Title

Country-of-Origin and Brand Positioning for Health Care Services

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-3-2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between country-of-origin (COO) and brand positioning in the context of the high-involvement service of health care. This paper compares and analyzes different positioning strategies used in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses content analysis of promotional materials for a sample of 168 health-care organizations located in 14 countries to identify brand positioning strategies used, such as foreign, local and global consumer culture positioning. A chi-square analysis and post hoc testing is used to examine how positioning strategies differ among regions.

Findings

The findings indicate that European and Middle Eastern health-care organizations most frequently use foreign consumer culture positioning, while North American institutions tend to use global consumer culture positioning. The findings indicate that health-care organizations in countries with a better reputation for care use different positioning strategies than in countries with a lesser reputation for quality care.

Practical implications

The findings are of value to international advertising and marketing professionals and hospitals seeking to attract patients globally in a competitive marketplace. Hospitals must consider their positioning relative to both domestic and international competitors and the COO of their target audience.

Originality/value

COO is important in high-involvement service industries because consumers lack the information needed to evaluate service quality. Consumers may rely on COO and brand positioning signals more heavily relative to goods or low-involvement services. However, little prior research exists examining COO effects and brand positioning for high involvement services and for health care specifically. This paper makes a unique contribution by filling this gap.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1108/IJPHM-03-2018-0019

Publisher

Emerald Publishing Limited

Publication Information

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

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