The mediating effects of micro country image by product category and country

Moudi Almousa, Byoungho Jin, Heesoon Yang, Naeun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although it is well accepted that country image plays a major role in product evaluation and purchase intention in the literature, there is insufficient evidence regarding the effects of country image dimensionality on purchase intentions by product category (handbags and cell phones) and country (the United States, Korea, Italy, and Malaysia). The current research investigates the mediating effects of micro country image on the relationship between macro country image and consumers’ purchase intentions. Moreover, it highlights how this mediated relationship differs by product category and country. Based on research findings for symbolic products (i.e., handbags), both macro and micro country image should be managed and communicated to consumers. However, for functional products (i.e., cell phones), only micro country image needs to be actively communicated to consumers because it has a direct influence on purchase intentions. Additionally, micro country image was found to play a full mediating role between macro country image and purchase intentions in case of cell phones. This article concludes with a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications and further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-682
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Market Research
Volume61
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Almousa Moudi King Saud University, Saudi Arabia Jin Byoungho The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA Yang Heesoon Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea Kim Naeun The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA Moudi Almousa, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food Science and Agriculture, King Saud University, P.O. Box 5733, Riyadh 11432, Saudi Arabia. Email: Almousa@ksu.edu.sa 11 2019 61 6 668 682 © The Author(s) 2018 2018 Market Research Society Although it is well accepted that country image plays a major role in product evaluation and purchase intention in the literature, there is insufficient evidence regarding the effects of country image dimensionality on purchase intentions by product category (handbags and cell phones) and country (the United States, Korea, Italy, and Malaysia). The current research investigates the mediating effects of micro country image on the relationship between macro country image and consumers’ purchase intentions. Moreover, it highlights how this mediated relationship differs by product category and country. Based on research findings for symbolic products (i.e., handbags), both macro and micro country image should be managed and communicated to consumers. However, for functional products (i.e., cell phones), only micro country image needs to be actively communicated to consumers because it has a direct influence on purchase intentions. Additionally, micro country image was found to play a full mediating role between macro country image and purchase intentions in case of cell phones. This article concludes with a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications and further research. country image mediating role product category purchase intention Saudi consumer This research project was funded by a grant from the “Research Center of the Female Scientific and Medical Colleges”, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research project was supported by a grant from the “Research Center of the Female Scientific and Medical Colleges”, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Keywords

  • Saudi consumer
  • country image
  • mediating role
  • product category
  • purchase intention

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