CONSUMERS AND CULTURE
CULTURAL INFLUENCES ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR


What is culture?

Do the things we buy tell something about us?

How does culture influence the products we buy?

UNDERSTANDING CULTURE

Individuals worldwide participate in activities that allow them to take a break and interact socially with others; example: coffee break

Culture is a key to understanding consumer behaviour

Culture

Think of culture as a society's personality. Culture includes values, ethics, rituals, traditions, norms, material objects/services that are created or valued in a group or society. Culture can be seen as a lens for people to see products. Our culture helps to determine our priorities. What a culture says is important we may value. Culture has a large part in what products will become adopted

Ethos

The ethos of a culture is the set of moral aesthetic and evaluative principles. Ethos is the guiding principles, beliefs and ideals that a culture believes in. It is related to the emotions, behaviours and morals of a group.

Collectivist Culture

The group comes before the individual

People subordinate personal goals to those of a larger group

Self-discipline and group accomplishment are stressed

 

Individualist Culture

where people attach more importance to their own personal goals than to a group goals; Personal enjoyment and freedom are important

Norms

Norms are the informal rules that govern what is right or wrong

When we form groups we create a set of rules or standards that the members follow

Custom

A Custom is a norm that comes from a traditional way of doing things ( example: The time we eat dinner)

More

A More is a norm with strong moral overtones ( example: We don't eat dogs)

Conventions

Conventions are norms regarding the conduct of everyday life (example: we use certain utensils to eat)

ASPECTS OF CULTURE

Culture is in a constant state of change. Marketers want to understand changes in culture so that they can sell products that suit particular groups

A cultural system has three areas:
Ecology
(the way it has adapted to environment; shaped by technology used);
Social Structure
(how order is maintained; domestic/political groups);
Ideology
(the mental characteristics of the people; ideas ; principles of order,ethos, morals

Every culture is different, but they vary on some dimensions:
Power Distance
(how interpersonal relationships form when different powers perceived; how equal? how informal?;
Uncertainty avoidance (how threatened people feel by unknown;
Masculinity/femininity
(how gender roles are defined)
Individualism
(collectivist/individualist cultures)

Values define good/bad; these create norms; custom is a norm handed down from past; more is custom with moral overtone; conventions are norms of everyday life

Marketers must be careful when introducing new products or translating ads to different cultures. A phrase or expression doesn't always translate, see Advertising Translation Gaffes for some humourous mistakes

MYTHS AND RITUALS

All cultures develop stories. Stories help humans make sense of world; Our own culture's stories make sense to us, but we may find other's cultural stories strange. Example: products that offer "magical' results; lucky objects; wizard in software

Myths

A Myth is a story with symbolic elements . A myth can show shared emotions/ideals of a culture. Example: The Cadbury Secret; formerly the secret was posted on in Mind Magazine online , but I'll tell you about it in class! Marketers use mythical elements: good versus evil; golden arches; myth of how product made. Product can be defined by what it isn't "not your father's car" (good versus evil)


not your father's planetarium

not your father's religion

Some myths are common to several cultures: example the hero from everyday world with supernatural powers wins over evil; ET -gentle creature from other world fighting technology; Star Trek

Ads speak of "good old days" and play into our memory of stories. We relate to stories that we are familiar with.

Rituals

Rituals are symbolic behaviours that occur in a fixed sequence and that tend to be repeated periodically; some are religious. Rite of passage, family, civic rituals; some are personal. What rituals do you have? Ritual artifacts include special occasion products, birthday, wedding,retirement, graduationIndividuals have grooming rituals that reflect cultural values; gift-giving rituals

Holidays involve ritual and heroes; new occasions are created for new presents/cards.Marketers can actually "create" new holidays to market products; in the US marketers are trying to commercialize Cinco de Mayo into the Latin version of St Patrick's Day.Corona (2013) created a campaign Corona Calendar that shows you how every day is some special occasion, all so you can have an excuse to drink Corona. See the ad here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fON6lJaMVLw

Most cultural holidays are based on myths; real or imagined characters.Coca Cola claims credit for inventing modern image of Santa in 1931 ad; however, many others point out this is not exactly accurate.

SACRED AND PROFANE CONSUMPTION

Sacred Consumption

Consuming objects and events that are special or set apart from our normal life . They may be treated with respect or awe. Can include religious objects but also things we treasure as a culture

Profane Consumption

Consuming objects and events that are ordinary/ everyday- nothing special

Sacred consumption may have religious or mythical significance: Bethlehem, Stonehenge, Statue of Liberty, Walk of Fame; Hall of fame, Disney World; in some cultures the home is sacred; some marketers try to create a "sacred" atmosphere

When people are idolized set apart they become sacred people; things they use become sacred; events can be sacred:Olympics, World Cup, Tourist destination

Even if celebrities die, they can continue to be useful spokespeople. Once they are dead they can no longer do anything bad that they hadn't already done.

Audrey Hepburn for Chanel

see a James Dean commercial at http://youtube.com/watch?v=MGIfP7DAvvk and Audrey Hepburn for Gap http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMnhaRyLOVI

Everyday people can become stars -A sensation at the center of Hollywood's fashion scene isn't a famous designer or starlet. It's a 56-year-old homeless schizophrenic man who spends his days dancing on roller skates. Paris Hilton is buying his T-shirts, but they are not his and he is not taking any profit see Crazy Robertson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhJJauyvxXQ

Sacralization occurs when sacred qualities are given to products or items owned by sacred people .We can make oridinary objects sacred if we assign deeper meaning to them. For example, if we save a ticket stub as a memento of and event, we have assigned sacred meaning to it.

Objectification occurs when formerly sacred objects or activities become part of everyday; when one-of-a-kind works of art are reproduced in quantity

Desacralization occurs when objects that previously were sacred become commercialized and in popular culture


Celebriducks

References as noted above and: Solomon, Michael R., Zaichkowsky, Judith and Rosemary Polegato. Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, Being. 5th Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.



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