Chapter 2 CrossCross-Cultural Variations in Consumer Behavior

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Culture 

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

³everything that people have, think, and do as members of their society´  ³the totality of the knowledge and practices, both intellectual and material, of society´  ³the institutions, values, beliefs, and behaviors of a society; everything we learn, as opposed to that with which we were born´ 

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Culture 

Culture: 
  

Is comprehensive Is acquired or learned Provides boundaries for members Is typically ³invisible´  

Enculturation is the process of learning one¶s own culture. Acculturation is the process of learning a new culture.

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Culture    

National culture refers to the culture prevalent in a nation. It comprises the norms, rituals and values common to everyone in that nation regardless of the subgroup affiliation. Popular culture is the culture of the masses, with norms, rituals and values that have a mass appeal. Subculture is the culture of a group within the larger society. The group may be based on any common characteristics identifying that group as distinct from other groups or from the society at large. A firm¶s corporate culture is reflected in a company¶s values, rituals and customs, and even in corporate myths and celebrations of its heroes.

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Culture  

Self-Reference Criterion -- an unconscious reference to one¶s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions. Cultural Adaptation:  Imperatives  Adiaphora  Exclusives

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Views of Foreign Expats in the U.S.  

  

³There are no small eggs in America. There are only jumbo, extra large, large, and medium.´ ³If you are not aggressive, you¶re not noticed.´ ³For a foreigner to succeed in the United States«he needs to be more aggressive than in his own culture because Americans expect that.´ Americans say ³Come on over sometimes,´ but foreigners learn (perhaps awkwardly) that this is not really an invitation. ³Here that [socializing outside the business relationship] is not necessary. You can even do business with someone you do not like.´

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Cultural Factors Affect Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy
Language

Demographics Consumer behavior Values Marketing strategy

Nonverbal communications

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Culture
Cultural Norms are accepted rules for behavior.  Cultural Values are widely held beliefs about what is good or right.  Cultural Sanctions are penalties for violations of cultural norms or disrespect for cultural values.  Cultural Rituals are sets of symbolic behaviors that occur in a fixed sequence and tend to be repeated periodically.  Cultural Myths are stories that express some key values of society. 

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Values, Norms, Sanctions, and Consumption Patterns
Norms Specify ranges of appropriate behavior Cultural values Consumption patterns

Sanctions Penalties for violating norms

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Value Orientations Influence Behavior
Otheroriented values Society¶s view of relationships between people

Environmentoriented values Selforiented values
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Society¶s view of relationships with environment Objectives/ approaches to life society finds desirable

Consumption Purchase Communications

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Cultural Values of Relevance to Consumer Behavior
Other-Oriented Values 

Individual/Collective. Are individual activity and initiative valued more highly than collective activity and conformity? Extended/Limited Family. To what extent does one have a life-long obligation to numerous family members? Diversity/Uniformity. Does the culture embrace variation in religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, political views, and so forth? Masculine/Feminine. To what extent does social power automatically go to males? Competitive/Cooperative. Does one obtain success by excelling over others or by cooperating with them? Youth/Age. Are wisdom and prestige assigned to the younger or older members of a culture?
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Cultural Values of Relevance to Consumer Behavior
Environment-Oriented Values 

Cleanliness. To what extent is cleanliness pursued beyond the minimum needed for health? Performance/Status. Is the culture¶s reward system based on performance or on inherited factors such as family or class? Tradition/Change. Are existing patterns of behavior considered to be inherently superior to new patterns of behavior? Risk taking/Security. Are those who risk their established positions to overcome obstacles or achieve high goals admired more than those who do not? Problem-solving/Fatalistic. Are people encouraged to overcome all problems, or do they take a ³what will be, will be´ attitude? Nature. Is nature regarded as something to be admired or overcome?
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Cultural Values of Relevance to Consumer Behavior
Self-Oriented Values 

Active/Passive. Is a physically active approach to life valued more than a less active orientation? Material/Nonmaterial. How much importance is attached to the acquisition of material wealth? Hard work/Leisure. Is a person who works harder than economically necessary admired more than one who does not? Postponed gratification/Immediate gratification. Are people encouraged to ³save for a rainy day´ or to ³live for today´? Sensual gratification/Abstinence. To what extent is it acceptable to enjoy sensual pleasures such as food, drink, and sex? Religious/Secular. To what extent are behaviors and attitudes based on rules specified by religious doctrine?
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Nonverbal Communications
Nonverbal communication systems are the arbitrary meanings a culture assigns actions, events, and things other than words.  In his book Silent Languages of Doing Business Overseas, anthropologist Edward Hall describes and illustrates how a culture¶s norms and values are manifested through friendship, agreements, and other similar actions. Hall calls these behaviors ³silent languages.´ 

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Cultural Communication Orientations 

Low-Context countries (North American and northern European countries):
messages are explicit and clear  actual words convey the main point of information  words and meanings can be separated from the context in which they occur  

High-Context countries (Japan, France, Spain, Italy, Asia and Middle Eastern Arab countries):
communication is more indirect  expressive manner in which the message is delivered is critical  message cannot be understood without its context 

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Factors Influencing Nonverbal Communications
Time Etiquette Nonverbal communications Things Symbols Space

Agreements
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Friendship
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Orientations Toward Time 

Monochronic cultures (Americans, Germans, Swiss) handle information in a direct, linear fashion
schedules, punctuality and a sense of time that forms a purposeful straight line  ³time is money´  

Polychronic cultures (Japanese, Hispanic) work on several fronts simultaneously time is less important than task 

time and money are separate; timing is more important than time

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