Country equity: Conceptualization and empirical evidence
Despite considerable interest in the topic of country equity, attempts at its measurement have been scarce. This research contributes to the literature by providing a consumer-based measure for country equity, and it improves country equity measurement by addressing some of the limitations associated with previous approaches. This research also contributes to our understanding of this area by providing empirical evidence of the multidimensionality of the country equity construct. We define country equity from a consumer perspective, as the value endowed by a source country onto products originating from that country. We conceptualize country equity based on consumers' memory based associations, using the associative network memory model, as a five-dimensional construct, comprising country awareness, macro country image, micro country image, perceived quality, and country loyalty. The paper reports the results of an empirical study of a sample of shopping mall consumers (NÂ =Â 719) from Australia. The proposed model is tested in two product categories (cars and televisions). Results confirm the hypothesized five-dimensional structure. Our findings extend Aaker's [Aaker, D. A. (1991). Managing brand equity. New York: The Free Press] and Keller's [Keller, K. L. (1993).Conceptualizing, measuring and managing customer based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1-22] conceptualization of brand equity to country brands, as well as Yoo and Donthu's [Yoo, B. & Donthu, N. (2001). Developing and validating a multidimensional consumer-based brand equity scale. Journal of Business Research, 52(1), 1-14] consumer-based brand equity measurement to the measurement of country equity. The results have implications for government agencies, industry groups and firms interested in branding a country in target international markets.
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Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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