The perception of a nation’s image has a significant effect on the international competitive advantage of its national products and tourism destinations. However, few studies have provided so far an extensive investigation of the foreign perception of the Italian country image.
This paper investigates consumers’ evaluation of the image of Italy and of Made in Italy across seven emerging countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. The empirical approach consists of a survey conducted on a sample of 4,550 respondents intercepted through an online panel.
Results provide an original picture of how our country is perceived across a selection of the most attractive emerging markets and they identify four transnational segments based on similar perceptions and attitudes towards Italy and the Italian products. The paper concludes with discussion of managerial implications for the national companies – especially Smes with a strong linkage with the Italian identity – and it provides them with strategic insights on how to use the different components of the image of Italy in their international marketing and branding strategies.