Do South Korean companies need to obscure their country-of-origin image? A case of Samsung

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17 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to investigate dissimilar effects of the country image on consumers' brand image and purchase intention by differently perceived nationality groups. Design/methodology/approach - One Korean manufacturer, Samsung, is chosen to verify the proposed hypotheses. A survey was conducted with 328 participants in a Midwest City of the USA. The sampling was purposive. The participant was screened through age and the interest on buying electronic goods. The research approach was empirical. Findings - Country image did not showcase any significant impact on brand image and purchase intention. Participants who thought Samsung a Japanese brand did not possess better brand image or purchase intention for the Samsung product compared to participants who knew the right nationality of South Korea. Also the Korea group did perform much better in purchase intention than the Taiwan group. Practical implications - This result indicates that positively identifying the country-product image may be a better strategy than obscuring the country image in case of South Korea and other developing countries. Originality/value - This paper fills the gap between country-of-origin image and consumers' decision making in the context of obscured country image. This result indicates that country image can work more constructively when the nationality of the product is identified accurately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalCorporate Communications: An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Brand image
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Country of origin
  • South Korea


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