Purpose: Built on the prototype and cue theories, the purpose of this study is to understand how a country's prototypical brand, a corporate brand that most consumers associate with a country (e.g. Samsung), contributes to forming two dimensions of country image – overall country image (i.e. macro country image) and product-specific country image (i.e. micro country image) – and how country image impacts the product quality evaluations of Korean cosmetics, along with the moderating effect of national culture. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 491 US and Chinese consumers ages 20 and older and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings: The findings confirmed the positive influence of prototypical brand image on macro and micro country image. Macro country image also had a positive effect on micro country image. However, only micro country image yielded a positive influence on the quality evaluations of Korean cosmetics. Analyses of the moderating effect of national culture showed that the positive influence of prototypical brand image on macro and micro country image was found to be stronger in China than in the US. Originality/value: These findings provided new theoretical perspectives for country image studies, and practical insights for companies and governments, especially those in countries whose country image is less distinctive, to help develop effective marketing strategies.
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- Country image
- Product quality
- Prototypical brand image