The use of ‘country of origin’ to develop a brand image by companies operating in the Canadian defence sector
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The study explored how and why companies in the Canadian defence sector make use of country of origin (COO) in their print advertising to develop a brand image. Using an interpretive method, the research methodology consisted on a content analysis of 1229 print advertisements supported by a series of semi-structured interviews with the resulting transcripts analysed using a hermeneutic approach. The study indicated that over 40 percent of print advertisements used at least one facet of COO, with Country of Brand (COB) having the highest occurrence. It was found that firms used COO to appeal to their customer, create brand awareness and to assist in exports and did not use COO as it was not deemed required, there were better communication channels to promote COO and that readers of the subject magazines knew which firms were Canadian. As this is the first study into the use of COO in a Business to Government (B2G) sector, specifically the Canadian defence sector, the study provides new information to the body of literature. The study also provides practical contributions to firms operating in this sector including a framework model that can be used to assist in creating a marketing strategy.