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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|180||2011||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 19, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 7–13
Country-of-origin (COO) image may imbue product beliefs, just as beliefs about a travel destination can form from destination image. As COO and destination image both concern belief formations from images, we meld these research streams to investigate the influence of destination image on beliefs of and preference for the destination’s local products. We posit that consumers may non-consciously form a COO image from destination image, which in turn influences product preference. Consumers in China (n = 226) and Chinese tourists in Australia (n = 235) self-reported their perceptions of Australia as a tour destination and of Australian wine. The results show that destination image positively influences product beliefs with both samples, but the influence is stronger with Chinese consumers who are unfamiliar with Australia. Destination image influences product preference indirectly via product beliefs. A key managerial implication is that exporters and tourism authorities should cooperate to harness a country’s destination image for exports.
Country-of-origin research and travel destination research have developed separately through different streams even though they seem to be measuring similar constructs – country images that are reflected by cognitive beliefs. Although these two research streams appear to share common ground in relating a country’s image to products, as we elaborate below, no empirical studies have attempted to meld them into a more coherent whole. Country-of-origin (COO) effects concern how consumers use images of a product’s origin country to form product perceptions and preferences (Demirbag et al., 2010 and Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). Especially when they are unfamiliar with the products, consumers may use this image as a halo to infer product attributes such as quality (Bilkey and Nes, 1982) or even social status (Batra et al., 2000). Since Schooler’s (1965) seminal work, COO studies have traditionally focused on how consumers derive product beliefs from mere “made in country” cues (e.g., Han, 1989), or from their overall perceptions of a country, such as its state of development or the technology skills of its workforce (e.g., Demirbag et al., 2010 and Pappu et al., 2010). None have attempted to relate product beliefs to images specifically from a tourism perspective. Also, COO research mostly concerns consumers’ perceptions of products available in their own countries (Srinivisan and Jain, 2003 and Verlegh and Steenkamp, 1999) with little regard to consumer visits to other countries. In contrast to COO image, destination image research centres on tourism as the product category and countries as tourism brands (Beerli and Martin, 2004, Gallarza et al., 2002 and Pike, 2002). Studies in this area show that favourable destination images increase intentions or behaviour to visit/revisit the destinations. Although some destination image studies have investigated destinations as shopping havens (Moscardo, 2004) or tourists’ propensity to buy souvenirs (Tosun et al., 2007), little is known about the relationship between tourists’ image of a destination and their beliefs about the destination’s domestic products (e.g., see Pike’s, 2002, review of 142 destination image papers). In this study, we meld COO image and destination image concepts, and seek answers to the following questions: • Rather a traditional COO image, would an image of a country specifically as a tour destination (e.g., whether it has beautiful and interesting places to visit) influence perceptions of the country’s products? • If so, does the relationship between destination image and product perceptions differ between those who are familiar and those who are unfamiliar with the country as a tour destination? • How does destination image influence preference for the country’s products? In order to be clear in our language, we use the word ‘domestic’ to delineate products of a focal country, the one visited by the tourists. These products (e.g., Australian wine) may be sold in the country visited (Australia), but may also be exported to the tourists’ home country (e.g., China). Papadopoulos and Heslop (2002, p. 295) lament that acceptance of the country-image concept is still low, and that “marketing a country or place is often a little-understood panacea [used by governments out of] necessity rather than choice because their counties or cities were on the economic sick list and in dire need of exports, tourism and foreign investment”. This study provides a test of our contention that COO and travel destination research can be blended to better understand the effects of a nation’s image on tourism and consumer behaviour in a globalising world. As we elaborate later, a successful validation of our research model would also have applied implications, particularly the links between tourism and product exports.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Research in country-of-origin (COO) effects suggests that especially consumers often rely on an overall image or halo of a product’s country-of-origin to form product beliefs. Tourism research in destination image shows that tourists with positive images of a destination tend to favour visiting or revisiting the destination. Our study melds these two distinct but related research streams into one theoretical framework to investigate the relationships among destination image, product beliefs, and preference for domestic products. In addition, it investigates the moderating influence of destination familiarity on these relationships. The results show that rather than using COO image, a traditional construct used in COO studies, consumers may use destination image to form product beliefs. With both samples, a favourable destination image leads to positive product beliefs. However, the relationship is stronger with the China sample (where destination familiarity is low) than with the Australian sample (where destination familiarity is high). Also, product beliefs mediate the influence of destination image on product preference. These results have several implications. Firstly, it does appear that the perceived image of a country, be it a country in general or specifically as a travel destination, has significant influence on how people develop beliefs about the country’s products. Thorndike (1920) first noticed this halo effect when he noticed that army superiors were unable to analyse different aspects of officers under their command. Instead, the superiors were “apparently affected by a marked tendency to think of the person in general as rather good or rather inferior and to color the judgments of his/her qualities by this general feeling [by] suffusing ratings of special features with a halo belonging to the individual as a whole” (Thorndike, 1920, p. 25). Secondly, our findings suggest that there may an underpinning relationship between destination image and COO image. What we are unsure of is whether the two images relate sequentially, where destination image first give rise to a COO image and then to product beliefs. If so, to what extent is the formation of a COO image from destination image a non-conscious process? Alternatively, the two images may overlap in that there are common elements in consumers’ memory structures of the two concepts, and it is this common subset that influences product beliefs. We defer the investigation of an underpinning relationship between the two image concepts to future research. Nonetheless, by crossing domain from travel to products, the halo effects may have a wider effect than currently acknowledged or understood. Thirdly, destination image in tourism may be similar to the concept of national brand articulated by some researchers (Fan, 2006 and Gallarza et al., 2002). Unlike COO image, which becomes meaningless when separated from a product, national brand encapsulates a country’s intangible assets without explicit links to specific products. While product brands may come and go, national brands are virtually perpetual. Hence, a national brand may serve as umbrella brand across a country’s products, although the national brand should not be perceived as nebulously suited to help promote all types of products; the product categories must be related to the overall country image. Fourthly, destination familiarity plays an important role in determining how destination image may determine product beliefs. We find that destination image determines product beliefs and subsequently product preference more (less) under low (high) familiarity conditions. This result is consistent with the notion that once people are more aware of the presence of a halo, they are less likely to rely on the halo for judgments (Bargh, 2002 and Nisbett and Wilson, 1977). The results also corroborates with researchers (Han, 1989 and Liu and Johnson, 2005), who show that consumers who are familiar with an object tend to rely more on cognitions, than on images, about the object for judgments. Finally, our results show that destination image does not directly relate to product preference, but via product beliefs. This outcome contrasts with other studies that report direct links between COO image and purchase intentions (e.g., Han, 1990). Although more tests are needed, this result does provide hint of a possible sequential process whereby consumers first form a COO image from destination image before using image to form product beliefs. 5.1. Applied implications As trade globalisation increases business activities and makes brands from multiple countries compete in common markets, this study’s findings should interest exporters and policy makers, particularly for the tourism and tourism-related (e.g., food and wine) businesses. These parties would benefit from knowing how destination images relate to perceptions of domestic products, especially when compared with competing foreign products available in the consumers’ home country. Furthermore, favourable or unfavourable perceptions with a particular product may bias evaluations of the country’s other products or brands (Johansson et al., 1985). In this instance, tourist perceptions of Australian wine experienced during their visit may influence their views of other Australian products, such as cheese or meat. We would also expect that promoting domestic products to tourists in a subtle and enjoyable way would result in favourable purchase intentions and even word-of-mouth when the tourists return home. That destination image influences product beliefs more under low destination familiarity has important marketing implications. Tourism authorities need to ensure that their marketing efforts in foreign countries result in portraying the destination favourably. Not only does the perceived destination image influence visits to the country, it also influences perceptions of the country’s products available in the foreign countries. This is particularly clear from the strong relationship between destination image and product beliefs in the China sample, where respondents are unfamiliar with and have not visited Australia. Similarly, tourism authorities and indeed tourism businesses have to ensure that they deliver the expectations created by the marketing efforts. Tourists also rely on destination image to imbue product beliefs. The significant influence of destination image on product beliefs also means that exporters can use their home country image to help differentiate their products from foreign competitors. This requires exporters to work closely with tourism bodies or other policy makers, who are responsible for promoting a country (be it for trade or for tourism). For example, government sponsored national branding (tourism) campaigns in a foreign country may aid exporters wishing to do business in the country. An example of this cooperation is the ‘Space for Minds’ initiative launched by Sweden, where tourism bodies and private industries come together to on a common country-brand platform (Kleppe and Mossberg, 2006). However, the synergies to be gained from country branding and tourism campaigns within a specific product category would depend on the congruence between the overall country image and the product category (e.g., see Chao et al., 2003). This congruence would be easy to measure with simple surveys or interviews prior to developing the joint campaign. Inbound tourists could be targeted with both information and specific product experiences while on their visit. For example, many of Australia’s tourists visit Sydney and the beaches of the central Australian coast to the north. Very few visit wine regions, which are located further south and inland nearer to Melbourne and Adelaide. Australian wine producers could develop suitable wine tastings with trained translators delivered in hotels or other scenic locations where the tourists visit, rather than expecting the tourists to visit their winery directly. These types of activities could also involve other export food categories, such as seafood or meat quite easily. Finally, our measures for product beliefs were based on intangible benefits, such as status, value for money, and product quality. These product beliefs were seen as more positive, when destination image was more positive, even though the individual items in both scales were quite dissimilar. Therefore, marketing efforts to enhance tourists’ preference for domestic products should assist tourists’ cognitive processing of information by first linking the destination image to product beliefs, rather than directly to preference for domestic products. In some ways, this pathway relates to the soft sell approach, where product benefits are communicated to potential buyers rather than a push to make the sale directly. 5.2. Limitations This study has several limitations that future research should address. A key limitation is that while we draw on literature in non-conscious consumer behaviour to support our hypotheses, we did not directly test whether destination image’s influence on product beliefs was non-conscious. As an exploratory study using a quantitative field survey, this measurement was impractical, if not impossible. Future research could test this contention under experimental conditions by using different positive and negative prompts. Another limitation is the cross sectional methodology, which makes exploring causal links difficult. A future survey could be longitudinal, where we first tap tourists before they arrive in a destination, followed by a survey during their tour, and finally a survey a period after their return. Surveying tourists before their arrival would ensure that their perceptions of a destination and its domestic products are not based on actual experiences. Follow-up surveys could then determine whether actual experiences change perceptions, and how these changes may impact the relationships among destination image, product beliefs and product preferences, including post visit purchase behaviour. Studies show that COO effects are stronger when country and product match, rather than mismatch (Chao et al., 2003 and Insch and McBride, 2004). In this study, we only used wine as the contextual product, and wine may be related to tourism in that some tourists to Australia visit or patronise vineyards and wineries. Future research should replicate the research model across multiple products, including those that tourists are unlikely to buy during their tours (e.g., cars or computers). Better yet, research should involve tourists from different countries, including those from well-known wine markets such as France or the US. This may help shed light on whether ethnocentrism or nationalistic pride would impact the relationships in our research model. In conclusion, both country-of-origin and destination image research have long traditions, and have consistently shown how those umbrella constructs lead to beliefs about specific products or places. As with any exploratory research, there are many issues to resolve as we note above. However, we are confident that the study’s findings should provide some direction to the growing popularity of tourism marketing, country branding and export promotion undertaken around the world.