The paper “ Do Country-of-Origin Labels Incur an Effect on Young Consumer Attitudes towards Fashion Luxury Brands? ” is an informative example of a dissertation on marketing. International business and trade have increased more than any time in history which has led to consumers being increasingly bombarded with products and services from a variety of foreign companies. It is clear to all that consumers evaluate and take into consideration many different factors before a purchase is made and one main factor is the country where the product originated from. This is particularly noticeable in the high-end fashion industry.
Admittedly, there has now been a large body of research archived examining the impact that country-of-origin (COO) labels have on the product choices of consumers. However, most of the early research took into account only COO information and isolated other factors that may influence the evaluation of product choice. Such researches have been criticized for its flaws. After all, as well as COO, other factors such as product type, product warranty, component types and store prestige all come together to influence product choice. Marketers are aware that consumers are known to develop stereotypes beliefs about products from particular countries.
It is for this simple reason that the COO image has the power to stimulate both traders and consumer belief about product attributes and in turn, may influence the evaluation of the product or brand. This is most noticeable in luxury fashion, particularly clothing, where consumers are quick to stereotype Italy and Paris as being high-level quality whilst devaluating other countries such as China. From a COO viewpoint, there are several factors that have been explored when it comes to product evaluation and choice.
A study by Shimp and Sharma (1987) highlights one particular factor which indicates that consumer ethnocentrism is a good example in which it has come to influence how consumers perceive products and brands from foreign countries. Both consumer patriotism and national hostility have been shown to impact consumer perception of a product from a certain country. What’ s more, this perception can be either a positive or negative viewpoint which in turn will influence the choice. It is argued that when considering COO, the congruity theory should be very much considered as a key factor potentially affecting consumer behavior and choice.
To be more precise, when congruity theory is applied, it is argued that consumer behavior will affect not simply on the brand name but as importantly which country the product was manufactured in, hence if the product is perceived to be congruent to the brand name or not. For example, consider two Italian brands, one being Prada and the other Missoni and hence both well know the in luxury cloths industry and both Italian brands.
If Prada was to include an item made in Italy and however Missoni to include a similar item made China, then according to congruity theory, since Italy is associated with luxury and product quality, therefore Prada should gain a more positive attitude when putting alongside Missoni. The concept of Brand equity suggests the importance of a brand to a product. Although a brand is viewed by a consumer as simply a name or symbol to identify a product, a marketer, however, views brand equity to have great importance if managed correctly.
It is believed that brand equity applies more to luxury fashion brands than non-luxury brands. Most brand equity research focuses on the marketing mix variables such as advertising, price, distribution, and product quality as the contributing factors (Yasin, Noor, and Mohammad, 2007, p. 38). Not much attention is given to non-marketing mix factors such as country-of-origin.