Title: The impact of country of origin on relationship marketing outcomes in a market with a large migrant population

Authors: Richard A. Heiens; Larry P. Pleshko

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, University of South Carolina Beaufort, One University Blvd., Bluffton, SC 29909, USA ' School of Business, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, P.O. Box 10021, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of brand country of origin on a variety of relationship marketing outcome measures in the food services industry of Kuwait. The results demonstrate that foreign brands have more current users, higher preference rankings and larger customer shares than domestic brands. No differences were found between foreign brands and domestic brands on customer retention or satisfaction. Overall, it appears that, despite their inability to achieve higher satisfaction or retention scores, foreign brands have been able to achieve superior share performance due to their higher preference scores. It appears that foreign firms have a built in advantage. Rather than suffering from the well-known 'liability of foreignness' reported in other markets, foreign brands may have an inherent preference-based advantage in a market with a majority of foreign born consumers.

Keywords: country of origin; COO; food services industry; relationship marketing; Kuwait.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2020.111176

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2020 Vol.11 No.3, pp.221 - 233

Received: 19 Jul 2019
Accepted: 27 Mar 2020

Published online: 03 Nov 2020 *

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