Foundations and Trends® in Marketing > Vol 7 > Issue 2

Culture and Consumer Behavior

Chi-yue Chiu, Nanyang Business School, cy.cychiu@gmail.com Letty Y.-Y. Kwan, Sun Yat-sen University, Dongmei Li, Hang Seng Management College, Luluo Peng, Peking University, Siqing Peng, Peking University,
 
Suggested Citation
Chi-yue Chiu, Letty Y.-Y. Kwan, Dongmei Li, Luluo Peng and Siqing Peng (2014), "Culture and Consumer Behavior", Foundations and TrendsĀ® in Marketing: Vol. 7: No. 2, pp 109-179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/1700000032

Published: 10 Apr 2014
© 2014 C.-Y. Chiu, L. Y.-Y. Kwan, D. Li, L. Peng and S. Peng
 
Subjects
Behavioral Decision Making,  Choice Modeling,  Market Forecasting,  Sales Promotion
 
Keywords
M31 Marketing
consumer behaviorcultureconsumer cultureconsumption patternsinternational marketing
 

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In this article:
The Importance of Cultural Literacy in Marketing
What Is Culture?
Cultural Variations in Consumption Patterns
Size Matters! Ecology, Culture and Consumption
Within-Cultural Variations
When Do Consumers Behave Culturally?
Conclusions and Future Directions
Acknowledgments
References

Abstract

Understanding how culture influences consumer behaviors is crucial to success in international marketing. In this monograph, the authors present a conceptual and empirical framework for understanding how culture impacts consumer behaviors, and recommend seven analytical steps for understanding similarities and differences between cultures as well as within-culture variations in consumer behaviors. These analytical steps are: (1) identify the key components of culture; (2) find out and describe the major clusters of countries or regions based on their similarities and differences in consumption behaviors; (3) relate similarities and differences in consumption behaviors to key components of culture; (4) develop and test specific hypotheses regarding the joint effects of different components of culture on consumption behaviors; (5) track the changes in consumption behavior within a country in response to social and economic development; (6) formulate and test specific hypotheses regarding the joint effects of different components of culture on changes in consumer behaviors within a country; and (7) conduct experimental studies to understand when consumers will follow cultural norms and when they will not. In the present monograph, we illustrate the utility of the proposed conceptual and analytical approach by combining business analytic and experimental methods to model tourist consumption, although this approach can be applied to explain behaviors in other domains of consumption. The authors close by suggesting several directions for future research on culture and behavior.

DOI:10.1561/1700000032
ISBN: 978-1-60198-824-9
85 pp. $65.00
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ISBN: 978-1-60198-825-6
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Table of contents:
1 The Importance of Cultural Literacy in Marketing
2 What Is Culture?
3 Cultural Variations in Consumption Patterns
4 Size Matters! Ecology, Culture and Consumption
5 Within-Cultural Variations
6 When Do Consumers Behave Culturally?
7 Conclusions and Future Directions
Acknowledgments
References

Culture and Consumer Behavior

Culture and Consumer Behavior explains the importance of cultural literacy in marketing, and why a solid understanding is vital to successful international marketing efforts. The authors use a conceptual and empirical framework for analyzing how culture affects consumer behaviors, and provide 7 steps for understanding the influence of culture on consumer behaviors. The 7 steps are as follows.

  1. Identify the key components of culture.
  2. Find out and describe the major clusters of countries or regions based on their similarities and differences in consumption behaviors.
  3. Relate similarities and differences in consumption behaviors to key components of culture.
  4. Develop and test specific hypotheses regarding the joint effects of different components of culture on consumption behaviors.
  5. Track the changes in consumption behavior within a country in response to social and economic development.
  6. Formulate and test specific hypotheses regarding the joint effects of different components of culture on changes in consumer behaviors within a country.
  7. Conduct experimental studies to understand when consumers will follow cultural norms and when they will not.

Culture and Consumer Behavior demonstrates the value of this approach by using it to model tourist consumption, combining business analytic and experimental methods. The authors go on to conclude that the full implications of this way of thinking about culture for marketing remain to be exploited in future research, and present suggestions for developing more dynamic theories of culture and consumer behaviors.

 
MKT-032