Title Name University Course Lecturer How can buyer attitudes about a product's country of origin affect marketing strategy? Consumers tend to have different attitudes towards the country of origin of different products. These attitudes play a very big role in determining the success or failure of a product or service…
Consumer attitudes consist of three main components, affective, cognitive and behavioral component (Pride et al, 2011). The cognitive component refers to the buyer’s knowledge and information about a product. The affective component is the buyer’s feelings and emotion towards the product. Lastly, the behavioral component consists of the actions of the buyer towards the product. Marketers should seek to identify and understand all this components of the consumer attitudes in order to ensure the success of a product. According to Hassan and Samli (1994), the country of origin effect is defined as the influence that a country’s manufacturer has on the negative or positive judgment of the consumer (Doole & Robin, 2005). There are many methods that can be used by marketers to gauge buyers’ attitudes. One simple method involves questioning the buyers directly. This helps marketers stay informed on the buyers attitudes and identify what the buyer wants exactly. In 2007, a survey by The Roy Morgan Research reported that 89% of Australian consumers are looking for fresh food that is grown in Australia. 74% of this buyers said that they wanted Australian fresh foods in order to support local businesses and farmers. This research points out that advertising fresh products as Australian-grown is a smart marketing strategy especially when targeting Australian consumers. Therefore, if buyers have a strongly positive attitude towards the country of origin, the marketers should consider playing up the country of origin in its marketing strategy and communications. Another example of this is the 1990s’ Volkswagen’s “Fahrvehrgnugen” campaign. It asserted the company’s German roots despite the fact that many of the cars that it sold were assembled in low-wage countries such as Mexico. Buyers will, therefore, buy this products since Germany is associated with quality and reliable products. For the same reason, people opt to buy other German made cars such as Bosch and BMW (Chasin & Jaffe, 1979). Likewise, Switzerland is known worldwide for its precision. Watches from Swiss are legendary the world over and for this reason; buyers are even willing to pay a higher price for them (John & Jagdish, 1969). On the other hand, marketers tend to have an uphill task when combating the buyer’s negative perceptions of a product’s Country-of-origin. Russia and South Africa are examples of two countries where marketers experience hardships when marketing their products. Although Russia is well known for producing high quality vodka, many buyers avoid using its products since they still term the country as a communist country (Chasin & Jaffe, 1979). Likewise, South Africa is synonymous with producing very fine wine and at very attractive prices. However, American consumers have been reluctant to buying this product due to their negative perception about the country resulting form the apartheid era although it has ended (Christopher, 2001). Another country experiencing negative bias, especially in United States, is Vietnam. In countries where negative bias is in existence, marketers should downplay the country of origin especially in packaging and the product’s marketing communications. By doing this, buyers will have less knowledge about the country where the product originated from, and this may result in increased sale of the ...
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