Marketing product quality with country labels- The key to success or a risky adventure

Company: GfK Group

Author: Rudolf Leibiger

Abstract:

This paper describes the results of a study about the "Made in ..." phenomenon, conducted in Japan, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The first section summarizes the position of country labels in times of increasing international competition for consumer products. It becomes clear that even nowadays in times of increasing liberalization of trade, country labels can still also be a possibility for discriminating activities. The second section describes the product characteristics which consumers are spontaneously associating with certain countries. It shows that quality, reliability and price level are highly influencing the image of countries' products. This spontaneous impression is proved by the results of image profiles for the different countries. They show the clear differences between products of the different countries and the differences between domestic and foreign image. The buying preferences show the strong position of national products when purchasing daily-life goods, but also the success of the Japanese manufacturers in the field of technical appliances. The consumers clearly differentiate the leading companies of various business sectors by countries. Typical brands for nearly all countries are the automotive manufacturers and the consumer electronic industry, especially for Japan.

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