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EMAC 2023 Regional Conference

The effect of implicit versus explicit country-of-origin cues on consumers’ willingness to pay for a brand

Published: November 22, 2023


Maria Montanari, University of Vienna; Luisa Bell, University of Vienna; Adamantios Diamantopoulos , University of Vienna; Udo Wagner, University of Vienna


Extant research is unclear as to whether implicit country-of-origin (COO) cues influence consumers’ responses to the same extent as explicit COO cues, particularly if the former are presented to consumers through unconventional lettering, that is, a foreign language script distinct from the consumers’ mother tongue. In the current study, we examine the effect of implicit (unconventional lettering) versus explicit (“made in” label) COO cues on consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP). Contrary to expectations, our findings show that consumers are not willing to pay a price premium if a brand adds an implicit COO cue (unconventional lettering) to product packaging; their WTP is the same as for packaging without any COO cue. At the same time, consumers are willing to pay more for a brand that uses an implicit COO cue versus an explicit COO cue on its packaging.