British consumers' evaluations of US versus Chinese goods: A multi-level and multi-cue comparison
AuthorLeonidou, Leonidas C.
Talias, Michael A.
SourceEuropean Journal of Marketing
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Purpose - The article aims to identify differences in consumers' evaluations of goods made in either the USA or China at different levels of analysisto trace variations in consumers' evaluations with regard to various cues characterizing US or Chinese goodsand to provide a comparison of consumers' evaluations between US and Chinese goods at different levels of analysis and across different product cues. Design/methodology/approach - The study builds hypotheses that correspond to each of the three research objectives. Information was received through personal interviews from a sample of 404 British consumers, aged 18 years and above. Respondents were randomly selected at central locations using a systematic stratified procedure. Data were gathered using a structured questionnaire, with questions focusing separately on the USA and China, at five different levels of analysis, and in six different categories of product cues. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the reliability and validity of the scales were found to be satisfactory. The hypotheses were tested using either student-t or ANOVA statistics. Findings - The results provide support to all three hypotheses, revealing that there are significant differences in consumer evaluations across the various levels of analysis, caused mainly by the brand, which overshadows country-of-origin effects in the case of the USA, but emphasizes these effects in that of Chinese goods. Research limitations/implications - The results of the study have serious implications for corporate and public policy-makers, especially for the countries involved in the analysis. These implications should be seen within the context of various geographical, product, time, and other limitations, which provide the basis for undertaking future research on the subject. Originality/value - As opposed to extant research on country-of-origin effects, the study offers a multi-level and multi-cue comparison for products manufactured by two major actors in the international trade arena (USA and China), as these are perceived by consumers living in an important developed market (the UK). © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.