WORLD ECONOMIC GIANTS IN THE EYES OF AFRICA: PERCEPTIONS OF AFRICAN CONSUMERS TOWARDS FOREIGN ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS ORIGINATING FROM CHINA, JAPAN AND UNITED STATES
Authors: A. Aliyu *1 , Qing Ping 2 , Adamu Yahaya
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This paper presents the results of an exploratory survey of African Consumers’ Perception
Regarding consumer electronics products originating from its three major trading partners-China,
Japan and United States of America (U.S.A). The focus of the study is investigating the source of
information in evaluating foreign products, The evaluation of the specific product cues used by
African consumer in their assessment of electronic products and the ranking of the three countriesChina,
Japan and USA in terms of the various product attributes. The product category selected
for the study includes television sets, Refrigerators, Computers, Electric irons, and digital cameras.
The products cues (Dimensions) used for the study comprised of Country of origin image (COI),
Brand Familiarity (B.F), Perceived product quality (PPQ), Firms’ trust (F.T), Country reputation
(C.R), Economic Animosity (E.A), Perceived product price (PPP), And Product Availability (P.A).
Data was collected from two hundred and seventy (270) African consumers in the city of Wuhan
Hubei province; Peoples Republic of China. With the aid of statistical packages for social sciences
(IBM SPSS 20 VERSION), Paired-sample T test was used to compare the mean ratings of all the
eight (8) product dimensions for all the pairs of the three (3) countries. The findings showed that
internet advertisement and television are the most important information sources used by African
consumers in evaluating foreign electronic products, this was followed by friends’ opinion and the
least patronage was radio. The result also disclosed that African consumers don’t consider the
country of origin aspect to be their priority in the course of making foreign electronic product
purchase, rather other product attributes such as quality and product brand take the precedence.
Also revealed from the studies is the ranking of the three countries in terms of the eight product
dimensions. It was found that, Japan having highest brand recognition (Brand familiarity), United
states would boast of two things, which include high perceived product quality and country
reputation. China is leading ahead in terms of cheap product price and availability of their products
in almost (if not all) the nooks and crannies of African countries as perceived by African
consumers. Finally, in discussing managerial implications, prescriptions were made to marketers
from different countries for improving their competitiveness in the emerging African market given
the present perceptions of the African consumers.