Authors: Michael Reichert
Abstract: While the existence and relevance of COO (Country-of-Origin) effects on product evaluation has been widely discussed in the B2C environment, the global research body is lacking a systematic study of COO effects for industrial goods. We investigate the mediating effects of COO image in the B2B environment. Our main findings imply that the COO image affects quality perception of industrial goods for both domestically produced products and products produced abroad. However, the relative importance of the COO image for the evaluation of domestic products is found to be significantly lower than for foreign products. Instead, customers' familiarity with the product was found to be the main antecedent for the quality perception of domestic products. For practitioners these findings imply that marketing strategies utilizing country image stereotypes and perceptions may be unrewarding for domestically produced products sold in domestic markets. The results further suggest that while general domestic country biases found in other research apply to the products and countries investigated here as well, they may not be the result of a positive country image perception of the domestic country but rather be attributed to other information cues, in particular higher familiarity with the product.
Keywords: Internationalization; COO; Country-of- Origin; Industrial Goods; B2B; Buying-Behavior