This study tested whether, among consumers in developing countries, brands perceived as having a nonlocal country of origin, especially from the West, are attitudinally preferred to brands seen as local, for reasons not only of perceived quality but also of social status. We found that this perceived brand nonlocalness effect was greater for consumers who have a greater admiration for lifestyles in economically developed countries, which is consistent with findings from the cultural anthropology literature. The effect was also found to be stronger for consumers who were high in susceptibility to normative influence and for product categories high in social signaling value. This effect was also moderated by product category familiarity, but not by consumer ethnocentrism. The~esultst,h us, suggest that in developing countries, a brand's country of origin not only serves as a "quality halo" or summary of product quality (cf. Han, 1989), but also possesses a dimension of nonlocalness that, among some consumers and for some product categories, contributes to attitudinal liking for status-enhancing reasons.
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