Moderating factors of the country image effect on product evaluation
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Objective: In this study, our objective is investigate how product involvement and product familiarity moderate the effect of country image on product evaluation, as well as if and how a positive or a negative country image may moderate this effect. To reach this objective, we developed five hypotheses and tested them empirically. Data collection: We used a convenience sample consisting of Norwegian students. Data was collected through an online survey, measuring product evaluation, product familiarity, product involvement and country image. All the scales used in this survey were adapted from previous studies in the fields of international marketing and consumer behavior. Analyses: To test for main effects, we ran multiple regression analyses, and to test our hypotheses, we ran simple regression analyses. All analyses were done in the IBM SPSS software. Conclusions: We found that country image significantly affects product evaluation. Our findings also indicate that the halo effect is not valid below a certain level of involvement. The findings also suggest that for less familiar product categories, a positive country image will have a larger effect on product evaluations than a negative country image, and that this difference increases as involvement decreases. A direct effect of product involvement on product evaluation was also identified.