Consumer knowledge and country of origin effects

Schaefer, Anja (1997). Consumer knowledge and country of origin effects. European Journal of Marketing, 31(1) pp. 56–72.



Consumer knowledge has frequently been mentioned in the literature as a potential mediating factor in consumers’ use of country of origin as a product information cue. However, there is little agreement on the appropriate definition and measurement of consumer knowledge in this context, nor on the likely direction of its impact. Reports of empirical findings concerning the issue are even scarcer. Looks at various dimensions of consumer knowledge and how they impact on consumers’ use of the country of origin cue in evaluations of alcoholic beverages. Finds that neither brand familiarity nor objective or subjective product knowledge has a general main effect on consumers’ use of the country of origin cue but there are significant interaction effects. Shows that objective product class knowledge can, under certain circumstances, increase consumers’ reliance on country of origin when evaluating products with unfamiliar brand names but not with familiar brand names.

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