Country image and consumer preference for emerging market economy products : the moderating role of consumer materialism

Demirbag, Mehmet and Sahadev, Sunil and Mellahi, Kamel (2010) Country image and consumer preference for emerging market economy products : the moderating role of consumer materialism. International Marketing Review, 27 (2). pp. 141-163. ISSN 0265-1335

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Abstract

This paper aims to explore the moderating role of materialism in the relationship between country image and product preference with particular reference to emerging economies. Young consumers from a UK university were surveyed on their intention to buy three categories of products from six countries. The findings show that the moderating role of materialism in the relationship between country image and product preference is contingent upon the type of product. Specifically, the results show that the effect of materialism as a negative moderator is very pronounced for high value products from emerging economies and less pronounced for low value products from emerging economies. The findings highlight the role of materialism in purchasing behaviour and buyers' perceptions towards goods from emerging economies. The findings show that materialism among consumers could be a major stumbling block for multinationals from emerging economies to enter markets in developed countries. The results suggest that multinationals from emerging economies should under-emphasize the country of origin when marketing to young consumers high in materialism. This is the first paper that examines the moderating effects of materialism in the relationship between country image and product preference on products from emerging economies.