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Practical implications

Marketing and advertising appeals to individual choice would be consistent with the interests of fashion(reference website: consumers. Consistent with Richins and Dawson (1992) and Rotzoll (1992), fashion change agents search for meaning in fashion possessions, value individual choice in that search, and rely upon manufacturers and retailers to provide a wide variety of products from which to choose. Also, as shown in the results, there were significant differences in materialism between Korean and American consumers. These differences may be explained by the essential cultural motivations for materialism. This study found that, compared to Koreans, US consumers scored higher on the centrality subscale. This is consistent with previous research (e.g. Schaefer et al., 2004) that found consumers from more individualistic countries were more materialistic than consumers from less individualistic countries. However, in the success and happiness subscales, Korean consumers were more materialistic than US consumers. This may mean that collectivistic cultures such as Korea, rooted in Confucian traditional values that focus on thrift or spiritual value rather than materialistic values, have been influenced by Western values or lifestyles. According to Ger and Belk (1996), in general, the spread of consumer culture has been from Western cultures to Eastern cultures. However, despite the spread of Western influence, currently consumer culture is neither identical nor homogenous due to social change, mobility and globalization. These changes in our contemporary world seem to promote materialism regardless of the type of culture. Thus, consumers from both individualistic countries such as the US and collectivistic countries such as Korea can be materialistic – however, the expression of materialism within the two countries may be different – as this research found. These results suggest that international firms need to understand and to respect the diversity and complexity of materialistic values among global consumers, and to provide different marketing strategies in each culture. For example, advertising products as symbols of success and happiness may be more appealing to Korean consumers than US consumers.
25.1.11 03:01


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