjective knowledge, and purchase intention which provide evidence of discriminant validity.

There is no positional effect of the research. The research goals and objectives is fulfilled.

Conclusion: the results that COO image is more important for the customers to make purchase decision. Between brand personality and purchase intention COO image acts like as an encouraging mediator. Results prove that both brand personality and COO image has significant positive effects on purchase decision. The more positive the brand personality the higher is purchased intension. Positive brand personality affect on purchase intension can significantly decreased by negative COO image.

The questionnaire used by the researcher to get accurate and quick results. The method was appropriate for the research. He conducted a survey in four major cities in chain. The face to face to interview is impossible. The reliability, validity of research is good. The researcher used the pilot study to increase the reliability of the method used in the research. Random sampling is used by the researcher which was good to overcome the bias.