By Paul Van der Plas in the framework of the Minerva Fellowship Programme.
This report follows a research on the impact of product origins in the product evaluation of the (Japanese) consumer. The research includes a comprehensive analysis of scientific literature on consumer decision making; cultural values, country images, and the country-of-origin effect. Upon this theoretic foundation, the research elaborates on the importance of product origins for the Japanese consumer with a series of interviews among market experts and two consumer surveys as well as a series of anecdotal findings from the Japanese market for illustrative purposes.
Cultural characteristics explain how the product origin is of such interest to the Japanese consumer and, as such, why the country-of-origin effect should be taken into account by any exporter entering the Japanese (consumer) market. Besides answering the question as to why, the report gives product-category specific recommendations, on how to successfully incorporate the origin country into the positioning strategy for the Japanese market.