Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate what Swedishness is according to Swedish customers and how a company could communicate and benefit from the country-of-origin cue in its marketing strategy to attract customers.
Background: Marketing must be understood in the new sense of satisfying the customer needs. Hence, Swedish organisations, when emphasising the country-of-origin attribute in their branding approach, need to recognise what aspects are associated with Swedishness from the customer perspective.
Several features could be associated with Swedishness and communicated through the usage of a brand. It could be where the item has been produced, how the product is presented or where it has been designed. Other characteristics might be that consumers want the owner of the company to be Swedish, that the organisation should have Swedish values or that the product must have a Swedish name.
Method: To fulfil the purpose, a qualitative data collection was chosen. Semi-structured interviews based on a pilot test were conducted with Swedish customers in Jönköping and asynchronous e-mail interviews were conducted with two Swedish companies.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that there are several features customers associate with Swedishness. The origin and history of a company, the quality and design of a product and Swedishness as a personal trait or behaviour. This research found that companies, depending on industry, can take advantage of the features associated with the country-of-origin cue.
Source: Jönköping University
Author: Azar, Emil | Hedvall, Robin | Larsson, Markus