The current study assesses the role of country stereotypes (in terms of competence and warmth) in mediating the countervailing influences of xenocentrism and animosity on purchase intentions at both product and brand levels. Based on a survey of Italian consumers (N=204), and France as the target of animosity feelings, we show that both xenocentrism and animosity influence the stereotype of the target foreign country. Moreover, country competence-related associations are better predictors of consumer purchase intentions than warmth for products in general, whereas warmth-related associations are better predictors of purchase behavior for specific brands. Thus, the mediating role of the country stereotype dimensions on the influences of xenocentrism and animosity is contingent upon the level of specificity in the focal outcome variable (products in general vs. specific brands). Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed, and future research directions identified.
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