The Global Impact of ‘Made in Italy’
Edited by Giuseppe Bertoli and Riccardo Resciniti
Chapter 1: Country of origin effect: research evolution, basic constructs and firm implications
The explosive growth of globalization over the past decades has become one of the prominent issues in business today. As consumers normally come into contact with product offerings from other countries, and as domestic firms increasingly expand their markets overseas, the notion of national product image becomes ever more salient. Although country image, unlike brand or corporate image, is not under the marketer’s control, it can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of marketing strategies, especially those operated by firms aiming to penetrate foreign markets. For this reason, country of origin (COO), or the place-related image with which buyers may associate a product and its effect on buyers’ behaviour, has attracted significant research attention over the past 40 years, and this interest has recently increased as a result of the dramatic growth of foreign direct investment (FDI). The results of these studies seem to agree in highlighting that country image represents an ‘extrinsic cue’ that, like the price and qualitative characteristics of the product, is able to influence the choice behaviour of consumers.
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