The relevance of country of origin as a mean to achieve consumer desired end goals

Padmali Rodrigo, Hina Khan, Fraser McLeay

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The focus of this study is to explore if a product’s country of origin (COO) is still relevant in 21st century. Integrating Means-End-Chain (MEC) theory as a guiding lens, the findings of this study suggest that the COO concept is still relevant for elites; who can afford to buy “made in” and that COO acts as a mean through which elites achieve their desired psychological and inter-personal consumption end goals.

    The data were gathered through thirty in-depth laddering interviews conducted among elites in Sri Lanka. The results suggest that product COO remains a relevant attribute for elite consumers. However, the importance of COO varies across hedonic vs. utilitarian product types and purchase occasions (personal use vs. gift buying). According to COO preferences, four patterns of ‘means end’ chains were identified, which segmented the elites asethnocentric-value-seekers, esteem-enhancers, similarity-avoiders and sentimentalists.

    The present study contributes towards a deeper understanding of COO effects and provides valuable insights into how relevance gap effects can be minimized. This is achieved through utilising COO as a means to achieve the desired end goals of consumer’s by focusing on lucrative niches in emerging markets such as Sri Lankan elites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventAcademy of Marketing Conference - Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Duration: 8 Jul 201311 Jul 2013


    ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    Dive into the research topics of 'The relevance of country of origin as a mean to achieve consumer desired end goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this