Country-of-origin effects on consumer cognitive structures and preference for foreign brands among elites

Padmali Rodrigo, Hina Khan, Naser Valaei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose- Despite the plethora of research into Country of Origin (COO) effects, research that investigates the cognitive structures behind elite consumers’ preferences for foreign brands remains limited. Hence, this study investigates the cognitive structures behind foreign brand preference amongst professional elites in Sri Lanka.
Design/methodology/approach- Using the Means End Chain (MEC) theory as the theoretical lense and building on the findings of 30 laddering interviews (semi-structured), we conducted a survey amongst 311 professional elitesto uncover the key elements of the cognitive structures behind foreign brand preference.
Findings- The findings revealed that the cognitive structures behind foreign brand preference are influenced by a bundle of brand attributes, brand consequences and personal values of elites’, which significantly influence their attitudes towards foreign brands. Multi-group analysis further revealed that the relationship between brand attributes and attitudes significantly differs across China and US COOs where the path coefficient is stronger for elites’ preference for Chinese brands.
Originality/value- This study is the first of its kind to explore the COO effects on consumer cognitive structures. The findings contribute to MEC theory and shed light on the understanding towards elites’ preference for foreign brands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Early online date22 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2023

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