Scandi Chic or Nordic Noir – The Value of the Nordic Brand and the Effect of Consumer Affinity and Stereotypes on Behaviour among International Consumers
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- Master of Science 
In this thesis I have explored the effectiveness and implications of the relatively new construct of consumer affinity and its potential ability to determine or predict consumer behaviour and preference for brands and products originating from the Nordic region. The theoretical discussion builds upon the well-researched area of country-of-origin and nation branding. Additionally, I compare the effectiveness of consumer affinity with that of stereotypes and broaden the affinity construct by comparing it to the construct of brand love. The relationship between the independent and dependent variables finally considers product category and preexisting knowledge as moderating variables. A total of 146 respondents from different parts of the world were asked to evaluate four Nordic brands (Norwegian, IKEA, Noma and Hurtigruten) in selfadministered questionnaires. My results show that consumer affinity does have an effect on consumer behaviour and significantly increase both purchase intention and brand evaluation for all brands and product categories. The affinity effect is further dependent on the reported familiarity and knowledge of the Nordic region, but irrespective of the number of times the consumer has visited the region. Hence, it is possible to develop deeper affinity already after one single visit, and managers should focus on providing more unique knowledge and “hidden secrets” about the region that is not already generally known, instead of repeating well-known figures and facts, and communicate shared values and norms. People having affinity towards the region evaluated all brands, regardless of category more favourably. There was further no difference between normative and personal affinity. Hence, both can be equally strong determinants of consumer affinity, and managers could feel comfortable in using convenient normative sources when trying to develop consumer affinity. Finally, even though the Nordic region was perceived as more stereotypically competent, than warm, but the effect on consumer behaviour did not differ between product categories.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018