Perceptions of countries as producers of consumer goods: A T-shirt study in China

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Abstract:

This article presents the results of a survey of 209 Mainland Chinese male consumers carried out in the late 1990s. In this study, consumer judgements of products made in both highly and newly industrialised countries were obtained in a multi-attribute and multi-dimensional context. As expected, the results showed that Chinese consumers' perceptions of country of design and country of assembly were much more positive for products made in highly industrialised countries than for those made in newly industrialised countries. However, some exceptions to this are addressed. A multi-attribute analysis with country-of-origin variables indicates that the perception of a T-shirt quality was strongly related to price and product satisfaction assurance, whereas the perception of a T-shirt purchase value was mainly linked to satisfaction assurance. It is therefore concluded that Chinese consumers, having recently emerged from a totalitarian state-controlled market condition, are in the process of forming enduring attitudes towards products made in foreign countries. This provides excellent opportunities for countries/brands that wish to build an image of fashion leadership in the Chinese market to gain a first-mover advantage.

Keywords: China; Clothing; Consumer Goods; Country of Origin; Customer Surveys; Perception

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13612020410537889

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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