The effect of country of origin on brand equity: an empirical study on generic drugs

Journal of Product &amp Brand Management 01/2011; 20(2):130-140. DOI: 10.1108/10610421111121125

ABSTRACT Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of country of origin image on brand equity of branded generic drugs. Design/methodology/approach – Brand equity of branded generics is examined through an analytical review. Country of origin image is hypothesised to influence components of brand equity, i.e. brand strength and brand awareness, which in turn influence brand equity. An empirical investigation was carried out among professionally similar respondents, i.e. doctors of different categories in Kolkata megapolis, India. Findings – Results showed that country of origin image had a positive and significant effect on components of brand equity, i.e. brand strength and brand awareness, derived from factor analysis conducted on brand equity components. The result also showed that country of origin image of branded generics significantly, but indirectly, affected brand equity through the mediating variables, brand strength and brand awareness. Research limitations/implications – Different variables have influence on brand equity. This study dealt with only one type of variable, i.e. country of origin image, that may limit the total process of brand equity enhancement. Practical implications – Marketing actions should be implemented to enhance brand strength and awareness levels. Country of origin image should be assessed as a multidimensional concept for enhancing brand equity. Marketers should be aware of the fact that physicians are influenced by the brand's original country image. Originality/value – This research work has extended prior country of origin research by conceptualising the country of origin image as a brand equity enhancing tool in a new area called branded generic drugs.

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