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Chapter 17 Global Consumer Culture


Chapter 17 Global Consumer Culture CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, 8e Michael Solomon Chapter Objectives When you finish this chapter you should understand why: Styles act as a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 17 Global Consumer Culture

Chapter 17Global Consumer Culture
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, 8eMichael Solomon
Chapter Objectives
  • When you finish this chapter you should
    understand why
  • Styles act as a mirror to reflect underlying
    cultural conditions.
  • We distinguish between high and low culture.
  • Many modern marketers are reality engineers.
  • New products, services, and ideas spread through
    a population. Different types of people are more
    or less likely to adopt them.
  • Many people and organizations play a role in the
    fashion system that creates and communicates
    symbolic meaning to consumers.

Chapter Objectives (cont.)
  • Fashions follow cycles.
  • Products that succeed in one culture may fail in
    another if marketers fail to understand the
    differences among consumers in each place.
  • Western (and particularly American) culture has a
    huge impact around the world, though people in
    other countries dont necessarily ascribe the
    same meanings to products as we do.

The Creation of Culture
  • Influence of inner-city teens
  • Hip-hop/black urban culture
  • Outsider heroes, anti-oppression messages, and
    alienation of blacks
  • Flavor on the streets

The Movement of Meaning
Figure 17.1
Cultural Selection
  • Characteristics of fashion/popular culture
  • Reflection of fundamental societal trends
  • Style begins as risky by small group, then
    spreads as others become aware/confident
  • Styles as interplay between deliberate inventions
    and ordinary consumers who modify styles to suit
  • Cultural products travel widely
  • Influential media people decide which will
  • Most styles eventually wear out

Culture Production Process (CPS)
  • CPS set of individuals and organizations
    responsible for creating and marketing a cultural
  • Three major CPS subsystems
  • Creative subsystem
  • Managerial subsystem
  • Communications subsystem

Figure 17.2
Cultural Gatekeepers
  • Cultural gatekeepers are responsible to
    filtering the overflow of information and
    materials intended for customers
  • Tastemakers who influence products consumers
    get to consider
  • Throughput sector
  • Movie, restaurant, and car reviewers
  • Interior designers
  • Disc jockeys
  • Retail buyers
  • Magazine editors

High Art versus Low Art
  • High and low culture blend together today in
    interesting ways
  • Costco now stocks fine art (Picasso, Chagall)
  • We appreciate advertising as an art form
  • The arts are big businessmarketers often
    incorporate high art to promote products

  • Creative directors in advertising agencies
    sometimes view their advertising creations as art
    rather than a craft. Their clientsthe actual
    marketersusually view it as a craft.
  • Which should it be? Why?
  • What kind of conflict might arise between these
    two differing opinions?

Cultural Formula
  • Cultural formulae certain roles and props often
    occur consistently
  • Mass culture churns out products for a mass
  • Aiming to please average taste of
    undifferentiated audience
  • Certain roles/props often occur consistently
  • Recycling of images
  • Creative subsystem members reach back through
    time for inspiration (remix the past)

  • Can you identify a cultural formula at work in
    romance or action movies?
  • Do you see parallels among the roles different
    characters play (e.g., the hero, the evildoer,
    the temptress, etc.)?

Reality Engineering
  • Many consumer environments have images/characters
    spawned by marketing campaigns or are retreads
  • Marketers use pop culture as promotional vehicles
  • New vintage (e.g., used jeans)
  • Elements used are both sensory and spatial

Examples of Reality Engineering
  • Reality engineering marketers appropriate
    elements of popular culture and convert them for
    use as promotional vehicles
  • Japanese alibi buddy service
  • Ricks Café in Casablanca
  • Coyote Ugly bars
  • Seinfelds Soup Nazi
  • Nissans brief in-person live commercials

Reality Engineering (cont.)
  • Cultivation hypothesis the medias ability to
    distort consumers perceptions of reality
  • Heavy TV viewers overestimate how wealthy people
    are and likelihood that they will be victims of a
    violent crime
  • Media also exaggerates frequency of behaviors
    such as drinking or smoking

Product Placement
  • Insertion of specific products and use of brand
    names in movie/TV scripts
  • Desperate Housewives ad on drycleaners bags
  • Is the line between advertising and programming
    becoming too fuzzy?
  • Directors incorporate branded props for realism
  • Product placement can aid in consumer decision

  • Gamers have become a more sophisticated lot and
    are now more representative of the general
  • Advergaming online games are merging with
    interactive advertisements that let companies
    target specific types of consumers
  • Advertisers can get viewers attention for a much
    longer time in video games
  • Can tailor games and products to user profiles
  • Format gives advertisers great flexibility
  • Can track usage and conduct market research

The Diffusion of Innovations
  • Innovation any product that consumers perceive
    to be new
  • New manufacturing technique
  • New product variation
  • New way to deliver product
  • New way to package product
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Successful innovations spread through the
    population at various rates

Types of Adopters
Figure 17.3
Adopting Innovations
  • Adoption of innovations resembles consumer
    decision-making sequence
  • Individualistic consumers are more innovative
    than collective consumers
  • Likelihood of adopting innovations categories
  • Innovators and early adopters
  • Laggards
  • Late adopters (mainstream)

Adopting Innovations (cont.)
  • Innovators
  • Tend to be category-specific
  • Tend to favor taking risks
  • Higher educational/income levels
  • Socially active
  • Lead users
  • Early adopters
  • Concern for social acceptance (expressive
  • Involved in product category and value fashion
  • Tend to field-test style changes

Behavioral Demands of Innovations
  • Three major types of innovations (amount of
    disruption/change they bring to our lives)
  • Continuous innovation
  • Evolutionary rather than revolutionary
  • Dynamically continuous innovation
  • More pronounced change to existing product
  • Discontinuous innovation
  • Creates major changes in the way we live

Prerequisites for Successful Adoption
Innovation should be compatible with consumers
People are more likely to adopt an innovation if
they can experiment with it prior to purchase
A product that is easy to understand will be
chosen over competitors
Innovations that are easily observable are more
likely to spread
Relative Advantage
Product should offer relative advantage over
other alternatives
The Fashion System
  • Fashion system all those people and
    organizations involved in creating symbolic
    meanings and transferring these meanings to
    cultural goods
  • Fashion affects all types of cultural phenomena
    (music, art, architecture, science)
  • Fashion as code/language for meanings
  • Fashion is context-dependent/undercoded
  • Fashion versus a fashion versus in fashion

Cultural Categories
  • Cultural categories basic ways we characterize
    the world reflects the meaning we impart to
  • Culture makes distinctions between different
    times, leisure and work, and gender
  • Dominant aspects/themes of culture are reflected
    in design/marketing of items
  • Costumes of politicians, rock/movie stars
  • 1950s/60s space-age mastery
  • Fashion colors for each season

Cultural Categories (cont.)
  • Creative subsystems attempt to anticipate the
    tastes of the buying public
  • Collective selection symbolic alternatives are
    chosen over others
  • Western Look
  • New Wave
  • Nouvelle Cuisine

Behavioral Science Perspectives on Fashion
  • Psychological models of fashion
  • Conformity, variety seeking, attraction, etc.
  • Shifting erogenous zones and fitness premium
  • Economic models of fashion
  • Supply and demand
  • Parody display, prestige-exclusivity effect, and
    snob effect

Behavioral Science Perspectives on Fashion (cont.)
  • Sociological models of fashion
  • Collective selection model (hip-hop and Goth)
  • Trickle-down theory
  • Mass fashion has replaced elite fashion
  • Trickle-across effect
  • Current fashions trickle up from lower classes

Behavioral Science Perspectives on Fashion (cont.)
  • A medical model of fashion
  • Meme theory
  • Memes that survive are distinctive and memorable
  • Tipping point
  • Cycles of fashion adoption
  • Cabbage Patch dolls
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Normal Fashion Cycle
  • Fashions tend to flow in a predictable sequence

Figure 17.4
Fashion Life Cycles (cont.)
  • Fashion acceptance cycle (using music as
  • Introduction stage small number of music
    innovators hear a song
  • Acceptance stage song enjoys increased
  • Regression stage song reaches stage of social
    saturation as it becomes overplayed
  • Classic fashion with an extremely long
    acceptance cycle
  • Fad short-lived fashion

Comparison of Acceptance of Fads, Fashions, and
Figure 17.5
  • Boots with six-inch heels are a fashion rage
    among young Japanese women. They are willing to
    risk twisted ankles, broken bones, bruised faces,
    and other dangers associated with the platform
  • What is and what should be the role of fashion in
    our society? How important is it for people to be
    in style? What are the pros and cons of keeping
    up with the latest fashions? Do you believe that
    we are at the mercy of designers?

Fad or Trend?
  • Chryslers PT Cruiser and retro cars a fad or a
  • Guidelines for long-term trends
  • Fits with basic lifestyle changes
  • A real benefit should be evident
  • Can be personalized
  • Not a side effect or a carryover effect
  • Important market segments adopt change

Behavior of Fads
Figure 17.6
Transferring Product Meanings to Other Cultures
  • Innovations know no geographic boundaries
  • Costly consequences of ignoring cultural
  • 1994 McDonalds reprinting Saudi Arabian flag on
    disposable packaging/promotions
  • 2002 McDonalds litigation settlement for
    mislabeling French fries as being vegetarian
  • 2002 McDonalds cancellation of McAfrika
  • 2005 McDonalds Prosperity Burger

Adopt a Standardized Strategy
  • Starbucks standardized strategy worldwide
  • Critics Starbucks obliterates local customs
  • Café flaneurs and oppositional localists
  • Ethics perspective develop one approach for
    multiple, homogenized markets
  • Economies of scale benefit

? Click for
Adopt a Localized Strategy
  • Disney learned cultural lessons
  • Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Emic perspective stress on variations across
  • Each country is unique and has a national
  • Strategy must be tailored to each specific
    culture to make product acceptable to local tastes

Cultural Differences Relevant to Marketers
  • People around the world develop their own unique
  • Marketers must be aware of a cultures norms
    regarding sensitive topics such as taboos and
  • Language barrier and back-translation
  • Nothing sucks like an Electrolux
  • Fresca is Mexican slang for lesbian

Does Global Marketing Work?
  • In practice, a homogenous world culture has met
    with mixed results
  • Consumers in different countries do not use
    products the same way
  • Significant cultural differences can show up
    within the same country
  • Coca-Cola has been successful in crafting a
    single, international image

Does Global Marketing Work? (cont.)
  • Multicultural marketing efforts tend to succeed
    more with two types of consumer segments
  • Affluent global citizens exposed to ideas
    around the world through travels, business
    contacts, and media experiences
  • Young people influenced by MTV/other media

Click to view ? Quicktime video on Motorolas
global advertising
Does Global Marketing Work? (cont.)
  • Three dimensions of global brands
  • Quality signal if a company has global reach, it
    must excel on quality
  • Global myth brands are symbols of cultural
  • Social responsibility companies are expected to
    address social problems where they operate

Consumer Segments Who Evaluate Global Brands
  • Global citizens global success of a company is a
    signal of quality
  • Global dreamers see global brands as quality
    products and readily buy them
  • Antiglobals skeptical that global companies
    deliver higher-quality products
  • Global agnostics dont base purchase decisions
    on a brands global attributes

Id Like to Buy the World a Coke
  • Western lifestyles associated with modernization
    and sophistication
  • U.S. television inspires knockoffs around the
    world (e.g., The Apprentice)
  • Also, U.S. television hits often start out as
    imported European concepts (e.g., Big Brother)
  • Middle East protested/boycotted American
    companies and products after events of 9/11
  • Critics in other countries Americanization of
    their cultures excessive materialism
  • Opposition to a global fast-food culture

Emerging Consumer Cultures in Transitional
  • Western decadence appears to be infectious in
    foreign countries
  • Globalized consumption ethic
  • Ideal of material lifestyle and well-known brands
    that symbolize prosperity
  • Rituals/product preferences in different cultures
    become homogenized (e.g., Christmas in China)
  • Attaining consumer goods is not easy for those in
    transitional economies
  • Loss of confidence/pride in local culture as well
    as alienation, frustration, increase in stress

Emerging Consumer Culturesin Transitional
Economies (cont.)
  • Creolization foreign influences integrate with
    local meanings
  • Peruvian boys carry rocks painted like radios
  • Chivas Regal wrappers on drums in highland Papua
    New Guinea
  • Japanese use Western words for anything new and
  • I feel Coke and sound special
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