This paper is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to explore the impact of national stereotype contents (perceived warmth and perceived competence) associated with a service product’s country-of-origin, as regards high versus low-contact service type. Specifically, our first field experiment tests for the differential effect of perceived warmth and perceived competence on service quality expectations by US consumers of high-contact versus low-contact telecommunication services originating from the emerging Asian nation of Indonesia versus that of the emerged Asian economy of Japan. A follow-up study tested the effects of priming competence and warmth via online-video advertisements on US consumer evaluations of Indonesian telecommunication services. Results of our studies converge toward a more robust positive effect of both primed and unprimed competence (vs. warmth) perceptions on service evaluations across high and low-contact services. This paper marks a contribution to public diplomacy, the managing of country image and nation-branding, with practical implications to industry and government efforts to effectively market emerging nation-brands to worldwide customers and investors.
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The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers, and the editors, Don Dioko and Robert Govers for their contribution. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Third Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA) in Macau, China where it received the AJ Hackett Best Paper Award.
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