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Cross Cultural Variations in Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior

Overall Model Of Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior

Why is it important to understand cultural variations?

Consumer Behavior

Why is it important to understand cultural variations?

Globalization on the rise Multiethnic teams becoming the norm More intense dealings with distant clients without meeting in person
Call Centers Video/ Tele Conferences

Frequent encounters in non-office locations

Restaurants over meals Events

Consumer Behavior

The Concept of Culture

The complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by humans as members of society

Key points:
Culture is a Comprehensive concept
It includes almost everything that influences an individuals thought processes & behaviors.

Culture is Acquired
It doesnt include inherited responses and predispositions.

Culture creates Boundaries

Culture seldom provides detailed descriptions of appropriate behavior. Instead it will create boundaries within which most individuals act.

Individuals are seldom aware of the culture

One behaves, thinks and feels in a manner consistent with that of other members of same culture because it feels natural or right to do so.

Consumer Behavior

Cultural Factors

Consumer Behavior

Values, Norms, and Sanctions

Consumer Behavior

Cultural Values
Cultural values are widely held beliefs that affirm what is desirable. These values affect behavior through norms which specify acceptable range of responses to specific situations. Understanding cultural values is important to understand cultural variations.

Consumer Behavior

Variations in Cultural Values

Otheroriented values Societys view of relationships between people

Environmentoriented values Selforiented values

Societys view of relationships with environment Objectives/ approaches to life society finds desirable

Consumption Purchase Communications

Consumer Behavior

Other-oriented Values
Individual/Collective: Membership
Extended/Limited Family: Grandparents Adult/Child: US versus other Countries

Masculine/Feminine: Rank, Prestige

Competitive/Cooperative: Comparative Ads Youth/Age: Elders

Consumer Behavior

Environment-oriented Values
Cleanliness: How Much? Performance/Status: Branded Goods Tradition/Change: Innovation

Risk taking/Security: Entrepreneur

Problem-solving/Fatalistic: Acceptance Nature: Social Responsibility

Consumer Behavior

Self-oriented Values
Active/Passive: DO SOMETHING!
Material/Nonmaterial: Instrumental/Terminal Hard work/Leisure: Vacation? Postponed gratification/Immediate gratification: Credit Sensual gratification/Abstinence: Differences

Humor/Serious: Superficial

Consumer Behavior

Language Issues

Consumer Behavior

Factors Influencing Nonverbal Communication

Consumer Behavior

Nonverbal Factors
Time perspective

Monochronic time perspective Inescapable, linear, fixed Do one thing at a time Respect for deadlines Americans, Canadians, Western Europeans & Australians show this perspective Polychronic time perspective Less discrete view of time Do many things at once Less importance to deadlines and more to relationships Latin Americans, Asians usually show this perspective
Meanings in the Use of Time

Connotations of being kept waiting Definitions of being kept waiting

Consumer Behavior

Nonverbal Factors
Space Personal Space: the nearest others can come to you in various situations without your feeling uncomfortable Americans, who have a bigger personal space may see others (with smaller personal spaces) as pushy/ aggressive while others will see Americans as cold/ snobbish. Symbols

Consumer Behavior

The Meaning of Numbers, Colors, & Symbols

Consumer Behavior

Nonverbal Factors (continued)

Friendship/ Relationships
How do people view relationships? Americans, having a lot of mobility, tend to make friends easily and quickly drop them also. In my parts of the world, relationships are formed more slowly and carefully.

Do people give more importance to contracts or relationships?

Do people use things for their utility value or flaunt value? Practice of gifting

Loudness/ pitch of voice while speaking Manner of greetings Body language in meetings

Consumer Behavior

Global Demographics
Demographics describe a population in terms of
Size: number of individuals in the society Structure: describes the society in terms of age, income, education and occupation Distribution: Physical location of individuals in rural, suburban & urban locations

Distribution of Income
What percentage of income goes to what percentage of the population

Purchasing Power Parity

Cost of a standard basket of products in different countries

Knowing and Addressing is the Trick

Consumer Behavior

Considerations in Approaching a Foreign Market

Geographic area
Variation from state to state in terms of culture Rural vs. Urban differences

Are needs the same? Size of market

Can enough people afford the product?

Are values relevant to purchase & use of this product? Distribution, Politics, and Legal structures How do we communicate?
Penetration of mass media, internet in a region

Are there any ethical implications?

Consumer Behavior