Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How country of origin still affects luxury brands

A recent study found that when it comes to consumers ages 18 to 24, a brand's country-of-origin is unimportant. This came as a surprise to some marketers who believed that products could use their country of origin as a significant brand differentiator, as in luxury categories such as Swiss watches and French perfumes. The study suggested that, in the online world, geographic boundaries are less relevant than they once were, particularly to younger consumers. In fact, the publication Advertising Age recently discussed whether the days of flag-waving are numbered and whether marketing tactics like the 'Heartbeat of America' are becoming less important. Now, New York-based customer engagement and loyalty research consultancy Brand Keys has drilled down into its Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index to identify which categories are most influenced by partisan positioning. It found that the top five categories that are still heavily influenced by a 'country of origin' positioning are: wine, luxury automobiles, watches, vodka, and bottled water.

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