Although different consumers belong to the same market segments, they do not behave alike, and the characteristics of the products and services would not appeal to them in the same degree. Just as income tastes and other factors influence the demand for a product, so the behaviour of consumers are influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors.
How culture affects consumer behavior? It affects the style a person loves to the music he prefers and even the literature he reads.
Even in this era of globalization, the power of culture is intact. It is why, the marketers focus upon cultural factors while marketing to diverse populations of consumers.
A Chinese customer is bound to have a different taste than a Malaysian and so will be a Japanese from an American or Indian. It is defined by several things from language and religion to art and music as well as social habits and cuisine. Culture is a way of life for a specific group that affects its values, beliefs, behavior and acceptable norms.
Simply put culture controls what is acceptable for a person and what is not. Culture is also understood as the traditions passed on from generation to generation. From interior decoration to their choice of cars and products of daily use, their choices are going to remain affected by their cultures.
There are several theories which support the idea that people make judgments within the realms of society and culture. Their everyday decisions including their buying decisions are affected or rather deeply influenced by culture.
The theory of cultural determinism holds that people are what they learn. The ideas, values and beliefs that people learn as members of society determines their nature.
There are two versions of cultural determinism and the optimist version holds that human nature is malleable and that people can be the way they want to be. Still, for a person living in East, it is difficult to think and be like someone in West.
So, however best we try, culture still affects us and to go beyond its boundaries is difficult for people. This is what can also be understood as cultural conditioning.
The pessimistic version of this theory holds that people will be what they are conditioned to be. This is something not under their control. This also explains to some extent why people make buying choices influenced by their cultural values.
Zara creates fast fashion and sells in several markets. However, since Zara conducts the preliminary research, its products sell like hotcake. The theory of cultural relativism states that people from different cultures think, feel and act differently.
The Indian culture has its own beliefs and values, the French culture has its own and the American culture its own. So, an Indian would be less akin with the American cultural symbols than an American and vice versa.
As per this theory every judgement of right and wrong is based upon societal and cultural norms. It is why the emphasis is on cultural awareness in the 21st century. Cultural awareness provides us with cultural perspective which helps to know why certain things may be right in certain societies and wrong in others.
However, such an attitude would not work in the global environment or the global markets. If a business works from this angle, it believes that the ideas which were effective in its home country will also be effective abroad.
Ethnocentrism can give rise to big problems in case of global business. Not just the environmental factors but the business objectives too might change when working abroad in a different culture.
Even if managers recognize the differences they forget to value them and believe they would not need to make extra efforts to make things work as well as in the home country. In this way, they may end up hurting important values leading to losses.
Managers must conduct a cost benefit analysis in such a scenario to see if making a particular change to their strategy will give rise to the expected benefits.
Ethnocentrism also explains why some people feel more bound to purchase the products that are related to their own culture or are produced locally. Culture is manifested in several ways. The symbols include words, gestures, pictures and objects that have specific meanings in particular cultures.
Even the rituals and heroes differ from culture to culture and each culture has its own. The way of greeting is very different between China and US. These are also important factors that affect which product will find acceptance in the local markets.JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.
Consumer Behavior Consumer Behavior – Database Lifestyle A well-defined target market is the first element in the marketing strategy. Finding a target market can be a complex task depending on the product and how effectively it is advertised. Identification.
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Modern American liberalism, having entered the decade replete with boundless confidence of its ability to transform society, had fallen into a dazed. Cultural Factors affecting Consumer Behaviour Consumer behaviour deals with the study of buying behaviour of consumers.
Consumer behaviour helps us understand why and why not an individual purchases goods and services from the market. If a strong, inspiring corporate culture is greater than the sum of its parts, is it worthwhile–or even possible–to bother with the building blocks?
In a Fast Company exclusive book excerpt.