International Marketing and the Country of Origin Effect

International Marketing and the Country of Origin Effect

The Global Impact of ‘Made in Italy’

Edited by Giuseppe Bertoli and Riccardo Resciniti

The chapters refer to a wide range of issues, including made-in effects in relation to ethnocentrism and to corporate social responsibility in small and medium-sized enterprises; the interactions and synergistic effects between product-related made-in images and the images of places as tourism destinations; distribution channel issues; ‘made-in topics’ in relation to emerging markets; and a review of the relevant literature on country of origin effects. The contributors propose strategies and tools that companies might leverage to develop their international marketing and suggest policies that might strengthen these efforts.

Chapter 1: Country of origin effect: research evolution, basic constructs and firm implications

Michela Matarazzo

Subjects: business and management, international business, marketing


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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