Special Session Summary Consumer and Brands in Southeast Asia: Evolving Relationships and Current Issues



Citation:

Ken Wright (1996) ,"Special Session Summary Consumer and Brands in Southeast Asia: Evolving Relationships and Current Issues", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Russel Belk and Ronald Groves, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 28-29.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1996      Pages 28-29

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

CONSUMER AND BRANDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: EVOLVING RELATIONSHIPS AND CURRENT ISSUES

Ken Wright, Edith Cowan University

The production of counterfeit goods, which often nearly replicate authentic merchandise, offers huge cost advantages because almost no investments in brand name recognition and research and product development are required. Fundamentally, companies in newly industrialised and emerging economies such as those in Southeast Asia are often lured by the large profit margins and the low risk of counterfeiting.

 

CONSUMER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE YIN AND YANG OF BRAND PIRACY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA

Cliff Shultz, Arizona State University

Alexander Nill, Innsbruck University

Brand piracy in the form of counterfeiting has reached epidemic proportions despite the efforts of companies and governments to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) (Blatt 1993; Sweeney, Greenberg and Bitler 1994). The value of counterfeit goods on the world market has grown by 1100% since 1984 (Blatt 1993, p.2). Products such as watches, toys and textiles that carry a high brand image and are relatively simple to manufacture top the list of goods pirated, but more sophisticated products such as pharmaceuticals and aircraft parts are also favourite targets. Some estimates suggest 5% to 8% of all products and services sold are counterfeit (cf International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition 1995); companies worldwide lose hundreds of billions of US dollars annually to IPR thieves (cf Keats and Joyner 1995; Rousslang 1995). Labour and consumers are also serverely victimised. In the US 750,000 jobs were lost due to counterfeiting in 1993 alone (Sweeney 1994); other countries that comply with World Trade Organisation policy, e.g., Australia, have seen jobs disappear as well. Consumers around the globe are also victimised as they are often seriously injured or killed by bogus pharmaceuticals, aircraft parts, and auto parts (cf Conlan 1992; Shultz and Saporito in press).

The explosive growth of many forms of counterfeiting is primarily attributed to the global diffusion of technologies for mass production and strong financial incentives. The production of counterfeit goods, which often nearly replicate authentic merchandise, offers huge cost advantages because almost no investments in brand name recognition and research and product development are required. Fundamentally, companies in newly industrialised and emerging economies such as those found in Southeast Asia are often lured by the tremendous profit margins and the low risk of counterfeiting.

Considerable effort has been focused to eradicate the supply of counterfeit products. A demand focus, however, is also important. That is, without consumer demand, there will be no supply. Thus, dissuading conumers who knowingly purchase counterfeit goods and in turn create the market is also instrumental to problem resolution. Many factors affect demand. Among those factors are variables that influence consumers’ decision to purchase counterfeit goods, including perceived value of the product, ethical approach to decision making and communication. The objective of the presentation is to examine the relationships among these factors and consumers’ attitudes toward buying counterfeit goods. We conclude with testable propositions and recommendations for experimental research that may produce findings that can be used to deter consumers from wilfully purchasing counterfeit products.

 

THE MESSAGE OR THE MESSENGER: DOES BRAND NAME ACCOUNT FOR OR REPRESENT COUNTRY OF ORIGIN EFFECTS?

Steve Cornish Ward, Murdoch University Western Australia

Anthony Pecotich, University of Western Australia

The internationalisation of trade has been a striking feature of the modern economic landscape of Southeast Asia and Australia. One outcome of this process is the myriad product and consumption options now available to consumers of the Southwest Rim of the Pacific. However, wide variations exist in the cost and quality of products and brands available throughout the region. Similarly, variances also exist in the level of development for particular types of industries among countries. Such differences create an incentive for buyers to seek the "best" products from the "best" sources, yet, at the same time, nationalism (or perhaps ethnocentrism) forms the basis of a powerful appeal that appears too strong for firms to disregard. It is not surprising, therefore, that country of origin has become an important heuristic for many consumers in the region and accordingly, an important aspect of international marketing strategy and brand management.

Despite sensitivity to country of origin effects, controversy still exists as to whether brand names carried by products and services are more important than are the means of transmission for country of origin stereotypes, both broad and specific (Ahmed d’Astous and Zouiten 1993; Papadopolous 1993; Han 1989, 1990; Leclerc, Schmitt and Dube 1994). In other words, one might still ask, does brand name serve as the message when consumers evaluate products and services or is it merely a "messenger", a commonly available piece of information used by consumers to facilitate the decoding processes associated with country of origin effect? This paper presents preliminary results from two pilot experiments, which examined two products: personal computers and wine. The initial findings suggest the use of brand names by consumers is not merely a means of representation for country of origin effects, but may account for how country of origin information is used by consumers as either a halo or summary construct. Implications and future research issues are explored.

 

THE EFFECTS OF BRANDING AND COUNTRY OF ORIGIN ON THE TRANSFER OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS TO RURAL THAILAND: A CASE OF INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL LEGITIMATION

Marc Saupin, Edith Cowan University

The International Centre for Solar Energy Research (CASE) is promoting the use of Western Australian (WA) renewable energy systems across rural communities in Southeast Asia. In so doing the question of the importance of brand name awareness has been raised. More specifically, is brand name for a technically sophisticated product important to the purchasers and ultimate consumers in a Southeast Asian country such as Thailand?

The Solar system itself does not carry a brand, however, several components of the system do. Most of these components are made by small WA research and development or hi tech companies with no international track record or exposure to overseas governments. As such their individual brands are not well known throughout the region. Despite the absence of brand name recognition of these W firms, WA has a reputation for excellence in the development and application of solar energy systems. Consequently one has to ask the extent to which brands are a relevant decision criterion and/or interact with country of original effects, and thus effect the purchase decision.

Data were collected by a seven-person research team at one of the CASE demonstrations sites in Northern Thailand. Methods included site observations and personal interviews. The findings suggest that in the absence of either a well established brand name or brand awareness, the phenomenon of country of origin effects take on added significance from the perspective of the institutional legitimation of the international transfer of appropriate technology. Once institutional legitimation has been established, institutional sponsorship becomes the main driving force behind brand awareness and firm reputation. Implications and further research opportunities will be explored at the conclusion of the presentation.

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Authors

Ken Wright, Edith Cowan University



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1996



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