Purpose – The purpose of this research is to explore country of origin (COO) effects among Pakistani elite consumers and to use that knowledge as an intelligence base for SMEs considering entry into Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach – The literature concerning COO effects is presented and a principle component analysis is conducted with an elite Pakistani sample using a COO Likert type style scale that was previously used by Lascu and Babb in Uzbekistan and Poland. Findings – Four components were identified that correspond with consumers perceptions of produce attributes. The elite segment of Pakistan perceives COO image, product quality and luxurious image of product and price as distinct attributes when making a purchasing decision. This study provides a basis for SMEs to gather further detailed intelligence with regards to consumer perceptions of products and potential demand in Pakistan. Research limitations/implications – It is difficult to predict which other foreign market these results will be applicable to because of different market structures, buying power, cultures and attitudes toward the product and lifestyle. Practical implications – The paper indicates a strategy that SMEs could adopt to enter the emerging market of Pakistan. Targeting the niche market of elite consumers who have strong buying power could prime the economy for future growth. Both SMEs within and outside Pakistan could take up strategies that use appropriate COO image, provided that appropriate marketing research is undertaken which produces intelligence both regarding COO image of the SMEs products and perceptions of those products' attributes in the target market. Originality/value – The study explores components within a COO Likert type questionnaire with reference to an elite managerial and professional consumer group in the under researched market of Pakistan. It is argued that SMEs can use the knowledge gained as a basis for entry to new country markets.
|Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
|Published - Jan 2007