Competent Versus Warm Countries of Origin: the Influence of National Stereotypes on Product Perceptions

While there is evidence for consumers’ reliance on country-of-origin information when evaluating products, we currently know very little about how systematic differences in the content of national stereotypes associated with a particular nation impact product perceptions and evaluations. This research shows that the stereotypes consumers hold concerning a country’s perceived warmth versus competence affect the degree to which its products are perceived to be relatively more hedonic versus utilitarian. In particular, using both U.S. and Japanese samples, we show that a product made in Germany is perceived to be more utilitarian than the identical product made in Italy, whereas a product made in Italy is perceived to be more hedonic than the identical product made in Germany. Additionally, we demonstrate an asymmetric impact of familiarity with a nation’s products on perceived warmth and competence, which is shown to moderate only differences in perceived warmth, but not in perceived competence. Further analyses of the differences in perceived utilitarianism demonstrate that this effect is driven by differences in perceived competence. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


THOMAS KRAMER, MICHAEL CHATTALAS, HIROKAZU TAKADA, and YUFU KUWASHIMA (2008) ,"Competent Versus Warm Countries of Origin: the Influence of National Stereotypes on Product Perceptions", in LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Claudia R. Acevedo, Jose Mauro C. Hernandez, and Tina M. Lowrey, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 170-172.


MICHAEL CHATTALAS, Fordham University, USA
YUFU KUWASHIMA, The University of Tokyo, JAPAN


LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 2008

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