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: A case of Samsung
Professor( Dr) Avinash Kapoor
Statement of the problem
• To investigate dissimilar effects of the country image on consumers’ brand image and purchase intention by differently perceived nationality groups.
• It is critical for emerging companies like Samsung to understand whether or not using the masked country image has any benefits to its image and selling.
• What is Brand Image: …………………………
What is Country Image: ……………
• The total of all descriptive, inferential, and informational belief about a particular country” • Even though country image can be formed from past experience of using a product in a given country, Country image is different from product image or attitude toward the product.
• Only when the product is evaluated as derivation of country image, it is counted as country image. • Evaluating the effect of country image on a specific brand becomes complex in this context.
• It is very hard to differentiate the product image from the country image. • Some Korean companies have not actively publicized the nationality of the product in case obscuring the country-of-origin (COO) plays a positive role in building favorable brand image and reinforcing purchase intention.
• Samsung is a Korea-based company • Electronics market is highly competitive. • There are giant multinational makers such as Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Magnavox, and Toshiba.
When the company has a mediocre “country-of-origin” image or no COO,
• Does obscuring COO have a positive impact on consumers’ purchase intention? • Are consumers wise enough to check the COO of the product before their purchase decision? • Is there any backlash for cheating consumers about COO?
• COO: country of origin: Image of product or the country that people believe it comes from – has on consumer’s perception of the product. • Just like company image, country image evokes certain values, qualifications, and emotional triggers in consumers’ minds about the likely values of any product that comes from that country.
Terms: The issue of COO image or the made-in phenomenon • Is it the general belief about a particular country that is distinguishable from product image.” • OC: the place a consumer links a product with [(origin country (OC)] • DC: designed-in country (DC) to highlight the country that the finished product was designed. • MC: the place where it is actually produced.
• GCA: GENERAL COUNTRY ATTITUDE (Think India, China, Europe, KOREA) • GPA: General Product Attitude (Electronic items from china, India, Korea, Japan) • SPA: specific product attitudes: Specific knowledge about marketing and product attributes. (Yoga, Art, Painting, TV, Refrigerator, cell phone)
• PCI: product-country image (PCI) this concept says that essence of country image lies in consumers’ perceptions about products, not in the actual made-in identification such as OC, MC, and DC • Say for example: If consumers perceive one product as made-in China, the PCI of the product is China regardless of the real identity of the maker country.
• internal and external, that a consumer uses to make the purchase decision • Internal cues, which are things such as taste, design and performance etc. These are less controllable • External cues such as brand, price, name, and COO; more controllable. • Country image is an external cue to the buyer, which is used in the final purchase decision.
What Consumers Do
• Consumers may use country image as a halo, or sort of generalization, to evaluate the products if little is known about them. • Consumers might use a summary construct in product evaluations, meaning that a consumer would store the brand information as “chunks” and retrieve them later when needed to process information about other products.
Suggestions of possible solutions: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
• Choose appropriate brand elements (brand name, logo, symbol, character, package, slogan). • Develop marketing programs (product, price, place, promotion). • Leverage secondary associations (company image, COO, competition, endorser, events). • All the above , as secondary associations foster the environment for creating strong, favorable, unique brand image and brand awareness that ultimately lead to the increment of overall brand equity ( Keller).
Case in question: Evaluation of possible solution
• Obscure Origin Cues; • If a consumer is not familiar with a product, they, in turn, make a general assumption about a product in relation to the knowledge held about a country or other products made in that country. • Companies that have inferior country image especially tend to obscure, suppress, or borrow the country image of superior countries.
• Also, consumers use the country image to infer product quality when they are not confident about the product/service. • The low level of consumer knowledge stimulates the use of the country image. • Thus, obscuring or borrowing the country image can occur when consumers are not familiar with products/services.
• Country image has an impact on the marketability of a product and at times can be obscured when the country’s image is not expected to contribute to the product’s foreign sales or other products previously marketed do not contribute to the general or specific product image of the country.
• A downplaying of the OC can disassociate the product from the country. • Companies hide all possible indicators in advertising that could allude to the harmful country image. • An illustration of this concept is the English sounding names used for new models of electronics by Japanese car companies . • The suppression of origin identifiers ideally assists in the global sales.
CLASS OPINION: ????
• Another route; • Overcoming a negative PCI is to borrow the image of another country hoping the consumer will use the halo or summary construct . • The image can be “borrowed” in various ways such as in branding, packaging, and advertising.
• Reebok, an American shoe company. • While a US company manufactures Reebok, it uses the British flag as an emblem on the tongue of the shoe, distinguishing it as associated with the UK rather than America. • Reebok is “borrowing” the flag in hopes of the consumer seeing it as a “symbol of distinction.”
• In the Samsung’s case, the effort to increase the country image of South Korea should be the first agenda to enlarge the American market. • The consortium-type organization between the government and companies can stage a nationwide campaign to enhance the country’s image. • In fact, obscuring country image may have no effect (maybe short-term gain is possible), but in the long-term effect, promoting the accurate country image will contribute to market stability.
• In addition, it is also ethically problematic and discouraging to employees in view of work morale. • Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, and Daewoo have been marketing overseas but are still not thought of as “high quality”. Korean products are commonly thought of as a “good value” but product quality, in the eye of the consumer, is still in question, especially in relation to Japanese products.
• The real problem is the effect of country stereotype. Stereotyping the country image establishes the consistency in mind and reinforces the bias. • Developing countries such as Thailand, China, Taiwan, Brazil, and India etc have the same dilemma in their exporting strategies of different products. In some cases, they try to borrow other developed countries’ images or obscure their country image (for example, consumers can easily see many different country labels by design, material, and manufacturer).