Country-of-manufacture labeling effect on product quality evaluations: A model incorporating consumers’ attention

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Purpose: The marketing literature does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the role of consumer's attention in the process of how Country-of-Manufacture (COM) information influences consumer product evaluations. The research contributes to an improved understanding of this process by integrating the construct of “attention to Country-of-Manufacture” into the model and examining its relationship with the influence of COM.

Design/methodology/approach: Survey data are collected from American consumers aged 18 years and above. To test the research hypotheses, MANOVA and canonical correlation analysis are performed in analyzing the data.

Findings: COM has more influence on the attentive group (consumers consciously paying attention to the COM information on a product label), on their evaluations of abstract product attributes such as durability and reliability than it does on the inattentive group (consumers not paying conscious attention to such information). In contrast, COM's influences on evaluating concrete product attributes such as style, model, availability, and quality are all significantly related to involvement with COM, but not to attention.

Research limitations/implications: The product assessments sought from respondents are generally on “foreign” products. Future research needs to obtain product-specific evaluations within each product category in testing the model and see how the results may differ or not differ across product categories.

Practical implications: Marketers selling products with high performance in abstract attributes such as durability and reliability should increase consumers’ attention to the COM through effective product labeling.

Originality/value: This research identifies and empirically investigates the difference of COM effects on consumers’ product judgment between consumers who are attentive and the ones who are inattentive to COM information.




This article is the authors' final published version in Research in Consumer Behavior, Volume 12, December 2010, Pages 101-129.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/S0885-2111(2010)0000012007. Copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited