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Brand origin recognition accuracy: Its antecedents and consumers' cognitive limitations


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An ever-growing literature has reported consumer bias toward national origins of products, and has explored factors that moderate such bias. Researchers have assumed, if only tacitly, that consumers are knowledgeable of brand origins, and that this knowledge is a significant influence that drives judgments of product quality, brand attitudes, and choice behavior in the marketplace. Using categorization theory and attribute diagnosticity as the theoretical foundation, our research reveals that consumers actually have only modest knowledge of the national origins of brands, and that American consumers’ proficiency at recognizing foreign brand origins is predicted by variables such as socioeconomic status, past international travel, foreign language skills, and gender. In the second of two studies, we determined that brand origin recognition is based largely on consumers’ associations of brand names with languages that suggest country origins. These studies ultimately lead us to conclude that past research has inflated the influence that country of origin information has on consumers’ product judgments and behavior and its importance in managerial and public policy decisions. Journal of International Business Studies (2005) 36, 379–397. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400145
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Brand origin recognition accuracy: its
antecedents and consumers’ cognitive
Saeed Samiee
Terence A Shimp
Subhash Sharma
University of Tulsa, USA;
University of South
Carolina, USA
Dr S Samiee, College of Business
Administration, The University of Tulsa,
600 S. College Avenue, Tulsa,
OK 74104-3189, USA.
Tel: þ 1 918 631 2019;
Fax: þ 1 918 631 2083;
Received: 20 September 2002
Revised: 19 November 2004
Accepted: 19 November 2004
An ever-growing literature has reported consumer bias toward national origins
of products, and has explored factors that moderate such bias. Researchers
have assumed, if only tacitly, that consumers are knowledgeable of brand
origins, and that this knowledge is a significant influence that drives judgments
of product quality, brand attitudes, and choice behavior in the marketplace.
Using categorization theory and attribute diagnosticity as the theoretical
foundation, our research reveals that consumers actually have only modest
knowledge of the national origins of brands, and that American consumers’
proficiency at recognizing foreign brand origins is predicted by variables such
as socioeconomic status, past international travel, foreign language skills, and
gender. In the second of two studies, we determined that brand origin
recognition is based largely on consumers’ associations of brand names with
languages that suggest country origins. These studies ultimately lead us to
conclude that past research has inflated the influence that country of origin
information has on consumers’ product judgments and behavior and its
importance in managerial and public policy decisions.
Journal of International Business Studies (2005) 36, 379397.
Keywords: brand origin knowledge; country; language
This research conceptualizes, measures, and tests a concept referred
to as brand origin recognition accuracy. Our argument, in contra-
diction to the tacit assumption in the country of origin (CO)
literature, is that consumers have limited knowledge of the origins
of brands, and that a brand’s origin probably is not as important to
consumers as the literature insinuates. Rather than conducting yet
another experiment to place this issue to the test, we decided to
measure consumers’ ability to recognize the COs of a sampling of
mostly well-known and widely distributed brands that have their
origins both in the United States and in countries that are major
participants in the American marketplace.
The rationale and justification for our research can best be
appreciated by laying out a series of important and interconnected
premises that serve to structure our investigation. First, brand
marketing is dedicated largely toward enhancing brand equity,
which is generally regarded as including brand awareness and
Journal of International Business Studies (2005) 36, 379397
2005 Academy of International Business All rights reserved 0047-2506 $30.00
image components (Keller, 1993). Image consists of
consumers’ knowledge and beliefs about a brand’s
various product and non-product attributes. Brand
origin is one such cue that plays a potentially
important role in determining a brand’s image (cf.
Thakor and Lavack, 2003).
Second, globalization and the formation of global
marketing strategies are dependent on the devel-
opment of global brands that ideally carry the same
message and position in various intermarket seg-
ments (i.e., brand standardization) (e.g., Meffert
and Althans, 1986; Rutigliano, 1986; Hill and
James, 1990). Consistent with this practice, market-
ing scholars have exhibited much interest in
exploring standardized international marketing
programs and global marketing strategies (e.g., Jain,
1989; Samiee and Roth, 1992; Hewett and Bearden,
2001), in which global brands play a pivotal role.
The CO literature considers product origin a critical
product-related factor, and its findings have tacitly
challenged the implementation of standardized
international marketing programs.
Third, the CO literature also alerts us to the
importance of such extrinsic cues as brand origin in
product associations (see, for example, Bilkey and
Nes, 1982; Keller, 1998; Thakor and Lavack, 2003).
Thus branding, marketing standardization, and CO
literatures stress the importance of scholarly
inquiry involving brand origin.
Fourth, researchers interested in global marketing
have assumed that a brand’s CO is an important
factor underlying brand equity, consumer judg-
ments, and choice processes. Indeed, researchers
have provided evidence that CO is an important
determinant of consumer attitudes, purchase inten-
tions, and behavior.
It is important to note,
however, that this evidence is based largely on
experimental research in which the brand origins of
mostly hypothetical brands have been manipulated
in single- or multi-factor experimental paradigms.
Such designs, it can be argued, tend to elevate
brand origin salience compared with information
processing under naturalistic circumstances, where
a brand’s origin is just one piece of information
among an array of data available for consumers to
possibly acquire from point of purchase or retrieve
from memories. Hence, the importance of brand
origin information compared with actual consumer
behavior situations has likely been inflated in
experimental research (cf. Peterson and Jolibert,
1995; Lee and Ganesh, 1999).
If brand origin plays a salient role in consumers’
everyday judgments and decision-making pro-
cesses, it would be expected that consumers would
possess reasonably accurate abilities to recognize
brands’ COs. To make an analogy, if it is important
and functional for individuals to know how to spell
words, it would be expected that they would have
stored in memory knowledge of correct spellings. A
test of spelling ability would thus reveal whether
such knowledge is important to people. Poor ability
to spell common words would indicate that such
ability is not functional because people apparently
operate under the assumption that access to
dictionaries suffices or that correct word spellings
are unimportant. (Intellectual deficits represent
another possibility, but this is immaterial to the
present analogy.) Likewise, if ability to recognize
brand origins truly were important, it would be
expected that consumers would know the COs of a
sampling of brands from the universe of available
domestic and foreign brands.
It is noteworthy
that in the US, the site of the present study, the
federal labeling laws require that all imported
products be clearly marked with their origins, and
thus this information is available for consumers
who seek it.
Some international brands have been able to
mask their origins. For example, Parker (pens),
Singer (sewing machines), and Kodak are thought
to be of local origin in multiple countries. Lower
levels of correct brand origin recognition suggest
that either (1) a brand is perceived to be manufac-
tured and available in many countries or (2) brand
origin is inconsequential in the choice process.
Under these conditions, a brand must compete
along the dimensions for which the firm has better
control (e.g., quality). On the other hand, higher
levels of correct brand origin recognition demon-
strate the saliency of brand origin to consumers,
which in turn reinforces the need to develop
international marketing and global strategies that
are sensitive to and incorporate this information. If
this information carries a negative or positive bias,
the CO literature stresses the need to adjust
international marketing plans.
This article consists of two studies. Study 1
develops a measure of brand origin recognition
accuracy (referred to hereafter as BORA), proposes
and tests a model that accounts for the variability
in BORA, and discusses its importance and
implications. Study 2 examines the prospect that
most brand origin knowledge tends to be surface-
based information and is determined in large part
by consumers’ association of brand names with
various languages. The paper concludes with a
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
general discussion and managerial implications,
future research prospects, the study’s limitations.
Conceptualizing BORA: a categorization
and diagnosticity perspective
Inasmuch as BORA involves a form of knowledge
that consumers potentially have stored in memory
and can retrieve as input when forming brand-
related judgments and making choices, a variety
of theoretical frameworks are applicable to under-
standing the BORA concept. These include:
brand equity theory from a consumer knowledge
perspective (e.g., Keller, 1993, 2003); categorization
theory (e.g., Rosch, 1978; Maheswaran, 1994); and
the expansive literature on consumer learning,
memory formation, and information search and
retrieval processes (e.g., Bettman, 1979). Among
these, object categorization and attribute diagnos-
ticity have been used in similar contexts, and
therefore they represent an appropriate theore-
tical basis for the present study. In the paragraphs
that follow, we first explore conditions under
which individuals may store and access brand
origin information, and then examine categoriza-
tion and diagnosticity within the context of the
present study.
Brand knowledge represents the personal mean-
ing about a brand that consumers have stored in
memory, and includes all descriptive and evaluative
brand-related information (Keller, 2003). In addi-
tion to basic brand awareness, this information
includes brand attributes (e.g., this watch brand is
of Swiss origin). Such knowledge can be conveyed
by marketers in their efforts to link brands with
positive country images, or can be acquired by the
consumer independently of marketers’ conveyances
as a matter of marketplace experiences and word-of-
mouth flows or first-hand brand information
acquisition. Regardless of the source, for any given
brand, the consumer may or may not know its CO,
or may even confuse the brand as being from a
country other than its actual origin. Overall, four
scenarios pertaining to BORA are possible.
First, it is likely that accurate brand origin informa-
tion is held in memory, and consumers associate
brands with their respective countries. Brand origin is
an objective and, at least in the US, relatively
transparent information cue. If brand origin plays a
literature, the rational consumer would be expected
to seek or possess accurate brand origin information.
A second prospect is that consumers might be
entirely oblivious to origins of brands, in which
case brand-origin-related information plays no role
in their choice behavior. Although plausible, the
overwhelming evidence offered by the CO litera-
ture appears to suggest otherwise. On the other
hand, if consumers’ BORA is shown to be generally
low, then the arguments reported in the CO
literature are considerably weakened.
A third possibility is that brand origin may be
merely perceived (but inaccurate), and that this
information is used in consumers’ evaluative
processes. If the conveyance of inaccurate brand
origin information is intentional, and this informa-
tion is uniformly held by consumers – for example,
a US firm selecting a French name as its brand – it is
presumably attributable to the marketer’s proactive
and successful branding and positioning strategies
that include association with a desirable source
country. A less ideal situation is where the targeted
segment associates the brand with an incorrect but
desirable origin, by chance or because of various
unplanned activities or cues. This branding strategy
is deployed by some firms, but there is little
empirical evidence suggesting that it leads consu-
mers to actually believe that such brands as LeSueur
or DiGiorno food products are indeed from France
and Italy, respectively. In the absence of empirical
evidence, such associations represent surface-level
artificial connections for most consumers that may
have no influence in choice behavior.
Finally, the most difficult and chaotic brand
(mis)management situation is where consumers
associate the brand with a variety of origins, and
this information is used in their purchase decisions.
Diffused source-country designations represent
images that vary across consumer groups and are
potentially undesirable and inconsistent with the
firm’s marketing strategy, particularly if leading
brands in the category are linked to a specific
country image.
These scenarios point collectively to the academic
and managerial importance of developing a better
understanding of BORA. Toward this end, we need
to briefly explore the psychological process of
object categorization and attribute diagnosticity.
Categorization, generally speaking, entails the
activity of assigning objects to groups. Marketing
and consumer researchers have actively investi-
gated categorization processes (e.g., Sujan, 1985;
Meyers-Levy and Tybout, 1989), including applica-
tions in the CO domain (e.g., Alden et al., 1993;
Maheswaran, 1994; Lee and Ganesh, 1999). Parti-
cularized to the BORA concept, categorization
involves the consumer’s somewhat effortful mental
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
task of assigning a brand to a specific country
category or to a more basic that is, less finely
discriminated – category (Rosch et al., 1976; Mervis
and Rosch, 1981; Fiske, 1982; Alba and Hutchinson,
1987). Examples of non-finely discriminated CO
categories would include perceptions of a brand as
being ‘of foreign origin’, ‘made somewhere in Asia’,
or ‘not from here’.
The fundamental categorization issue related to
BORA is one of how and why consumers learn to
discriminate brands as originating from specific
countries. In some instances, consumers learn to
categorize brands as belonging to particular coun-
tries because that information is known to virtually
everyone who is reasonably alert. In the automobile
category, for example, brands (automobile models)
are effectively ‘stamped’ with their country affilia-
tion. In many other product categories, perhaps
especially those involving inexpensive consumer
packaged goods, CO information is less conspic-
uous and thus variable in its recognition by
consumers. One major reason why consumers
may not possess accurate information about brand
origins is that such information often is not
diagnostic for making decisions, and thus is not
accessible in memory (Feldman and Lynch, 1988).
(A particular product attribute is diagnostic to the
extent that it is sufficient for arriving at a solution
for the judgment task facing a consumer, such as
choosing a brand in a particular product category.)
A brand’s CO may be highly diagnostic information
for choosing an automobile or other technological
or crafted product, because the CO conveys addi-
tional information about product quality and other
purchase-relevant ascriptions, but CO information
may be entirely non-diagnostic for inexpensive
packaged goods, where it is less likely that country
superiority is attached to a product category.
In addition to product categories varying in the
degree to which CO information is diagnostic,
consumers are themselves variable in terms of
how much importance they place on CO informa-
tion. For example, brand origin information is
more diagnostic for highly ethnocentric consumers
(Shimp and Sharma, 1987) than for those who are
only moderate or low in this trait. Likewise,
consumers higher in socioeconomic status may
regard a brand’s CO as more diagnostic in decision-
making than lower socioeconomic consumers
whose income levels necessitate their focusing
more on functional considerations such as price
and value. These points are subsequently fleshed
out when specific hypotheses are presented.
We conclude, therefore, that brand origin infor-
mation is likely to be non-diagnostic for consumers
when making purchase decisions in many product
categories, especially those involving inexpensive,
frequently purchased items. Inasmuch as CO
information is not diagnostic, it serves little useful
function for consumers to possess accurate memor-
ial representations of country identities for most
brands available in the marketplace (cf. Bettman,
1979). Hence, it is our general expectation that
BORA is variable among consumers and relatively
low on average. Discussion turns now to the
measurement of BORA.
Measuring BORA
Brand origin can be thought of as the country a
brand is associated with or the headquarters of
where the brand’s owner is perceived to be located,
regardless of where it is manufactured (cf. Johans-
son et al., 1985; Ahmed and d’Astous, 1995; Thakor
and Kohli, 1996; Kim and Chung, 1997; Thakor and
Lavack, 2003). The attribution of brand origin to
the headquarters location of the parent firm is an
appealing perspective because, even though some
products are produced and sourced from multiple
locations, they represent a single image and home
country identity. Additionally, Papadopoulos
(1993) points out that global firms often position
their brands with respect to their national origins.
Sony and Toyota are Japanese brands regardless of
where they are made; likewise, Nike is indubitably
American even though the firm manufactures no
shoes in the US. Such an association has also been
empirically supported (Ratliff, 1989; Kim and
Chung, 1997).
In the spirit of generalizability theory (e.g., Rentz,
1987; Shavelson and Webb, 1991), measuring
consumers’ ability to recognize brand origins
required that we select a sample of brands from
among the thousands available to American con-
sumers. Assuredly, no one sample of any reasonable
size could be considered truly representative, just as
a finite sample of words would never be regarded as
fully representative in a test of spelling ability. Our
selection of brand names was guided, nonetheless,
by several considerations. First, given the objective
of measuring knowledge of brand origins, the
brands selected had to be from both US and foreign
origins. Second, to provide balance, foreign brands
had to be distributed across a reasonably large
number of countries while nevertheless placing
priority on brand appropriateness (to US consu-
mers) rather than extending the number of coun-
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
tries for the mere sake of size. Most developing and
emerging nations do not possess brands that are
widely publicized in the US, and therefore the great
majority of brands chosen necessarily originated
from developed countries. Third, it was desirable to
select brands that represent both male and female
users and span various product categories, includ-
ing both durable and non-durable items. Fourth,
brands should ideally represent varied levels of
functionality and price. Finally, several foreign-
sounding US brands (e.g., LeSueur and Oscar de
Lorenta) and anglicized foreign brands (e.g., Sharp,
GoldStar) were selected so as to push the envelope
in examining the accuracy of consumers’ BORA
(cf. Leclerc et al., 1994).
Using these criteria, we selected an initial group
of 144 brands and then reduced that number to a
smaller set through a two-stage process. In the
initial phase, six faculty members who were
familiar with CO research were advised to review
the original list and identify any unusual or outlier
brands. Then, a sample of 25 American business
graduate students, all of whom spoke at least two
languages and had lived abroad, were asked to
complete the form. Specific comments regarding
the nature of the questionnaire, its clarity, purpose,
sequencing, and layout were solicited following
their completion of the task. Brands that could not
be identified by a large proportion of respondents
were eliminated. Brands were also excluded in
situations where their origin was diffused among
several nations.
A final set of 84 brands was selected (see
Appendix A1). The set consists of 40 brands from
the United States and 44 brands from foreign
countries (i.e., England, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan, and Switzerland). These 84 brands represent
10 product categories: appliances (small and large),
apparel items, beverages (alcoholic and non-alco-
holic), cameras and films, consumer electronics
(audio, video, personal computers, etc.), health and
beauty aids, packaged foods, shoes, sports equip-
ment, and watches.
The 84 brands constitute a selection of American
and foreign brands that are available to most
American consumers in department stores, mass
merchandise outlets, supermarkets, and other com-
mon retail venues. As a measure of BORA, the pool
of 84 brands can be considered analogous to a
vocabulary test wherein a subset of words is
sampled from the vast array of available words.
Upon encountering the name Adidas, for example,
the knowledgeable respondent would be expected
to recognize this brand’s German origin. Likewise,
Bic should be recognized for its French origin,
Benetton for its Italian base, Keds for the United
States, and so forth. A perfectly knowledgeable
respondent would make correct registrations for all
84 brands and thus receive a perfect score of 100%,
which would contrast with the entirely clueless
respondent whose score would approach zero.
Measured scores across respondents thus range
between 0 and 100%, and are based both on actual
knowledge about the sampled brands’ COs and on
incidental guessing.
To assess the reliability of the BORA measure, a
group of 79 university students was asked to
identify the brand origins of the 84 brands on two
occasions separated by a full month. The test–retest
correlation coefficient (r¼0.72, Po0.001) reflects a
high level of concurrence, and implicates the
likelihood that BORA was measured reliably in the
national survey that is detailed subsequently.
Predicting variability in BORA scores
It initially is important that we distinguish two
forms of BORA: recognition accuracy for domestic
brands (BORA
) and for foreign brands (BORA
). It
is reasonable to expect that American consumers
would have a greater ability in recognizing that
domestic brands originate in the US vs identifying
the country base of foreign brands. Based on an
extensive literature review, and in general confor-
mity with empirical applications of categorization
theory (e.g., Sujan and Tybout, 1988; John and
Sujan, 1990; Tsui and Egan, 1992; Toh and DeNisi,
2003), four groups of predictors are expected to
account for variability in respondents’ BORA scores:
socioeconomic characteristics, international experi-
ence factors, demographic variables, and ethno-
centric tendencies. As we shall demonstrate in the
following sections, however, we do not necessarily
expect these variables to perform equally well in
explaining variability in both BORA
and BORA
The branding literature suggests that brand
familiarity influences brand-based knowledge.
Within the context of the present study, this
implies that a consumer familiar with a brand is
more likely to be familiar with its origin. It is thus
appropriate to examine BORA scores in light of
brand familiarity with the expectation that it will
heighten consumers’ knowledge of brand origins.
However, given that brand origin information is
low in diagnosticity value and, accordingly, has
been reported to generally lack salience for con-
sumers (cf. Hugstad and Durr, 1986), the ratio of
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
is expected to remain the same.
In general, a lower BORA score for foreign brands
-vis US brands is anticipated.
Socioeconomic characteristics
With education and income as indicators of socio-
economic status, it was expected that more edu-
cated and higher-income consumers would
demonstrate higher BORA scores. Research has
shown that higher-income consumers hold rela-
tively more favorable attitudes toward foreign
products (Schooler, 1971; Dornoff et al., 1974; Wall
and Heslop, 1986). Likewise, a higher level of
education is associated with a preference for foreign
goods (Anderson and Cunningham, 1972; Johans-
son et al., 1985; Wall and Heslop, 1986). Moreover,
as previously mentioned, lower socioeconomic
consumers should find brand origin information
less diagnostic than price and value attributes;
accordingly, brand origin information should be
less accessible in their memories in comparison
with higher socioeconomic consumers. Hypothesis
1 formalizes this expectation.
H1: Consumers higher in socioeconomic status
should reflect higher levels of both BORA
International experience
International travel and foreign language expertise
are relevant indicators of international experience.
We anticipate that socioeconomic status will have
both direct and mediated (via international experi-
ence) effects on brand origin knowledge. Several
studies have revealed a relation between interna-
tional travel experience and income level (Barry
and O’Hagan, 1972; Uysal and Crompton, 1984;
Papadopoulos and Witt, 1985; Butterfield et al.,
1998). Additionally, Rounds (1988) reported that
86% of college graduates have traveled abroad as
compared with 62% of those with a high school
diploma. Moreover, 84% of those with house-
hold incomes exceeding $50,000 have interna-
tional travel experience as compared with 59%
of those with annual incomes under $10,000.
Finally, knowledge of foreign languages, even if
passively acquired (e.g., non-US natives or their
more immediate descendants), heightens indi-
vidual interest and knowledge in international/
foreign matters. It thus is reasonable to expect a
relationship between socioeconomic measures
and international experience within the context
of BORA.
H2a: Consumers’ higher socioeconomic status is
positively related to higher levels of international
Likewise, it is expected that consumers who are
able to read or speak other languages would exhibit
higher BORA
scores. Consumers’ international
experiences are potential indicators of their ten-
dency to belong to market segments to which
global brands are marketed (e.g., Dawar et al.,
1996). In the global marketplace, there are oppor-
tunities for consumers to develop greater familiar-
ity with products and brands through both
voluntary and involuntary exposure to informa-
tion. International travel, for example, has been
shown to enhance perceptions toward foreign
products (Schellinck, 1989; Wall et al., 1991) and,
hence, origins of brand. A reasonable expectation,
therefore, is that consumers who have engaged in
international travel for work or pleasure should
possess greater knowledge of foreign brands (BORA
than their less cosmopolitan counterparts. Stated
H2b: Consumers who have amassed greater
international experiences should manifest higher
levels of BORA
Although international experience is expected to
correlate positively with BORA
, we expect con-
sumers to be fairly familiar with US brands regard-
less of their levels of international experience, and
thus the influence of international experience on
should be negligible. Additionally, brands
of US origin are more dominant in the market, and
for many consumers the expectation of a US origin
may be the norm rather than the exception.
H2c: International experience is not related to
consumers’ level of BORA
Demographic variables
The importance of consumers’ demographic char-
acteristics in this line of inquiry is bolstered by
research findings that have demonstrated age and
gender to be important indicators of marketplace
preferences (e.g., Holbrook and Schindler, 1994).
More specifically, CO research also provides impor-
tant evidence regarding the relevance of age and
gender to product knowledge and assessment (e.g.,
Wall et al., 1991). One might expect older indivi-
duals to possess higher BORA due to their greater
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
experience in the marketplace. Younger consumers
tend to be more brand-sensitive and might have
enhanced BORA due to greater worldliness. How-
ever, research has shown that the use of CO
information is inversely related to age (Schellinck,
1989; Wall et al., 1991). These findings offer a
direction for consumers’ BORA levels with the
expectation that younger individuals will be more
likely to demonstrate higher levels of BORA.
Although our expectation is somewhat equivocal,
H3a posits that
H3a: Age is inversely related to consumers’ levels
of both BORA
and BORA
Gender-based differences have been documented
in cognitive style research (Foxman et al., 1990) and
in other aspects of consumer psychology (e.g.,
Meyers-Levy, 1988; Meyers-Levy and Maheswaran,
1991). Research from the CO domain demonstrates
that men are more prone to be biased against
foreign products (e.g., Schooler, 1971), and that
women hold more favorable views of foreign
products, even though they have a greater ten-
dency to buy domestic products (Wall and Heslop,
1986). We expect that positive views toward a
group of products are more likely to lead to active
learning of brand-related information, whereas
those holding negative views may largely depend
on passive learning and, hence, be less know-
ledgeable. Again with some equivocation, we
propose that
H3b: Women will demonstrate higher levels of
both BORA
and BORA
Ethnocentric tendencies
Studies have examined relations between consu-
mers’ ethnocentric tendencies and various criterion
measures pertinent to foreign products (e.g., Shimp
and Sharma, 1987; Netemeyer et al., 1991; Sharma
et al., 1995; Klein et al., 1998; Klein, 2002). Whereas
much of the literature deals with the relationship
between ethnocentrism and domestic vs foreign
products, the literature examining the relationship
between ethnocentric tendencies and brand origin
is scant. In general, the consumer ethnocentrism
literature suggests that consumers high in ethno-
centric tendencies are less accepting of foreign
products, and judge them unfavorably. Batra et al.
(2000) were the first to propose a relationship
between ethnocentric tendencies and brand origin.
Brand attitude within the context of developing
countries was the central thrust of their investiga-
tion. Brand origin information is thus expected to
be more diagnostic and accessible for consumers
lower in ethnocentric tendencies. Hypothesis H4a
thus posits that
H4a: Consumers lower in ethnocentric tenden-
cies will exhibit higher levels of BORA
Batra et al. (2000) reported that ethnocentrism
does not moderate brand attitudes toward foreign
brands. Additionally, ethnocentrism had no effect
toward modifying attitudes toward local brands for
domestically oriented people (those admiring local
lifestyles compared with foreign ones). Thus, we do
not expect ethnocentric tendencies to influence
consumers’ ability to recognize the origin of
domestic brands, as hypothesized in the following
H4b: The level of BORA
is not related to
consumers’ ethnocentric tendencies.
Study 1: a national survey
A national survey was performed to explore con-
sumers’ ability to recognize brand origins and to
test the foregoing hypotheses. A subsequent valida-
tion study was also undertaken to rule out an
alternative explanation for the results from the
national survey.
A survey was mailed to a national sample of adult
household members who were drawn from a data
bank of individuals holding drivers’ licenses.
Although the data bank is regularly updated, there
are inherent lags between the occurrence of a
household move and the acquisition of a driver’s
license, data entry, and list sale. The agency
compiling the list estimates that 20% of names
and/or addresses are invalid at any point in time.
The accuracy of this estimate has been tested by the
compiling agency, and is said to remain reasonably
consistent over time.
A random sample of 5000 respondents from all 50
states was targeted. Using the conservative estimate
of correct addresses on the list, we thus presume
that 4000 questionnaires were correctly addressed
but not necessarily delivered to the targeted
individuals (cf. Hunt and Vasquez-Parraga, 1993).
Overall, 480 usable responses were returned a
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
response rate of 12%, which is in line with those of
other large-scale surveys (e.g., Dwyer and Welsh,
1985; Anderson et al., 1987; Achrol and Stern,
1988). Analysis of responses by regions of the
country indicated no significant difference between
the geographic distribution of respondents and
those in our sample.
Two measures, education and income, served as
indicators of socioeconomic status. Education was
measured by having respondents select one of six
categories that reflected the highest level of educa-
tion they had attained: under 12 years, high school
degree, 1–2 years of college or technical school, 3–4
years of college, college graduate, and graduate or
professional degree. Income was measured by hav-
ing respondents indicate their approximate total
family income from all sources. A total of 10
response categories included ‘under $15,000’ and
‘over $75,000 as end points along with eight
intermediate income groups that increased in
$5000 increments. Two items were used as indicators
of international experience: the number of countries
(other than Canada) that a respondent has visited,
and the number of foreign languages that s/he self-
reported as being reasonably proficient in speaking,
reading, or writing. Age was measured by having
respondents assign themselves to the appropriate
group using the categories developed by the US
Bureau of the Census: under 18, 18–24, 25–34, 35–
44, 45–54, 55–64, and 65 or over. Finally, ethno-
centric tendency was assessed using Shimp and
Sharma’s (1987) 17-item CETSCALE.
Respondents were presented with a questionnaire
formatted as a matrix, with the 84 foreign and
domestic brands listed down the rows and columns
headed with country names. They were instructed
to circle for each brand its country origin. Specific
countries listed in an alphabetical order were
England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy,
Japan, Switzerland, and the United States.
Although none of the 84 brands was from Hong
Kong, this country was included as a foil among the
listed countries to allow for the possibility of sheer
guessing. ‘Not listed’ and ‘Don’t know were two
additional response options.
BORA scores undoubtedly represent a combination
of actual knowledge along with error variance due
to guessing. Most respondents would be expected
to demonstrate imperfect recognition accuracy. It
was found, in fact, that respondents’ BORA was
modest. Indeed, the average BORA score for all 84
brands was only slightly higher than one-third
correct identification (M¼35%; s.d.¼15.8%).
Importantly, the average score for the 44 foreign
brands reflected less than one-quarter correct
responses (M
¼22.3%; s.d.¼14.2%), whereas
respondents correctly identified about one-half of
the 40 US brands (M
¼49%; s.d.¼22.2%).
The difference between consumers’ BORA
was significant (paired t
Given the role of product familiarity in the
accumulation of product-related experiences and
objective knowledge (e.g., Johansson et al., 1985;
Alba and Hutchinson, 1987), we also assessed BORA
scores adjusted for brand familiarity. Consistent
with our a priori expectations, these scores were
higher (M
¼68%; M
¼33%) and,
importantly, the ratio of BORA
remained about the same as the unadjusted scores.
Additionally, from a conceptual viewpoint, in
developing a valid measure of spelling ability (see
the analogy in Introduction), ‘spellers’ would be
expected to attempt to spell all words on the list
regardless of whether they are or are not familiar
with them: that is, they would not be allowed to
eliminate words for which they self-reported unfa-
miliarity. Moreover, if product-level experience has
an influence on BORA, consumers would be
expected to know brand origins of (at least some)
brands that they do not favor or would use as
opposed to possessing information only about
products that they report as having purchased,
used, or somehow experienced. Thus, the use of
self-reported familiarity for screening brand origin
knowledge is problematic. Therefore, BORA is more
appropriately measured based on the full sampling
of brands rather than a subset that varies in number
from respondent to respondent.
Country-by-country average BORA scores, shown
in Table 1, are insightful. Considering, for example,
the 10 German brands, it is evident from the main
diagonal that only 16.2% of respondents’ assign-
ments correctly categorized these brands for their
German origination. The off-diagonal entries reveal
that 3.2% of the German-brand assignments were
associated with England, 1.6% with France, 1.2%
with Hong Kong, 1.1% with Italy, and so on. The
data in the ‘Don’t know’ and ‘Not listed’ columns
indicate that respondents in nearly 45.6% of the
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
cases were unable to assign the German brands to
any country Germany or otherwise. These data
reveal, in fact, that a substantial proportion of all
brands could not be assigned to any specific
country, ranging from 30.9% (England) to 58%
(Italy). Indeed, although 49% of the 40 US brands
were correctly categorized as being of US origin,
over 34% of US brands could not be identified with
any country. Japanese brands are second only to the
US, with a BORA score of 42.4%. The scores fall
precipitously for other origins, ranging from only
13.7 and 13.8% for England and Switzerland,
respectively, to 32.1% for France. From these
results, it is apparent that consumers, by and large,
maintain a low level of BORA.
Measurement properties
A confirmatory factor analysis was used to estimate
a three-factor, correlated-factor model, and to assess
the measurement properties of socioeconomic
status (SES), international experience (IE), and
consumer ethnocentric tendencies (CETSCALE).
Goodness-of-fit indices suggested an acceptable
model fit, with all loadings significant at P¼0.05.
Discriminant validities of SES, IE, and CETSCALE
were assessed using procedures suggested by
Bagozzi (1993) and Fornell and Larcker (1981). In
accordance with Bagozzi’s procedure, discriminant
validity for each pair of constructs is established if
the difference in the chi-squared of the model in
which the correlation between two constructs is
estimated freely and the chi-squared of the model
in which the correlation of the respective pair of
constructs is constrained to 1 is significant. (This
difference in chi-squared will have one degree of
freedom.) The differences in chi-squares for all pairs
of constructs were significant at P¼0.05, thus
establishing discriminant validity. The procedure
suggested by Fornell and Larcker (1981) is more
conservative: pairs of constructs have discriminant
validity if the shared variance between the two
constructs (which is the squared correlation
between the two constructs) is lower than the
shared variance between each construct and its
indicators. This condition was established for all
pairs of constructs, thus lending further support for
SES, IE, and CETSCALE as distinct constructs.
Coefficient alpha for scales with two items
typically is not assessed, and normally the correla-
tion between the two items is examined. The
Pearson correlation coefficients between the two
items measuring socioeconomic status (SES) and
the two items indicating international experience
(IE) were 0.40 and 0.31, respectively. These correla-
tion coefficients, although seemingly modest, are
in line with recommendations from Clark and
Watson (1995), who suggest that interitem correla-
tion coefficients should range between 0.15 and
0.50, and Netemeyer et al. (2002), who argue that
average interitem correlations exceeding 0.30 are
acceptable. Coefficient alpha for the 17-item CETS-
CALE was 0.96, which is well above the recom-
mended value and is in line with reliabilities for
that measure reported in other studies (e.g., Shimp
and Sharma, 1987; Netemeyer et al., 1991; Sharma
et al., 1995).
Structural model
The structural model depicted in Figure 1 was
formulated to test the hypothesized relations. SES
and age are modeled as having both direct and
mediated (via international experience) effects on
Table 1 Brand origin recognition accuracy matrix
Brands from Brands associated with
England 13.7
0.8 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 54.1 0.1 30.8
France 1.9
32.1 2.7 0.2 0.5 0.4 0.7 16.5 0.2 44.8
Germany 3.2 1.6 16.2 1.2 1.1 2.9 1.0 27.2 1.0 44.6
Italy 4.4 2.4 1.3 0.4 20.5 2.0 3.7 7.3 1.6 56.4
Japan 0.8 0.3 1.2 1.7 0.4 42.4 1.4 17.5 0.1 34.2
Switzerland 2.8 11.0 1.9 0.5 1.9 3.2 13.8 12.3 0.3 52.3
USA 1.8 6.8 0.7 1.0 2.1 2.0 0.7 49.0 0.5 34.4
There were no brands from Hong Kong.
NL¼not listed; DK¼don’t know.
Indicates that 13.7% of the respondents correctly associated English brands with England.
Indicates that 1.9% of the respondents incorrectly associated French brands with England.
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
BORA, whereas all other antecedents are modeled
as having only direct effects. In estimating the
structural model in Figure 1, the indicators of IE,
SES, and CETSCALE were summed. Age, gender,
SES, and IE were assumed measured without error,
and loadings were set to unity. The loading for
consumer ethnocentrism (CETSCALE) was fixed as
the square root of its reliability (0.98). The good-
ness-of-fit indices suggest excellent model fits, and
all the path coefficients are in expected directions.
Path coefficients and fit indices for both models are
shown in Table 2.
The standardized coefficients (with t-values in
parentheses) are given in Table 2. About 9% of the
variance in BORA
was accounted for by the four
exogenous constructs and the endogenous con-
struct, international experience. In support of H1,
socioeconomic status was positively related to ability
to recognize US brand origins (g
¼0.25, t¼4.41, P
The relationship between socio-
economic status and international experience was
also significant (g
¼0.32, t¼6.35, P
supporting H2a, which posits that higher socio-
economic status is positively related to increased
international experience. Moreover, H2c, which
posits a null relationship between IE and BORA
was also confirmed (b
¼0.04, t¼0.82, P
40.1). Age did not significantly predict BOR-
¼0.03, t¼0.49, P
40.1), and thus
this relationship does not support H3a. However, as
expected, older individuals have more time to
travel and to learn foreign languages, and hence
the path between age and IE is significant
¼0.18, t¼3.60, P
o0.01). Further, in sup-
port of H3b, gender (coded as male¼ 1 and
female¼2) was positively and significantly related
¼0.10, t¼1.82, P
o0.01). The
relationship between CETSCALE and BORA
as hypothesized, insignificant (g
t¼0.161, P
40.1) and in accord with H4b.
Relationships of BORA
(Figure 1) performed much
better vis-a
-vis the relationships of BORA
, with
the model accounting for 31% of the total variance
scores. As shown in Table 2, the direct
Figure 1 Structural model.
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
effect of SES on BORA
was significant (g
t¼6.13, P
o0.01) in support of H1. As noted in
the BORA
section, the paths between age and IE
and SES and IE are significant (see Table 2). The
effect of IE on BORA
was significant (b
t¼5.52, P
o0.01), indicating that respondents
with greater international experience possessed
greater recognition accuracy of the origins of
foreign brands. Thus, along with the mediated
effect of SES through IE (i.e., 0.32 0.25¼0.08), the
total effect of SES on BORA
was 0.39 (i.e.,
0.31 þ 0.08). Substantively, this indicates that high-
er socioeconomic status inclines individuals to gain
greater international experiences and, in turn,
these individuals have enhanced ability to recog-
nize the origins of foreign brands. Thus, H2b also is
The negative sign between age and BORA
an inverse relation that, although directionally
consistent with H3a, does not achieve statistical
significance (g
¼0.02, t¼0.39, P
The path between gender and BORA
is negative
¼0.17, t¼3.88, P
o0.01), which indi-
cates that females (coded 2) had less ability to
recognize foreign brand origins than did males
(coded 1). Thus, although the test for H3b was
significant, it is in a direction opposite to that
hypothesized. Finally, the relationship between
consumer ethnocentrism (CETSCALE) and BORA
is negative and significant (g
¼0.19, t¼4.11,
o0.01). In support of H4a, more ethno-
centric respondents had less ability to recognize the
origins of the set of 44 foreign brands.
These national survey results reveal that respon-
dents, on average, correctly identified the brand
origins of approximately only one-third of the 84
brands. To be expected, this American sample of
respondents possessed greater knowledge of the
origins of brands from the US (M¼49%) than of
foreign brands (M¼22.3%). Tests of the structural
equation models further demonstrated that the
model did a better job in explaining
variance in respondents’ ability to recognize for-
eign brand origins than the BORA
performance in accounting for variance in their
recognition of domestic brand origins. This is
probably because the BORA
data exhibited greater
variability vis-a
-vis the restricted variance in the
data. There was, accordingly, more oppor-
tunity for the independent variables to account for
variance in the BORA
scores than was the case with
the BORA
It can be argued that the level of BORA
observed in the national survey may simply
reflect respondents’ sensitivity to surface-level
language characteristics and their tendency to
assign brand names to countries on that basis.
Although this is a reasonable proposition, it must
also be acknowledged that the surface character-
istics of many of the brand names used in the study
belie their actual COs. Who but a marketplace
cognoscente would know that Canon is a Japanese
brand, Benetton is Italian, or that Evan Picone is of
American origin? A second study was necessary to
ascertain the relative influence of the language that
Table 2 BORA
and BORA
path coefficients and fit indices
¼0.32 (6.35)
¼0.25 (4.41)
¼0.31 (6.13)
Age-BORA g
¼0.03 (0.49) g
¼0.02 (0.39)
Gender-BORA g
¼0.10 (1.82) g
¼0.17 (3.88)
¼0.09 (1.61) g
¼0.19 (4.11)
¼0.04 (0.82) b
¼0.25 (5.52)
Age-IE (dotted path) g
¼0.18 (3.60)
Fit indices
(df) 6.09 with 2 df
P-value 0.048
RMSEA 0.08 (0.00–0.15)
Normed fit index (NFI) 0.97
Comparative fit index (CFI) 0.98
Incremental fit index (IFI) 0.98
Relative fit index (RFI) 0.87
Values in parentheses are t-values.
s for IE, BORA
, and BORA
are 0.13, 0.09, and 0.31, respectively.
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
consumers associate with each brand, and deter-
mine whether these associations underlie BORA.
Study 2: language association and BORA
A sample of 51 graduate and undergraduate
students participated in this study. With the
purpose of determining whether the student sam-
ple would yield results similar to the national
sample (and thus allow meaningful comparisons
between the two samples), participants were asked
to complete a BORA questionnaire 1 week after
responding to a language-association research
instrument. The BORA questionnaire was identical
to that used in the national survey. Results from
this administration revealed that the students’
average BORA score across all 84 brands was
virtually identical to the average obtained from
the national sample, with both groups exhibiting
overall BORA scores of approximately 35%. How-
ever, whereas the national sample had a relatively
high BORA
score (M¼49%) and a low BORA
score (M¼22.3%), the student sample had nearly
identical BORA
and BORA
scores (both at
approximately 35%). Thus, although the student
sample’s BORA scores differ from those of the
national sample, the overall BORA average shows
that both groups correctly identified the brand
origins of only about one-third of the 84 sampled
brands. These results suggest that, had the language
study been administered to respondents in the
national sample, findings similar to those that
follow would have obtained.
Procedure and questionnaire
Participants responded to a language-association
instrument by assigning each brand name to the
language they most closely associated with it. The
language-association questionnaire included only
71 brands, in contrast to the 84 brands in the BORA
questionnaire. The difference is due to the fact that
six of the 44 foreign brands in the BORA ques-
tionnaire namely, those from Korea and the
Netherlands were excluded from the language
questionnaire because in the main study Korea and
the Netherlands were not specifically listed as
country options. Seven additional brands from
the BORA questionnaire were excluded because
those brands originated in Switzerland, which lacks
a unique language. Analysis of the present data is
thus restricted to 71 brands: 40 from the US and 31
from other countries. Respondents were guided
with these instructions:
The following pages include a list of brand names that
represent products of companies based in various countries.
Your task is to assign each brand to the language that the
name is closely associated with by its semantic character.
For example, many consumers immediately recognize the
automobile name Mitsubishi as a Japanese word and the
detergent name Tide as an English word. [These brands were
not included among the 71 brands on the language-
association questionnaire (see Appendix A1).] Thus, for
each brand name we ask you to circle the specific language
that first comes to mind when you see that name. Included
is a ‘don’t know’ option that you should use in instances
where you have no language association for a particular
brand name.
Results and discussion
The highlighted entries in Table 3 reveal the
percentage of brands from a particular country that
respondents correctly assigned to that country’s
native language. For example, 54% of the brand
names having France as their brand origin were
correctly assigned to the French language. Likewise,
the last row reveals that only 43% of US brands
were perceived as English names, with 22.7%
perceived as French, 7.5% German, and so on.
Beyond inspecting the raw percentages, the
information in Table 3 can be synthesized by
calculating a weighted average of the entries on
Table 3 Association of brand names with languages
Brands from Number of brands
Percentage of brands associated with a specific language
English French German Italian Japanese Other
England 2 84.7 5.1 6.8 0.8 0.0 2.6
France 7 12.6 54.0 17.4 5.8 0.5 9.7
Germany 10 27.1 12.7 31.0 5.8 3.9 19.5
Italy 4 13.1 15.3 8.5 44.9 2.5 15.7
Japan 8 31.8 3.0 4.9 1.3 45.3 13.7
USA 40 43.0 22.7 7.5 6.4 5.2 15.2
Number of brands from each country included in the language study.
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
the main diagonal of the table, with the weightings
based on the number of brands from each country
relative to the total number of brands. Two such
weighted averages are apropos (1) weighting based
on all 71 brands and (2) weighting limited to just
the 31 foreign brands. The two weighted averages
are virtually identical, namely 44% with the US
brands included and 45% without the US brands.
These weighted-average percentages can be com-
pared with comparable weighted-average BORA
scores after excluding the not-listed and Swiss
brands (exactly in parallel with the results for the
language study). The weighted-average BORA
scores for all 71 brands and just the 31 foreign
brands are 35 and 39%, respectively. These percen-
tages reflect the level of BORA that would have
been expected had respondents’ judgments of
brand origins been based exclusively on the sur-
face-language features of the brand names. The fact
that the weighted-average BORA scores are lower
than the weighted-average language scores suggests
that average BORA scores in the national survey
were lower than what would have been expected
had respondents based their brand origin assign-
ments exclusively on the language characteristics of
brand names. In other words, using a mere guessing
approach to categorize brand origins based on
language features should have led to a higher
percentage of BORA than what was observed in
the national sample. Importantly, this suggests that
actual knowledge of brand origins exclusive of the
heuristic value of brand names’ language affiliation
is minimal indeed. Of course, marketers some-
times make the task difficult for consumers by
using brand names that suggest language origins
different from the brands’ true COs. Nevertheless,
the results from Study 2 strengthen the validity of
BORA scores in Study 1 regarding consumers’
limited ability to correctly recognize the COs for a
sample of mostly well-known and widely distrib-
uted brands.
General discussion
This research has provided insight into consumers’
BORA and the factors that account for variability in
BORA scores. The framework for this study is
adapted from categorization theory, which, in the
context of brand origin knowledge and recall,
asserts that consumers categorize relevant brand
information in categories that are later accessed as
necessary. Based on applications of categorization
theory in consumer behavior and management, the
models of BORA presented in this study appear
consistent with the literature (cf. Sujan and Tybout,
1988; John and Sujan, 1990).
Several factors explain the implications of this
research for the broader body of CO studies and for
future research streams. First, a large body of
literature in international marketing has been
devoted to the examination of CO effects upon
buyer preferences. A critical underlying assumption
in the CO literature is that consumers do in fact
possess accurate knowledge of brands’ COs. It is
evident in the findings from the national survey
that consumers’ brand origin recognition is modest
at best. Consumers’ low BORA scores are achieved,
ceteris paribus, in the face of transparent US labeling
laws that require all imported products to be clearly
marked with their respective COs. It is further
noteworthy that even the modest BORA scores
reported in this investigation are potentially
inflated when one considers that, during pretest
and screening processes, (1) brands that could not
be identified by a large proportion of respondents
were dropped from the original set being consid-
ered, and (2) brands were also excluded if pretest
responses regarding their origin were diffused
among several nations. Thus, these findings suggest
that the role of CO in brand choice under natural,
ecologically valid conditions, where brand origin
information has either to be acquired at the point
of purchase through active search or accessed from
memory via intentional, goal-driven efforts, is
nominal for the most part. Additionally, given that
firms source their products for global markets from
multiple and varying locations, brand origin, as
defined in this study, is potentially the only stable
information about a product (cf. Thakor and
Lavack, 2003). Thus BORA offers an opportunity
to explore country influences upon choice behavior
more accurately and realistically, and develop an
appropriate international marketing strategy.
Therefore, based on the results obtained in this
study, international marketing strategies should
place much greater reliance on non-geographic
attributes of brands than those related to their
origins. This conclusion is consistent with results
obtained by Lee and Ganesh (1999), indicating that
brand image is more important than CO.
The CO literature is based mostly on studies that
have experimentally manipulated CO cues in
controlled laboratory experiments. Such manipula-
tions are heavy handed, inasmuch as consumers are
provided with little differentiating information
other than a brand’s origin. Under these somewhat
contrived circumstances, brands are evaluated more
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
favorably when they are aligned with countries that
are themselves judged favorably. It is thus easy to
leap to the conclusion from CO research that brand
origin plays an important role in consumer pre-
ference formation, choice processes, and hence
international marketing strategies. But this conclu-
sion is based on the dubious assumption that
consumers actually know or seek the origins of
brands when forming judgments and making
purchase decisions. The present research questions
this assumption. The evidence provided, based on a
broad spectrum of product categories and brands,
suggests that consumers either have limited recog-
nition of brand origins, or find such information
relatively unimportant and thus unworthy of
retention in memory. This is not to suggest that
CO bias does not exist. The CO line of inquiry has
demonstrated otherwise, and industry research
supports the presence of such bias in a small
proportion of the population. Madden (2003), for
example, reports that 13% of respondents in China,
19% in Indonesia, and 36% in India rejected US
brands based on their origins. However, the
expression of an intention to avoid a brand based
on its origin is not the same thing as actual brand
choice behavior. That is, the extent to which such
bias will play a role in brand choice is unknown,
and our results indicate that such influence is
nominal. Moreover, the result of a survey by Leo
Burnett Worldwide in five Asian countries, for
example, indicates that 65% of respondents buy
the brands they like regardless of their origin
(Madden, 2003).
A counter-position is that brand origin informa-
tion plays a role whether or not consumers actually
know where a brand originates. In other words, an
English-sounding brand name may be regarded as
American by US consumers even though that brand
is Korean, and a French-appearing brand name may
be perceived as originating in France even though
that brand is thoroughly American. The fact
remains that consumers might react based on their
incorrect perception of where a brand originates
rather than on the basis of correct origin informa-
tion. Although plausible, this certainly is not a
desirable situation for all brands that are misidenti-
fied with countries possessing lower equities than
the country from which the brands actually
originate. Sophisticated brand managers surely
would not tether their brands’ successes to the
stochastic prospect that their brands may be
misperceived as being from countries with higher
equities than their actual source countries. On the
other hand, it is easy to understand why a brand
marketer from a country that has relatively low
country equity that is, with respect to product-
quality perceptions may indeed choose to use a
brand name that dissociates it from its source
country and suggests it has originated in a country
known for high quality. This practice is perhaps
best evidenced by some Korean companies’ use of
English brand names as a component of their
international marketing strategies.
Furthermore, low BORA scores may signal their
relative unimportance for the relevant segment in
brand decision processes (cf. Hugstad and Durr,
1986). Direct empirical evidence supporting this
notion is lacking; however, Van Osselaer and Alba
(2000) have demonstrated that brand-driven con-
sumers are significantly more likely to show
partially accurate recall regarding an important
attribute in choice processes than are consumers
whose judgments are not brand driven. Our
national survey revealed that, on average, consu-
mers are not aware of origins; indeed, nearly 43% of
the sample set of brands were assigned to the ‘don’t
know’ category specifically, M
¼34.4% and
¼53.3%. It thus appears that brand origin plays
little role in many consumers’ choice processes.
Moreover, there is a prominent tendency for our
sample of US consumers to regard foreign brands as
being of domestic origin. This tendency is likely
due to the fact that many foreign brands have had
an ongoing distribution and promotion presence in
the US, and, for all intents and purposes, consumers
may not make a distinction between these and
brands of true American origin.
Additionally, the results of Study 2 (language
study) indicate that BORA scores may reflect some
guessing of brand origins based on language
associations even more than they indicate actual
knowledge of brand origins. However, our findings
do not indicate that brand origin is always incon-
sequential. There are, no doubt, groups of con-
sumers for whom a brand’s origin is especially
diagnostic when making brand-selection decisions
in those product categories where a particular
country is highly regarded in producing a particular
product Germany and precision tools, Switzerland
and watches, France and haute couture, etc. (cf.
Samiee, 1994).
As a brand association is meaningful only to the
extent that the association is categorized somewhat
strongly, and is accessible at the time when a brand-
related judgment is necessitated (Keller, 1993,
2003), a brand’s CO even if the brand happens
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
to be from a country with positive equity (Shimp
et al., 1993) may not represent a type of brand
association that is judgment or purchase conse-
quential. Our research thus leads to the conclusion
that managers of new brands should periodically
monitor the origins associated with their brands in
order to avoid the obvious pitfalls of their brands
being associated with undesirable origins, particu-
larly those that interfere with the international
positioning goals stated in their respective market-
ing strategies. Concurrently, they should never
assume that consumers do in fact know a brand’s
It is evident from the results of Study 1 that
socioeconomic status, international experience,
gender (men), and consumer’s scoring low on
ethnocentrism contribute to higher BORA
A greater focus on these attributes is likely to
establish more firmly the foreign origin of the
brand being marketed. In general, however, market-
ing managers should remain mindful of the low
levels of BORA reported in this study, and incorpo-
rate brand origin in their marketing strategy only
when research results for the particular market
being targeted suggest that this would be an
effective strategy. In such cases, the variables
identified in this research can assist in better
targeting the firm’s communications.
Of particular importance to international market-
ing managers is the influence of brand origin on
customer acceptance of globally standardized
brands. With increased interest in globalization
and the achievement of greater economies of scale,
the issue should necessarily be viewed from the
perspective of the firm’s global strategy. Although
many respondents in our US-based sample are
seemingly unknowledgeable and passive about
origins of brands, this is not necessarily the case
in other nations (Madden, 2003). For example,
anecdotal industry research reports by Kurt Salmon
Associates (Textile World, 1991) and by MSR
(Walsh, 1993) have noted that some consumers
pay close attention to brand origins of apparels.
Brand origin considerations also entail a broader
public policy consideration. Governments have an
inherent interest in firmly establishing and main-
taining a positive country equity for all brands
associated with them through communications
and promotion programs, education, and regula-
tion. The issues discussed in this research are of
particular importance to emerging and developing
economies that are rapidly industrializing and
vying for a larger portion of global trade. Histori-
cally, firms in these countries have been sensitive to
country equity and brand origin considerations.
The use of established US brands by some Japanese
firms for distribution of their products in the US
market is tantamount to leveraging off these firms’
strong US association and well-established brands.
During the 1960s and the 1970s, for example,
Pentax, Ricoh, and Sanyo marketed their products
under such well-known US brands as Honeywell,
Savin, and Sears, respectively. Thus brand origin
considerations should remain important to deve-
loping and emerging countries’ governments
and selectively to some international marketing
Future research
Brand-related issues are among the leading areas
designated as research priorities by the Marketing
Science Institute,
and the findings of this study
highlight the importance of this line of inquiry in
an international context. As such, several areas for
future research are evident.
First, inasmuch as a great deal of interest in CO
research is evident from the literature, BORA offers
a more realistic and ecologically more appropriate
alternative research stream. A focus on brand origin
offers a meaningful alternative for bypassing the
many conceptual and research design difficulties
and shortcomings associated with CO studies.
Second, standardized branding strategies are
inherently related to the firm’s global orientation
and strategy. Firms cannot create new brands for
every new market they enter just by virtue of the
presence of negative brand origin or CO bias. Some
firms such as Unilever and, to some degree,
Colgate-Palmolive and P&G have substantially
circumvented brand origin issues by offering
numerous local and regional brands, in addition
to their global brands. However, BORA scores may
still influence consumers’ choice to some degree. In
general, there is a dearth of empirical studies
linking global branding and brand origin to the
firms’ global orientation. Therefore, future studies
that link the implications of brand origin recall to
the firm’s global orientation and global marketing
program are desirable.
Finally, the marketing literature is impoverished
with regard to studies that incorporate aggregate
brand-related knowledge. With the exception of a
few descriptive reports by consulting firms (e.g.,
Landor Associates), little is known about brand-
related consumer knowledge and its influence on
consumers’ decision processes. Brand origin should
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
realistically be viewed as a component of brand
equity, because the origins of many products are
very much a part of their characters. Thus, field
studies that involve large numbers of actual brands
and attempt to unfold brand-related cognitive
structures of consumers are in order.
In an effort to address a critical knowledge gap in
the CO literature, we have proposed a new
construct in this study, BORA, and have developed
and validated a measure to assess it. Several aspects
of this study have influenced our findings.
First, we used a specific definition for BORA that
is advocated in the small but growing literature
dealing with product and brand origin. Further, we
validated this definition using a group of graduate
students. However, knowledge regarding globaliza-
tion of firms and cross-national acquisition of
popular brands may complicate the nature of brand
origin for some respondents.
Despite the complex
nature of brand ownership, our focus was on origin
rather than ownership, and therefore we feel secure
in the definition deployed in the study. Be that as it
may, other brand origin definitions might have
resulted in a different outcome.
Second, the set of brands used were derived from
a wide range of consumer products. We intention-
ally excluded brands with well-known origins so
that BORA scores are not artificially inflated. The
great majority of consumers probably cannot
decouple such brands as Mercedes-Benz and Sony
from Germany and Japan, respectively. Although
our findings provide a solid basis regarding con-
sumers’ limited knowledge of origins of brands,
they should not be extended to brands that
embody their origins without further research.
Third, our research instrument was demanding in
that it required respondents to recall 84 brands,
their experiences with them, and their origins, and
to respond to demographic and other questions.
Given the length of our research instrument,
respondent fatigue might have influenced the
accuracy of some responses. Overall, however, we
consider the risks posed by these limitations to be
minimal, and are confident that our results repre-
sent realistic assessments of consumers’ cognitive
We thank anonymous JIBS reviewers for the helpful
comments and the JIBS Departmental Editor, Professor
G Tomas M Hult, for his guidance throughout the
review process.
Reviews of the extensive CO literature are provided
by Papadopoulos and Heslop (1993), Samiee (1994),
Al-Sulaiti and Baker (1998), and more recently by
rhan-Canli and Maheswaran (2000).
A counter-argument to the foregoing premise is
that it is non-functional for consumers to retain brand-
origin information in memory because point-of-pur-
chase cues (packaging and in-store displays and signs)
provide them with ‘external memories’ (Bettman,
1979) that can be acquired on demand. This appears
plausible until it is noted that consumers spend a trivial
amount of time inspecting brands at the point of
purchase (Dickson and Sawyer, 1990).
These statistics, particularly for the lower income
and education groups, are generally inflated,
because even a single trip to Canada or Mexico is
classified as foreign travel. That is, the breadth
and depth of international experience is not captured
in the statistics reported by Rounds (1988). How-
ever, the author also reported the proportion of
Americans who travel to further destinations, which
is substantially lower than those reported for
any international travel experience: Germany (17%),
Great Britain (15%), France (15%), Italy (12%),
Japan (7%), Australia (3%), India (1%), and the Soviet
Union (1%).
Two important considerations with respect to
brand familiarity are noteworthy. First, if the data
were screened for brand familiarity, a large portion of
observed brand origin data would be systematically set
aside. As it is implausible that brand familiarity explains
100% of the variance in the dependent variable,
the analysis would be biased if it were limited only to
brands with which respondents reported familiarity.
Second, brand familiarity cannot be incorporated in
the model as a separate construct because the data are
at the brand level whereas the dependent variable is
an aggregate account of all brands. These issues
further demonstrate that the use of adjusted scores
would not reflect the correct magnitude of brand
origin recall and, in general, is problematic.
Chi-squared with 18 df¼932.638, RMSEA¼0.121,
NFI¼0.958, NNFI¼0.962, CFI¼0.966, IFI¼0.966,
One-tailed and two-tailed p-values are reported
for directional and non-directional hypotheses,
MSI divides its research priorities into Gold, Silver,
and Bronze categories, and brand-related topics are
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
listed as the leading Silver-level research issues (http://
The literature indicates that consumers are fairly
knowledgeable about the multinational composition
of many products they purchase (Shimp et al., 1993;
Ahmed and d’Astous, 1995), and this knowledge has
created a natural bias when attempting to assess the
influence of the CO on consumers’ choice. Additional
difficulties include simplicity in design (for example,
whether CO is a salient consideration in choice
process), unrealistic manipulations, and the artificial
introduction of CO cues that have collectively led to
some controversial managerial prescriptions (e.g.,
Bilkey and Nes, 1982; Samiee, 1994).
Zenith, for example, was US-owned at the time of
data collection, but is now owned by LG Electronics of
Korea. To avoid this problem, brands with ambiguous
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Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
Appendix A1
List of brands constituting the BORA
and BORA
United States
Almaden, Anne Klien, Capezio, Clinique, Conair,
Converse, Emerson, Estee Lauder, Eureka, Evan
Picone, Finesse, Florsheim, Halsa, Hoover, Hot-
point, JG Hook, Jergens, Jhirmack, Jovan, Keds,
Keri, L’envie, LaChoy, LeSeur, Liz Claiborne, May-
tag, Medipren, Nunn Bush, Nuprin, Oscar de
Lorenta, Pantene, Proctor Silex, Reebok, Regina,
Samsonite, Silkience, Sunbeam, Tappan, Vidal-
Sassoon, Zenith
Advil, Laura Ashley
Aigner, Bic, Chanel, Evian, Germaine Montel,
me, Perrier
Adidas, Agfa, Bayer, Braun, Dual, Lowenbrau
Nivea, Pendelton, Puma, Zeiss
Bandolino, Benetton, Nordica, Olivetti
Canon, Citizen, Epson, Fuji, Minolta, NEC, Nikon,
Bally, Cartier, Movado, Omega, Piaget, Rolex,
Not listed
GoldStar, Magnavox, Norelco, Phillips, Samsung,
About the authors
Saeed Samiee is the Collins Professor of Marketing
and International Business at the University of
Tulsa. He has published in scholarly journals
including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Interna-
tional Business Studies, and Journal of the Academy of
Marketing Science. He serves on the review boards of
a dozen scholarly journals, and was named an
outstanding reviewer by Journal of the Academy of
Marketing Science and the Journal of International
Business Studies.
Terry Shimp is Professor of Marketing, Chair of the
Marketing Department, and the WW Johnson
Distinguished Foundation Fellow at the University
of South Carolina. He has been a frequent con-
tributor to the top marketing, consumer research,
and advertising journals on issues of consumer
learning, persuasion, and response to marketing
and advertising communications. He authors
Advertising, Promotion, and Supplemental Aspects of
Integrated Marketing Communications (Thomson/
South-Western, 6th edn, 2003).
Subhash Sharma is Professor of Marketing and
Charles W Coker Sr Distinguished Foundation
Fellow in the Moore School of Business, The
University of South Carolina. He has published
extensively in leading academic journals, and is
currently serving on the editorial review boards of
the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Retailing.
Accepted by G Tomas M Hult, Departmental Editor, 19 November 2004. This paper has been with the author for two revisions.
Brand origin recognition accuracy Saeed Samiee et al
Journal of International Business Studies
... In Liefeld's study (2004), participants showed a very low recognition rate (6.5%) towards the CO of a variety of products. Samiee et al. (2005) also reported low brand origin recognition accuracy (35%) by participants in their study of 84 brands. Usnier and Cestre (2007) further intensified the discussion by criticizing the reflections on the relevance of CO brought up by Josiassen and Harzing (2008). ...
... His findings were striking as only 6.5% of purchasers (out of 1248) had acquired or known the CO of a product, and only 2.2% had taken it in consideration in making purchase decisions. In their survey on U.S. consumers Samiee et al. (2005) also found that a very high percentage of respondents did not know the country of origin of the 84 selected brands for survey (30.8%e56.4% depending on its CO) and the answer accuracy rate of brand origin was as low as 49% for US brands, which ranked highest, and 13.7% for British brands, which ranked lowest. Balabanis and Diamantopoulos (2011) also reported a similar result of low brand origin recognition for 13 consumer durable goods brands in the U.K. ...
The aim of this paper is to expand upon previous research into the country of origin effect through the use of empirical data by formulating an analysis method which allows the measurement of the extent of country of origin effect by the proxy of K-pop musicians associated with country of origin image and to propose an alternative framework which provides an explanation as to the discrepancies between empirical data and prior research. Our analysis results reveal that the impact of country of origin associated with ‘PSY’ and ‘BTS’ on the automobile sales of ‘Hyundai Sonata’ was significant in the U.S. market. An asymmetric country of origin effect was found vis-à-vis American and Japanese brands.
... To think about the origin of a brand, means to think about something that is a part of the brand and its personality distinguishing it from other brands, and that is a part of the brand's equity as well (Aaker, 1996;Thakor, 1996;Samiee, Shimp & Sharma, 2005;Zhou, Yang & Hui, 2009). When we turn the notion of a person's origin into the origin of a brand, the place from which an individual originates is what partially shapes him, defines him to some extent and influences him, and the same goes for brands. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Given the amount of brands that consumers face in a globalized market on a daily basis, it is not surprising that today's consumers want to know as much as possible about the brands they interact with, including their origin. Although the brand origin has been studied for years through the country of product origin effect context, knowing that product origin can be dispersed around the world due to globalization, brand origin becomes a more exact guideline of origin, whose impact on the consumer can also be reflected on the attitude towards the brand's product itself. As the business practice nowadays puts emphasis on transparency when dealing with consumers, while consumers becoming increasingly aware that information regarding product origin may not be accurate, brand origin potentially guides the consumer back to the true background of brand’s products. Having said that, it is no wonder that the focus of country of origin studies in this context will slowly turn to delineating brand origin effect and how it reflects on the consumer's evaluation of products. It should be borne in mind that brands can clearly and purposely communicate the origin it wants to emphasize through its identity, which is not the case with products, so it can be inferred that the brand origin will be the one according to which the consumer will evaluate the product. In this light, this paper deepens the knowledge of the brand origin effect by examining how does brand origin, when viewed through its country of origin and the culture it comes from, impacts product attitude through brand attitude of consumers representing generation Z. The results of this research show that brand origin components do impact brand attitude directly, as well as that the brand attitude mediates their impact on the product attitude, suggesting that generation Z consumers do evaluate the products depending the origin of brands under which those products have been marketed
... Brand origin: The third dimension addresses the question whether a brand is domestic or non-domestic (i.e., foreign). This includes a brand-country association or the perception where the headquarter is located, disregarding the place of manufacturing (Samiee, Shimp, and Sharma 2005). It is important to stress that the brand origin and localness dimensions should not be used as synonyms, because brands of non-domestic (foreign) origin can also build on and exploit cultural capital in a specific country . ...
In three essays, this dissertation examines the past, present and future of branding in an international context, contributing to the research area of global/local brands, while also offering managers valuable insights for their branding strategies. The first essay provides scholars and practitioners a detailed state of the art of global/local brand research and proposes promising angles for future research, especially considering major challenges for our societies. The second essay incorporates the segment of cosmopolitan consumers into perceived brand globalness/localness research. Theoretically grounded in the concepts of social identity theory and complexity, the essay builds on perceived brand globalness/localness to analyze how cosmopolitans arrange both their global and local orientations. Aside offering scholars a new theoretical lens regarding consumer cosmopolitanism, managers can benefit from the gained insights, if cosmopolitans are a particular target group in their business strategy. The third and final essay meta-analytically investigates how the variables perceived brand globalness and localness materialize on various key outcome variables. At heart of this essay is a comparison of both perceived brand globalness and localness, offering scholars and practitioners valuable empirical insights on similarities and differences between their effects on outcomes such as brand quality.
... It is well known that marketers articulate the visual elements of brands (Suter et al., 2018;Samiee et al., 2005;Schroeder et al., 2015;Wu et al., 2013;Celhay et al., 2019). If we journey back to early humankind, brands initially came into being through the burning or marking of livestock to determine ownership; differentiating one person's cattle from that of their neighbours (Blackett, 1999, p.2). Essentially a brand is a 'name, term, symbol or design, or a combination of them, which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors' (Kotler, 1991, p. 442). ...
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the role of imagined communities in the global marketplace by specifically investigating brand visual aesthetics and diasporic consumer experience. Previous literature in marketing has discussed the importance of imagined communities for transnational brands and those targeting ethnic markets. For example, a Singaporean brand can be made to appeal to a larger regional Asian community by downplaying its national Singaporean origins to instead draw on multiple cultural referents from around Asia when building a brand. Employing the 'Middle East' as a research context and limiting the scope to business research, this thesis specifically examines how the Middle East (i.e. Middle Easternness) as a type of imagined community is constructed through the global cultural flow of media (i.e. brand visual aesthetics) and migration (i.e. diaspora consumer experiences). This thesis is structured through addressing four research questions, which together yield separate yet interrelated qualitative studies that help contribute to our understanding of imagined communities in the global marketplace. The first study (RQ1) employs a critical visual analysis to a visual social semiotic approach to better understand the different ways brand visual aesthetics can help to foster transnational imagined community. The study finds and discusses six sub-dimensions of transnational imagined communities, which compose two overarching dimensions of transnational imagined community, namely temporal and spatial. These sub-dimensions provide brand managers and designers with six different ways to foster transnational imagined communities through the use of visual aesthetic referents in branding. The second study (RQ2) draws upon thirty in-depth interviews with regional (Middle Eastern) diasporic consumers in Australia to examine how their life world and experiences combine to produce a transnational imaginary (Middle Easternness) outside the Middle East. This study finds that consumers of a diverse regional diaspora have the capacity to align with both their national culture and a transnational imaginary, in what is described as a 'commingled-experience'. Five emotions were found to help construct commingled-experiences of a transnational imaginary through three elements of enactment, including atmospherics, understandings and activities. The third study (RQ3) involves a multiple-case study, including in-depth interviews with brand owners to understand how their selection and use of visual aesthetics in branding helps in the construction of imagined communities in the global marketplace. The study found that a brand owner's cultural dispositions and habitus in their decision making helps contribute to the construction of an imagined Middle Eastern identity through three brand visual aesthetic dimensions of autobiography, heritage and aesthetic sensibility. In addition, each dimension was found to be visually represented based on a continuum of incremental and radical innovation in relation to the field of the owner's cultural origin. The fourth study (RQ4) examines how congruence between a brands visual aesthetics and consumers existing structures of feeling can emotionally reinforce a sense of consciousness and belongingness to a transnational imaginary. Through a multiple-case study involving photo-elicitation interviews with consumers, the study helps illustrate the symbolic power of visual aesthetics in brands and provides some strategic guidelines for how imagined communities and worlds should be constructed by brands. The findings for each study build on each other to help collectively contribute to our understanding of the power of imagined communities in the global marketplace.
... In this context, some authors [76,77] dealt with the topic from a broader perspective, while others [78] investigated it in the context of packaging, which is one of the brand elements. Furthermore, some studies [79,80] tried to reveal the relationship between brand elements and the country of origin in the context of consumer behaviors. ...
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This paper aims to systematically review and critically examine marketing research on the standardization/adaptation of brand elements and explain its importance, given its increasing influence internationally. 46 journal articles indexed in Scopus and Web of Science databases examine with focus on research theme with broad scope approach, one of the types of literature review. The findings show that there is a live stream about the standardization/adaptation of brand elements in the marketing discipline, and contextual, methodological, and thematic diversity. Moreover, the findings of the review also highlight various literature trends and gaps. Results of the current review offer deep insights and create an ambitious research agenda that raises exciting new research questions for researchers. Besides results help to encourage the development of future theories on international branding.
... In the global branding scenario, where manufacturers use multiple countries to find components and to produce and/or assemble goods (hybrid products) and often use brand naming that suggest linguistic origins other than the true origin of the brand (Samiee et al., 2005), understanding how consumers correctly identify the origin of a brand is a very relevant issue. In fact, associating a brand with the wrong COO can affect the perception of its value and the consumer's willingness to buy it (Pegan et al., 2020). ...
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This paper aims to analyze the Country of Origin (COO) effect and the consumer’s intention to purchase green brands, applying the revised Stereotypic Content Model, in which the competence dimension is combined with the warmth dimension divided into two stereotypic sub-dimensions of morality and sociality. While previous analyses have investigated the role of stereotypes of competence and warmth with regard to the Country of Brand (COB) and green brands, this research aims to investigate how the competence and the two components of the warmth (morality and sociality) of the green brand and its country of origin can positively/negatively influence the perceived quality and purchase intentions of a green brand. Considering the importance of understanding if and how COB stereotypes can be related to those of the green brands and how this can influence the perception of quality and the purchase intention of the brand, exploratory quantitative research has been conducted on a sample of Italian consumers. In particular, empirical research has been developed considering three COO: Italy, Germany, and USA, and two brands: green cars and green fashion clothing. The data have been analyzed through different statistical analyses.
... ZDRAVKOVIC, 2013;LAZZARI; SLONGO, 2015;MEHMET;PIRTINI;ERDEM, 2010; KRUMMENAUER et al. 2016;SILVA et al., 2015). Ela compreende o conhecimento e as crenças do consumidor em relação aos produtos e não produtos (SAMIEE; SHIMP;SHARMA, 2005). São representações mentais, referentes a pessoas, produtos, cultura, e os estereótipos em relação a um país podem persistir mesmo após as pessoas conhecerem os produtos desse país (VERLEGH; STEENKAMP, 1999). ...
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O efeito país de origem é considerado um atributo extrínseco que pode influenciar os consumidores no momento da escolha de um produto, agindo de forma positiva ou negativa. Isso ocorre porque os consumidores, muitas vezes, possuem uma visão (imagem) estereotipada de determinados países, e essa imagem acaba se estendendo aos produtos oriundos desses países. Da mesma forma, o nível de preço também pode influenciar nesta escolha, podendo agir como moderador do efeito país de origem. Portanto, o presente trabalho teve como objetivo verificar o efeito do país de origem e o efeito do nível de preço na escolha de vinho dos países Brasil, Chile e China. Para tanto, foi realizada uma pesquisa experimental, com desenho fatorial 3X2, que contou com a participação de 256 sujeitos, divididos em oito subgrupos. Os resultados revelaram que em qualquer cenário os vinhos de países com estereótipo positivo (Chile ou Brasil) foram mais escolhidos. Do total das escolhas, o vinho chileno superou os outros vinhos (51,6%). Quando todos os preços eram iguais, a maior preferência também foi do vinho chileno. Para preços diferentes, o vinho mais barato de país com estereótipo positivo foi mais escolhido. Mas o nível de preço baixo do vinho chinês foi capaz de diminuir o efeito país de origem. Essas informações contribuem com os gestores na tomada de decisão referente à aquisição de produtos nacionais ou importados, na comunicação da origem ou do preço do produto, na elaboração de estratégias de marketing visando minimizar efeitos negativos.
This chapter discusses the four elements of the marketing mix, product, price, place, and promotion, and how they might be modified in foreign markets in consequence of the influence of local culture and market specificities. The main factors that affect such decisions are illustrated, together with some reflections about current evolving marketing trends, especially regarding digitalization and the hybridization of culture.
The effect of country-of-origin labelling on consumers' as sessments of product quality, risk to purchase, perceived value and likelihood of purchasing was tested experimen tally in a multi-product, multi-cue setting. Country-of- origin information was found to be more important in affect ing product quality assessments than were price and brand information. Price was important in value assessment while brand was significant in a few product specific cases. Age, education, sex, and perceptions of ability to judge products were variously related to consumers' ratings of quality, risk, value and likelihood of purchase especially when the prod uct was more complex and difficult to judge. However, much of the variation in consumer judgments was not ac counted for by the variables employed in this study, suggest ing that future research should include more detailed studies of information processing whereby intrinsic and extrinsic product cues and a wide range of consumer characteristics are taken into consideration.
The statistical tests used in the analysis of structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error are examined. A drawback of the commonly applied chi square test, in addition to the known problems related to sample size and power, is that it may indicate an increasing correspondence between the hypothesized model and the observed data as both the measurement properties and the relationship between constructs decline. Further, and contrary to common assertion, the risk of making a Type II error can be substantial even when the sample size is large. Moreover, the present testing methods are unable to assess a model's explanatory power. To overcome these problems, the authors develop and apply a testing system based on measures of shared variance within the structural model, measurement model, and overall model.
This study investigates the importance of country of manufacture (COM) information to U.S. consumers when purchasing a variety of different goods and services. The impact of COM information on consumer perceptions of product quality, price and risk level are also presented. Finally, profiles of consumers sensitive to COM information and predisposed toward expanded trade with the People’s Republic of China are presented.
The concept of consumer ethnocentrism is introduced and a corresponding measure, the CETSCALE, is formulated and validated. Four separate studies provide support for the CETSCALE's reliability and convergent and discriminant validity. A series of nomological validity tests show consumer ethnocentrism to be moderately predictive of theoretically related constructs.