You are on page 1of 15
Cultural influences on consumption By: Sunil Kumar Gunti (122096) Sushil Ramteke (122098)
Cultural influences on consumption
By: Sunil Kumar Gunti (122096)
Sushil Ramteke (122098)

1

Cultural influences on consumption By: Sunil Kumar Gunti (122096) Sushil Ramteke (122098) 1

Table of Contents

Cultural influences on consumption

3

 

Defining culture

3

Sources

4

 

Cultural Dynamics

5

Dimensions of time orientation

5

Model of Cultural dynamics

6

 

Interaction Models

7

Culture based attitudes towards action

7

How to

relate thinking to action

7

 

8

Cross cultural consumer behavior

8

Culture and consumer behavior

8

9

Investigating the cross-cultural applicability of consumer behavior

10

  • 1. Consumer dissatisfaction

10

  • 2. Questioning consumer behavior .....................................................................................................

10

  • 3. Radical Questioning

11

 

Ethnic Consumption

11

Examples of cultural influence on consumer behavior

12

References

15

2

Cultural influences on consumption

Defining culture

Culture is the outcome of learning which we get from our parents, friends and society. People share this learning and transmit to other members of the society which itself forms behavioral set that we call as culture. Culture comprises of many internal and external elements,

  • 1. Language

  • 2. Institutions

  • 3. Material Production

  • 4. Symbolic Production

Culture mostly forms by interworking of above mentioned elements which provides knowledge that shows direction to members of our society to lead normal life. Language is one of the most important aspects of culture and is formed of emotions, words etc. It helps in achieving timely behavior and establishes communication between two individuals. Language can establish positive and negative impact in the society. It depends how an individual uses it in his or her life.

Institutions include family, relatives, political family or any kind of social organization which teaches individual to behave properly in the society and abide by rules and regulations. Institutions act as a spine of culture, many of the rules are not same and they change when something else changes for the welfare of the society. (emerald)

Use of symbols is very often in societies, communities and religion. It was a major source of communication in traditional days but not anymore. Symbolic representation varies across countries and has a huge impact if not used properly. Some countries use symbolic representation in religious activities and hence they are perceived as sacred. Societal outcomes help in improving through past learning. This would eventually help the society to evolve in a positive direction.

3

Sources of Culture Languages Nationality Corporate Culture Education Social Class Sources of culture Profession Sex Group
Sources of Culture
Languages
Nationality
Corporate Culture
Education
Social Class
Sources of culture
Profession
Sex
Group (ethnicity)
Family
Religion
Source of culture can be relevant to different segments that exist in our society. If we take the
example of different states in India, we come to a conclusion that every state is having similar
features, ethnical parity in terms of rituals, mode of communication etc. Language is the
differentiating factor and becomes a backbone of their identity. Similarly, we can relate things in
other countries and continents. There are different streams of education like agriculture, biology,
physics, engineering and management studies. People who are in a particular stream have
functional equality within that group and differ with other groups. Area of interest, job variation,
nature and mindset will be totally different from one group to the other.
There are various religions that exist all over the world and people’s way of preaching towards
god also varies with respect to the religion. People following similar religion form ethnical parity
4

and they have same philosophy and perform similar rituals. Sex and corporate culture are certain parameters people think differently when assigning highly stressful or highly confidential work to women. Companies generally do not prefer women in manufacturing, civil, electrical fields, because they think that they are not capable enough to do it. Therefore, people who have similar ideology related to women form one group which becomes culture in the future.

Cultural Dynamics

Basic assumptions of culture are in three major areas,

  • 1. Time

  • 2. Space

  • 3. Concept of self and others

Time has a very strong influence on the functioning of any individual in the society. It helps in synchronizing individual human behavior which would be beneficial for everyone. Relationship between people often change with respect to time across technological advancement, social rhythms etc.

Dimensions of time orientation

Economicity of time: Should we consider time as scare resource and a tangible

commodity? Scheduling of tasks: When people undertake only one task at a time based on pre-decided

schedule, it is treated as Monochronism. This concept is followed by an Agenda society. When people undertake multiple tasks and are flexible in their meetings, it is treated as Polychronism. In this case, time is given very less importance relative to context of the situation. Temporal orientation:

o Towards past: History teaching, preaching, traditions etc. play an important role in this context. Basic assumption is that seeds are sowed in the past and no plant can emerge without seeds.

5

o o Towards present: True reality is taken into consideration and present is accepted as it
o
o
Towards present: True reality is taken into consideration and present is accepted
as it is, but it should be beneficial to society.
Towards future: People mostly envisage and plan for the future. This approach is
having a pre-defined scope, long term plan for appreciation of achievements in
the society. (lavoiser)
People are mainly nature territorial. They define who is owner of different parts and space. Space
related assumptions that correspond to different cultural orientation are,
Personalization and depersonalization
In group orientation
Concrete and abstract territoriality
Group and individualistic cultures
Model of Cultural dynamics
Within persons
Between persons
From persons to world
Basic assumptions on the nature of reality
1.
Time
3.
Concept of
4. Interaction
self and others
Models
5. Attitude towards
action
2.
Space
6

Interaction Models

The concept Individualism and Collectivism evolves from concept of self and others. There are countries which are very high on individualism which mostly follow self-sufficiency concept and are less dependent on family members and society. They will try to use private gardens for gathering instead of public spaces and do not socialize easily with others. They will portray hobbies like painting, carpentry, home décor etc. There are various cultural orientation that exist in this model like power distance, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance, dependence on others and communication styles.

Culture based attitudes towards action

An action is more about bringing a change in the society. Many times action doesn’t help in problem solving and it is repetitive task and programmed routine. Whether culture tends to classify speeches, words or not? Life is very complicated in the real world and communication is a category of act which is having influence on others that makes it action related activity and it differs across various cultures.

How to relate thinking to action

Effective communication would be difficult if the partners do not share same mental trauma. If they are not having same mental schemes, then it is very difficult to solve problems. There are two different aspects relates action,

  • 1. Ideologists It uses whole body of ideas which provide them formal description of the globe. In this framework, every event has to convey some meaning. In this scenario, mostly ideologists draw out many decisions and make only one final decision out of them. (usunier)

  • 2. Pragmatists It considers differences in the real world problems. It helps to derive principles inductively and tries to solve real world problems through it. Pragmatists are not only involved in making decisions but also implementing them. Most of the decisions are not just selected but enacted as well.

7

Hofstede’s cultural dimension depends on Self-reliance/dependence

Hofstede’s dimension

Influence on self-reliance/dependence

Individualism

Increases self-reliance

Power distance

Promotes dependence

Masculinity

Increases self-reliance

Uncertainty avoidance

Promotes dependence

Long term orientation

Promotes dependence

Cross cultural consumer behavior

Culture and consumer behavior

Consumer behavior is having very strong components in which cultural variations play an important role. Consumer behavior is influenced by cultural variations such as,

  • 1. Consumer needs are arranged in a hierarchy. This shows different demand across various product categories.

  • 2. Cultural values like individualists or collectivists have influence on consumer mindset during buying decisions and their purchasing behavior.

  • 3. Consumption mostly arises from social roots and is highly influenced by various institutions. (Schiffman)

8

Impacts of cultural differences on consumer behavior

Aspects of consumer behavior

Impact of cultural differences

Perception

Perception changes according to different colors, shapes used in different cultural rituals.

Age

Respect is having different strata according to different age groups in society

Motivation

How consumers are motivated to share, own, show etc.

Learning and Memory

Education plays an important role in society which judges memory of consumer and literacy level matters in the society.

Sex Role

There is sexual division of labor exists in the society and fixed work set for male and female exist in the society.

Group influence

Attitudes, buying behavior, self-actualization and individual identity play a major impact on consumer behavior.

Purchase

Legal issues, influence factors and loyalty of salesman impacts purchasing decision of consumers.

Decision making

Involvement of family happens and compulsory type of regulation exists in this scenario.

Post purchase

How customer thinks about products, whether they complain and are they satisfied or not?

Attitudes changes

Resistance to change, uncertainty avoidance, fatalism and past orientation etc. comes into picture if customers attitudes is going to check

Social Class

What kind of Social status minded consumers have before buying any product?

9

Investigating the cross-cultural applicability of consumer behavior

Cross cultural lenses are used to filter various elements of consumer behavior. Word of mouth prevalently helps in transferring knowledge and exchanging information on consumption pattern. But there are many factors which are related to others, but some are acquainted. One of the solutions to find out cross culture applicability is to understand the common problem. There are three ways which help in investigating cross cultural consumer behavior,

  • 1. Consumer dissatisfaction We can easily investigate consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction through comparison of antecedent factors, behavioral output and process of dissatisfaction formation. Constructs tell us about the concept of various dimensions which can be measured. It identifies five different domain of attitude for complaining,

    • a) Beliefs

    • b) Perception about the inconvenience or cost involved during registering a complaint

    • c) Perception of retailers attitude towards solving customer problems

    • d) Effect of consumer complaint on overall benefit of society

    • e) Social appropriateness towards registering consumer complaints

  • 2. Questioning consumer behavior There are four different ways through which we will encounter consumer behavior towards products,

    • a) Global perspective: It covers whole consumer and theories of universe but misses specific insights of customers from the market.

    • b) Imported perspective: This perspective helps in discovery of parity and resistance to change arguments and it also helps to discover social status of families or groups.

    • c) Ethnic consumption: It takes universal consumers into consideration but researchers used to target only small ethnic groups like North American or Europeans etc. (stable)

  • 10

    • d) Cultural meaning It mostly uses specific theories to different set of consumers. It helps to reveal symbolic arguments which are used in different aspect of tasks.

    • 3. Radical Questioning Different aspects are required for questioning. Motivation can be used to question consumer behavior cross nationally. There are various actions used for motivation as,

      • a) Motivation to own

      • b) Motivation to consume

      • c) Motivation to buy

      • d) Motivation to save

      • e) Motivation to spend

      • f) Motivation to display

      • g) Motivation to give

    Ethnic Consumption

    Ethnic consumption is one of the influential models of adaptation and adjustment process of migration. This is based on two dimension viz, maintenance of home culture and relationship with host culture. But these dimension led to four different strategies are as follows,

    • 1. Assimilation: Acquire host culture but not adhering to their home culture.

    • 2. Integration: Acquire host culture but maintain home culture

    • 3. Separation: Reject host culture but maintain home culture

    • 4. Marginalization: Reject both host and home culture

    11

    Examples of cultural influence on consumer behavior

    • I. Majority of population in India are Hindu and they consider eating beef as a sin. People would avoid eating at restaurants or food courts where beef is being served. This has forced large food giants like Mc Donald’s to remove products made out of beef from their offerings in India, which otherwise are very popular in America. This has also led to introduction of customized products such as Mc Aloo Tikki due to large number of vegetarian

    population.

    Examples of cultural influence on consumer behavior I. Majority of population in India are Hindu and

    II.

    Many people coming from conservative families, especially in India think that taking a bank loan is a bad thing. Traditional families are afraid of taking loans either for their personal use or doing some business due to the fear that they might not be able to repay back the loan. It has been a tradition followed lately where people sell their land or property to fulfill their monetary requirements. Particularly well off families in rural parts of India perceive taking loan as a damage to their pride. These are the people who have traditional mindset and try to source their spending only through savings that they have done in the past. People also think that they are shedding out huge amount of money by paying high interests on the loan. Though, the situation has drastically changed in the last couple of decades, there are still few people with such mindset.

    12

    III. Pension funds and medical insurance are very popular in America compared to India. This is

    III. Pension funds and medical insurance are very popular in America compared to India. This is because people in America like to live an independent life in their old age without depending much on their children. Also, because of very high cost of living and medical expenses in America, which middle or lower level income people cannot afford. Therefore, most of them end up enrolling for medical insurance and pension funds in America compared to very minimal percentage in India.

    III. Pension funds and medical insurance are very popular in America compared to India. This is

    13

    IV. Now a day’s young people in India are attracted towards western culture and they try to imitate western food habits, attire and many such things. The influence of western culture has been so prominent that it has been a part of routine day to day lifestyle. Even in such a situation, most of the Indian women wear saris during an important occasion. This because of the influence of traditional Indian culture on them. Most the men and women try to purchase kurtas and saris during festival season and important occasions like marriage.

    IV. Now a day’s young people in India are attracted towards western culture a nd they

    14

    References

    emerald. (n.d.). Retrieved from emerald:

    http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=856381&show=abstract

    lavoiser. (n.d.). Retrieved from lavoiser: http://www.lavoisier.fr/livre/notice.asp?ouvrage=1046064

    Schiffman, L. G. (n.d.). Consumer Behaviour. In L. L. Kanuk, Consumer Behaviour (p. 490). Pearson.

    stable. (n.d.). Retrieved from stable: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/209528

    usunier, J. C. (n.d.). Marketing across culture. In J. A. Lee. Pearson.

    15