Keyword

Country of origin, consumer perception, consumer expectations, purchase likelihood, stereotypes, nation-branding.

Abstract

This two-study, experimental design, research proposes and tests if and how national stereotypes based on perceptions of competence versus warmth affect consumer expectations of the utilitarian versus hedonic nature of products as well as their subsequent purchase likelihood. The results of our first study found that higher perceived warmth results in greater expectations of hedonic product properties, and that higher competence perceptions result in greater expectations of utilitarian properties. It is further shown that perceived competence and warmth mediate the effect of country of origin on utilitarian and hedonic product expectations, respectively. Importantly, the second study demonstrates the downstream impact of national stereotypes on consumer behavior, showing the asymmetric effect of perceived warmth and competence on purchase likelihood of hedonic versus utilitarian products, whereas competent perception favor both utilitarian and hedonic purchase likelihood. Managerial and policy implications are offered for the marketing, retailing, and promotional strategies of products as well as of nation-brands. A social psychology of post-colonial globalization stereotypes nations as more competent ('developed' or ‘emerged’) versus warm (‘developing’ or 'emerging'): what can nations do to deliberately overcome the confines of negative and positive stereotypes in order to best promote their goods and services exports?


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