Country of market effect


Purpose: This article proposes and empirically tests the country of market (COMK) effect, which captures the consumer’s responses of home market to a country where the product is marketed.
Design/methodology/approach: Study 1 applies a lab experiment about Chinese consumers’ purchase intention for printers marketed either in the US or China. Study 2 applies country level data to examine the impact of economic development of 22 host countries on the performance of 167 multinational retailers in their home country.
Findings: Study 1 shows that the printers marketed in US attract a higher level of purchase intention than printers marketed in China. This COMK effect is more salient for printers manufactured in China than those manufactured in US. In addition, innovation and design factors corresponding to the host country’s image fully mediate the COMK effect. Results in Study 2 show that a retailer that markets its services in a host country with a higher (lower) level of economic development is likely to generate higher (lower) level of retailing performance in its home country. Furthermore, it is found that COMK effect is diminished as the level of economic development of a vendor’s home country increases.
Research limitations/implications: In addition to the cognitive components of country image (e.g., design and innovation), consumers’ affective components may also influence the COMK effect. Future research could discuss the impact of consumer ethnocentrism and consumer animosity on consumers’ attitude towards the product marketed in other countries.
Practical implications: Strategically, marketing products to a country with a favorable image could benefit vendors from an emerging economy. For manufacturers from developed countries, marketing a product within their own countries may enhance the associated innovation and design images while marketing the same product in an emerging market.
Originality/value: This article proposes and tests a demand side country effect on consumers’ purchase intention for products marketed in other countries. It is in sharp contrast to the traditional country effect which focuses on the supply side effect (e.g., country of origin, country of manufacture, country of assembly etc.)

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