CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
(GT CIBER)
WORKING PAPER SERIES
96019

The Korean Versus American Marketplace : Consumer Reactions to Foreign Products

by Francis M. Ulgado & Moonkyu Lee

Abstract

In 1995, the Republic of Korea signed its last loan from the World Bank and applied to join the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, such developed nation status requires Korea to open its consumer goods and financial markets. As a more open Korean market becomes increasingly attractive to foreign manufacturers and investors, it is critical for foreign marketers to understand how Korean consumers perceive and evaluate imported goods. This study examines how Koreans in comparison with American react to foreign-made products. The results of the study show that both Korean and U.S. consumers,in general, relied heavily on specific intrinsic attributes of products as the basis for their evaluations of the product quality. Interestingly, Koreans considered country-of-manufacture information as equally important in this situation. However, when they determined their purchase intentions, neither Koreans nor Americans valued country lables of the products; they again used product attribute information. The implications of the results for foreign marketers in Korea are discussed.